Publication Date


Journal Title

Kidney Int Rep


© 2018 International Society of Nephrology Introduction: Cross-sectional studies document that the spot protein/creatinine ratio (PCR) is often an inaccurate estimate of proteinuria magnitude compared with the 24-hour PCR, which is the gold standard. However, the extent to which the inaccuracy of the spot PCR varies over time and between individuals has not previously been reported. We address these crucial questions using a unique database, an National Institutes of Health trial in which lupus nephritis (LN) patients (N = 103) provided spot PCR testing each month and 24-hour PCR testing every 3 months for up to 15 months after induction therapy. Methods: A gold standard proteinuria trend line was constructed for each patient by joining the points that represented the serial 24-hour PCR values of the patient. The spot PCR values of the patient were then plotted in relationship to the 24-hour PCR trend line. Using our previous work, which estimated the 95% confidence intervals for the 24-hour PCR at specific levels, we determined in each patient whether the spot PCR values were “reliable,” “problematic,” or “unreliable.” The sequential spot PCR of the patients deviated widely and often from the 24-hour PCR trend line, to the extent that, if the spot PCR results were used in real time for clinical decision-making, it was likely management errors would occur. Results: Spot PCRs were reliable in 41%, problematic in 24%, and unreliable in 35% of patients. Those with unreliable spot PCRs could not be predicted and were more likely to respond poorly to treatment. Conclusion: The spot PCR should not be used for management of LN, and perhaps, other glomerulopathies.

Volume Number


Issue Number



1057 - 1063

Document Type





School of Medicine

Primary Department

Molecular Medicine

Additional Departments

General Internal Medicine