30 August 2000
Background/Aim: In patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, the relationship between glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and urinary albumin excretion remains an unresolved issue. In order to investigate the early renal function abnormalities, GFR and urinary albumin excretion were assessed, and their relationship was examined in normotensive patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Methods: In a cross-sectional study of 85 nonhypertensive Japanese patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus not showing overt proteinuria, the GFR was measured using <sup>99m</sup>Tc-diethylenetriamine pentaacetate renography. Fifty-one diabetic patients lacked microalbuminuria (albumin excretion <30 mg/day), while 34 patients showed microalbuminuria (between 30 and 300 mg/day). Fifteen healthy subjects served as controls. Results: The three groups were well matched with regard to gender, age, and body mass index. The GFR in microalbuminuric patients (134 ± 23 ml/min/1.48 m<sup>2</sup>) was significantly higher than in patients without microalbuminuria (108 ± 21 ml/min/1.48 m<sup>2</sup>) and in controls (109 ± 18 ml/min/1.48 m<sup>2</sup>; p < 0.0001). In type 2 diabetic patients, the GFR positively correlated with the logarithmically transformed urinary albumin excretion. Multiple regression analysis showed that the urinary albumin excretion was significantly and independently affected by GFR (β = 0.548), duration of diabetes (β = 0.297), and systolic blood pressure (β = 0.232; R<sup>2</sup> = 0.409; p < 0.0001). Conclusion: It is suggested that one of the mechanisms underlying increased urinary albumin excretion in early nephropathy in normotensive type 2 diabetes is glomerular hyperfiltration.