12 December 2008
The relationship between glycosaminoglycans and β<sub>2</sub>-microglobulin, glycosaminoglycans and N-acetyl-β- D-glucosaminidase as well as the relationship between the chondroitin sulfate/heparan sulfate ratio and SDS electrophoresis in the urine of subjects from the endemic area of Balkan nephropathy was studied in order to establish a method for early detection of this disease. The results show an unquestionable increase in urinary excretion of total glycosaminoglycans in subjects with or suspected of having Balkan endemic nephropathy while the chondroitin sulfate/heparan sulfate ratio was not statistically different between the groups studied. Thus, the chondroitin sulfate/heparan sulfate ratio cannot be used as a cheap and quick semiquantitative method for the diagnosis of early tubular damage in Balkan endemic nephropathy. However, the determination of total glycosaminoglycans in the urine of subjects from endemic areas proved to be valuable additional information helping with the diagnosis of Balkan endemic nephropathy.