urine sampleAccording to a new study published in Hypertension, a medical journal, podocyturia is detectable in women who experience preeclampsia before proteinuria. Authors from various departments at the Mayo Clinic worked on the study concurrently.

In patients with preeclampsia, live podocytes can be detected in urine samples. Researchers wanted to find out if the podocytes were detectable prior to diagnosis of preeclampsia. Urine and blood samples were collected from 315 pregnant participants at about 27 weeks and about 24 hours before delivery. Urine samples were cultured for 24 hours before testing for live podocytes. In all 15 cases of preeclampsia, the urine tested positive for live podocytes at the end of the second trimester. None of the urine tests were positive in women who did not develop preeclampsia.

Urine tests at the end of the second trimester may predict preeclampsia before symptoms develop. Doctors can use the test to plan for possible pregnancy complications associated with the life-threatening condition.

Source: Craici IM, Wagner SJ, Bailey KR, Fitz-Gibbon PD, Wood-Wentz CM, Turner ST, Hayman SR, White WM, Brost BC, Rose CH, Grande JP, Garovic VD. Podocyturia Predates Proteinuria and Clinical Features of Preeclampsia: Longitudinal Prospective Study. Hypertension. 2013 Mar 25.