Fast Five Quiz: Diabetic Nephropathy Presentation and Diagnosis

A. Brent Alper, Jr, MD, MPH


April 24, 2020

Investigations for diabetic nephropathy should include blood tests to assess complement factor levels and anti-DNA antibody levels to exclude autoimmune disease in the appropriate patient setting. Other essential tests include urine microscopy to examine for red cell casts in glomerulonephritis and urine culture to exclude infection.

Renal biopsy is not indicated for all patients but may be indicated if the diagnosis of diabetic nephropathy is in doubt, if an alternative kidney disease is suggested, or in the presence of atypical disease features. Conversely, it is necessary to perform a renal ultrasound in the workup of patients with suspected diabetic nephropathy, both to observe kidney size (usually normal to increased size in early disease stages and decreased or shrunken later on with chronic renal disease) and to exclude obstructive renal disease.

Learn more about the workup for diabetic nephropathy.


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