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Unexpected random urinary protein:creatinine ratio results-limitations of the pyrocatechol violet-dye method.

TitleUnexpected random urinary protein:creatinine ratio results-limitations of the pyrocatechol violet-dye method.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsDe Silva, D, Halstead, A, Côté, A-M, Sabr, Y, von Dadelszen, P, Magee, LA
JournalBMC Pregnancy Childbirth
Date Published2013 Jul 17
KeywordsAdult, Benzenesulfonates, Cohort Studies, Coloring Agents, Creatinine, False Positive Reactions, Female, Humans, Pre-Eclampsia, Pregnancy, Pregnancy Outcome, Prospective Studies, Proteinuria, Pyrogallol, Urinalysis

BACKGROUND: For clinicians, it is important to rely on accurate laboratory results for patient care and optimal use of health care resources. We sought to explore our observations that urine protein:creatinine ratios (PrCr) ≥30 mg/mmol are seen not infrequently associated with normal pregnancy outcome.

METHODS: Urine samples were collected prospectively from 160 pregnant women attending high-risk maternity clinics at a tertiary care facility. Urinary protein was measured using a pyrocatechol violet assay and urinary creatinine by an enzymatic method on Vitros analysers. Maternal/perinatal outcomes were abstracted from hospital records.

RESULTS: 91/233 (39.1%) samples had a PrCr ≥30 mg/mmol, especially when urinary creatinine concentration was <3 mM (94.1%) vs. ≥3 mM (16.4%) (p < 0.001). When using the last sample before delivery, 47/160 (29.4%) had a PrCr ≥30 mg/mmol in diluted urine vs. only 17/160 (15.4%) in more concentrated urine (p < 0.001); PrCr positive results were also more frequent among the 32 (20.0%) women with known normal pregnancy outcome (90.9% vs. 0) (p < 0.001). Using the same analyser, 0.12 g/L urinary protein was 'detected' in deionised water. Re-analysis of data from two cohorts revealed substantially less inflation of PrCr in dilute urine using a pyrogallol red assay.

CONCLUSIONS: Random urinary PrCr was overestimated in dilute urine when tested using a common pyrocatechol violet dye-based method. This effect was reduced in cohorts when pyrogallol red assays were used. False positive results can impact on diagnosis and patient care. This highlights the need for both clinical and laboratory quality improvement projects and standardization of laboratory protein measurement.

Alternate JournalBMC Pregnancy Childbirth
Citation Key601
PubMed ID23865673
PubMed Central IDPMC3733961