Renal kallikrein: A risk marker for nephropathy in children with sickle cell disease

Shayla Bergmann, Deyi Zheng, Julio Barredo, Miguel R. Abboud, Ayad A. Jaffa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


Objective: Although improvements in the management of sickle cell disease (SCD) have increased patient survival into adulthood, morbidity and mortality from end-organ damage remain major concerns. One of the most serious complications of SCD is renal failure, affecting about 20% of patients. The clinical manifestations of sickle cell nephropathy (SCN) involve changes in glomerular ultrastructure, albuminuria, and a progressive decline in glomerular hemodynamics. The mechanisms or factors that promote SCN are not fully elucidated. In the present study, the role of renal kallikrein as a risk marker for promoting SCN was explored in a cross-sectional study. Methods and Results: We measured the urinary excretion rate of active kallikrein in 73 children with sickle cell anemia (hemoglobin SS, SC, or S thalassemia) and in 30 control healthy African American children. The findings demonstrated that a significant difference in the excretion rate of log kallikrein in male versus female patients with SCD, P < 0.0078 was observed. In children with SCD, cross-sectional analysis revealed a positive and significant correlation between the excretion rate of active kallikrein and log albumin excretion rate (AER), P < 0.0088. Regression analysis also determined that the excretion rate of active kallikrein negatively correlates with hemoglobin in children with SCD, P < 0.0096. In addition, an inverse relationship between log AER and hemoglobin was observed in male patients with SCD, P < 0.0143. In children with SCD, cross-sectional analysis revealed a positive and significant correlation between log AER and age, suggesting age as a risk marker for AER in SCD. In multivariate regression analysis, our findings demonstrate a strong association between log AER and age and log kallikrein in children with SCD. About 20% of the variability in log AER in SCD patients is influenced by age and 6% is influenced by log kallikrein, P < 0.0001 and P < 0.02, respectively. Conclusions: These findings provide the first evidence that the excretion rate of active kallikrein is positively and independently correlated with log AER in children with SCD, and suggest that kallikrein could be a marker for progressive nephropathy. Longitudinal studies are essential to address this issue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-153
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2006



  • Albumin excretion rate
  • Hemoglobin
  • Nephropathy
  • Renal kallikrein
  • Sickle cell disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Oncology
  • Hematology

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