Renal Function in Urinary Schistosomiasis in the Natal Province of South Africa

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  • 1 Research Institute for Diseases in a Tropical Environment, South African Medical Research Council, P.O. Box 17120, Congella, Republic of South Africa
  • * Department of Chemical Pathology, University of Natal Medical School, 719 Umbilo Road, Durban 4001, Republic of South Africa

Renal function was assessed in 101 schoolchildren with active urinary schistosomiasis by measuring serum creatinine, urate, urea, and B2-microglobulin, urinary B2 microglobulin, and the glomerular filtration rate. Glomerular function in all subjects was normal as were serum creatinine, urate, and urea levels. Serum B2-microglobulin was elevated in only 8% of subjects while urinary B2-microglobulin only was raised in 7% of subjects, indicating proximal tubular dysfunction, a previously unreported feature in urinary schistosomiasis. Urinary tract abnormalities were found in 43% of subjects consenting to an excretory urogram but no correlation with biochemical parameters of renal function was noted. Serum angiotensin converting enzyme level measured in 70 subjects was elevated in 11% of subjects and was regarded as a possible measure of increased granulomatous activity.