An automated immunoassay has been created for symmetric dimethylarginine, or SDMA, a biomarker that can detect chronic kidney disease between 10 to 17 months earlier than creatinine, with 100 percent sensitivity and 91 percent specificity. And, unlike with creatinine, a patient’s muscle mass does not influence the biomarker’s reliability. SDMA has already been incorporated into the kidney-function testing advice that guides clinician ordering worldwide. Since the automated SDMA test was launched in July 2015, 5 million samples have been analyzed and 80 percent of clinicians are aware of the test.There is a hitch in SDMA’s forward march to a place of prominence in chronic kidney disease testing: It has gone to the dogs—and cats.The automated SDMA assay is available only from Idexx Laboratories, a Westbrook, Me., company with a 40 percent share of the veterinary lab testing market. In veterinary medicine, the weaknesses of serum creatinine as a CKD biomarker are pronounced because there are no estimated glomerular filtration calculations for laboratories to use and report.
My latest feature article in CAP TODAY. Read the whole shebang.