Introduction. The soluble urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR) has been found to be elevated in primary focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (pFSGS). However, its usefulness as a biomarker for FSGS remains controversial. We conducted a meta-analysis aiming at investigating the significance of suPAR in diagnosing pFSGS. Methods. Electronic databases (PubMed and EMBASE) were searched to identify studies comparing suPAR levels in FSGS patients and controls, from the earliest available date to May 1, 2018. A random-effects model with standardized mean difference (SMD) was used for meta-analyses. Risk of bias was assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa quality assessment scale. Results. A total of 187 articles were screened, and the final analysis included 13 articles. In comparison to healthy controls, serum suPAR levels were significantly increased in pFSGS patients (SMD, 1.07, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.65 to 1.48; participants=814; studies=9, I2=85%). Higher suPAR levels were also found in patients with pFSGS compared to those with minimal change disease (SMD 0.53, 95% CI 0.22 to 0.84). Of note, such a difference was not found in pediatric groups (SMD 0.42, 95% CI -0.13 to 0.96) while it was more evidently noted in adult patients (SMD 1.32, 95% CI 0.90 to 1.74). Serum suPAR levels did not differ between pFSGS patients in remission compared to those in active proteinuric state (SMD 0.29, 95% CI -0.30 to 0.88). Comparison with membranous nephropathy and IgA nephropathy showed no significant difference. Conclusions. Our meta-analysis demonstrated that, in comparison to both healthy controls and controls with minimal change disease, suPAR levels were significantly higher in adult patients with pFSGS. suPAR levels did not differ between pFSGS patients during the initial period of diagnosis and those in remission.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy