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Qualitative and quantitative analysis of urinary lipids in the nephrotic syndrome.

A qualitative and quantitative analysis of urinary lipids in the nephrotic syndrome is presented. The following lipids were identified in the urine of patients with the nephrotic syndrome: free cholesterol, cholesterol esters, triglycerides, free fatty acids, and phospholipids. Glass paper chromatography identified the cholesterol esters as palmitate, oleate, linoleate, and arachidonate, and identified the phospholipids as phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine, and phosphatidylserine. Urinary lipid excretion was much greater in patients with the nephrotic syndrome than in patients with chronic renal disease and minimal proteinuria, or in patients with hyperlipidemia from other causes. Urinary lipid excretion varied widely among the 13 patients with the nephrotic syndrome studied, and no quantitative correlation with serum lipid levels was observed. However, qualitatively at least, the proportion of cholesterol esters excreted in the urine was similar to the proportion of these esters in plasma. A good correlation was found between lipid excretion and glomerular permeability. Furthermore, during steroid therapy urinary lipid excretion decreased concomitant with a decrease in proteinuria. All these observations support the idea that lipiduria in the nephrotic syndrome is related to protein loss and that most of the lipid in the urine enters the glomerular filtrate in the form of lipoproteins.

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