Hyperuricaemia—where nephrology meets rheumatology

Z Avram, E Krishnan
Rheumatology 2008, 47 (7): 960-4
Rheumatologists care for patients with gouty arthritis, a condition caused by chronic and uncontrolled hyperuricaemia. Hyperuricaemia, gout and renal dysfunction are often bedfellows, raising the possibility of the former causing the latter. We sought the answer to the question 'Among patients with normal measures of glomerular filtration, does hyperuricaemia predict future renal disease'? We identified prospective cohort studies evaluating the relationship between serum uric acid and chronic kidney function from the past 20 yrs, through MEDLINE, Cochrane Library and EMBASE searches and bibliography cross-referencing. Nine cohort studies that met the selection criteria were found. Because of the extreme heterogeneity, a statistical meta-analysis was not performed. Most (eight out of nine) studies found an independent risk factor for deterioration of kidney function. Nearly all published prospective studies support the role of hyperuricaemia as an independent risk factor for renal dysfunction. In the absence of large randomized controlled trials of uric acid reduction, it remains uncertain if this relation is causal or merely an epiphenomenon. Regardless, our review suggests that hyperuricaemia is a useful, inexpensively measured, widely available and useful early marker for chronic kidney disease.

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