Each hour for four hours the concentration of the drug in their blood and urine was measured. The kidneys’ ability to clear iothalamate from the blood and urine is a useful indicator of their function.
When compared with the current isotopic test, which involves potentially harmful radioactive substances, the new method “is more accurate, reliable, non-toxic, quick and cheaper”, said Salman Ashraf, professor of biochemistry and a member of the UAEU research team.
Another commonly used test involves measuring the level of creatinine in the blood plasma. But this has drawbacks because factors such as age, gender, ethnicity and muscle bulk influence the concentration of creatinine.
If not detected early, kidney malfunction can lead to a lifetime of hospital care. But when discovered early, many conditions can be cured.
“Certain types of acute kidney diseases can be treated with medication and they can be cured if diagnosed at the onset,” Prof Ashraf said.
“If patients develop end-stage kidney failure, the loss of 85 to 95 per cent of kidney function, then weekly dialysis for a lifetime is needed. The average life expectancy on dialysis is about 10 years.