SAN DIEGO, Nov. 17, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Astute Medical, Inc., developer of biomarkers for better healthcare, today announced that Sharp HealthCare, one of Southern California's leading health care providers, has become the first in the state to begin using a first-of-its-kind risk assessment test for acute kidney injury (AKI), a stealthy, unpredictable and potentially deadly condition that is a common complication for patients in intensive care.
Astute Medical's NephroCheck ® Test will allow Sharp clinicians to more quickly identify patients at risk of developing AKI so they can intervene earlier and reduce the threat of irreparable kidney damage, said John Videen, M.D., a nephrologist at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center. Once patients develop AKI, mortality rate, risk of complications, length of hospital stay, cost 1 and readmissions 2 can more than double. "Nephrologists have been waiting decades for a test to help us detect kidney stress that can lead to kidney injury," Dr. Videen said. "I'm excited to start using it, and believe it will help get a jump on the condition." AKI is as common and life-threatening as a heart attack. But unlike a heart attack, it has no symptoms and can progress silently for hours to days, sometimes causing irreversible damage before it is detected. 3 About half of the 5 million 4 people admitted to intensive care units in the United States each year will develop AKI. 5 About 2 million people worldwide die from AKI annually. 6 The NephroCheck ® Test helps clinicians determine if certain hospitalized patients are at risk of developing moderate to severe AKI in the 12 hours following test administration. Early knowledge that a patient is likely to develop AKI may prompt closer patient surveillance and help prevent permanent kidney damage or death. 7 The test quantitatively measures two urinary biomarkers - tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 2 (TIMP-2) and insulin-like growth factor binding protein 7 (IGFBP-7), which have been related to early kidney stress. In high-risk hospital patients, this stress can signal the threat of moderate to severe AKI in the future. 8 "I've envied cardiologists, who've had many tests for the heart, while we have had so few for the kidneys," Dr. Videen said. "Previously, when we had a patient with kidney dysfunction or abnormal test results, we couldn't tell if the kidneys were showing a normal reaction to stress or if they were headed toward AKI. To me, this is how the test comes in handy."