Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a urine test that could help detect clots before they become an issue. Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) are hypercoagulable , meaning that they are at a significantly increased risk of their blood clotting. A blood clot (thrombosis) lodged within a blood vessel may cut off the blood supply and increase the risk of complications such as high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke in those with CKD if it is not caught soon enough.
A 2011 Stanford University School of Medicine study suggested that CKD patients with low blood pressure on dialysis have an "increased risk of blood clotting at the point where the patient's blood vessels are connected to the dialysis machine (fistula/graft)." Although there are several interventions such as delivering medication directly to the blood clot (thrombolysis) and positioning a mechanical device at the site to break up the clot (thrombectomy), if not caught soon enough the fistula which is a lifeline for CKD patients on dialysis can be destroyed.
Although it is well known that CKD patients are at increased risk of developing blood clots, study researchers suggested that existing blood tests are not consistently able to detect the formation of new clots. This newly developed test detects the presence of an enzyme (thrombin) which controls the formation of a protein that patches up wounds (fibrin) in the body. When the test was conducted on mice, fragments of thrombin were left behind and could be detected in urine.
While the test has only been done in mice, researchers noted it could have applications for humans in the future, particularly people at high risk for blood clots such as those with CKD or patients bedridden after Kidney Transplant surgery. The test is anticipated to be administered by using a stick that you urinate on, similar to a pregnancy test. "If a patient is at risk for thrombosis, you could send them home with a 10-pack of these sticks and say, 'Pee on this every other day and call me if it turns blue,'" lead researcher, Sangeeta Bhatia, a biochemistry professor at MIT said in a statement. KidneyBuzz.com finds this to be encouraging news in a step toward improving the lives of those with CKD.
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