Background: The secretion of organic solutes by the proximal tubules is an essential intrinsic kidney function. However, the clinical significance of the kidney's clearance of tubular secretory solutes is uncertain. Methods: In this prospective cohort study, we evaluated 3416 participants with CKD from the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC) study. We measured plasma and 24-hour urine concentrations of endogenous candidate secretory solutes at baseline, using targeted liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. The study defined CKD progression by a ≥50% decline in the eGFR, initiation of maintenance dialysis, or kidney transplantation. We used Cox proportional hazards regression to test associations of secretory-solute clearances with CKD progression andmortality, adjusting for eGFR, albuminuria, and other confounding characteristics. Results: Participants in this ancillary study had a mean age of 58 years and 41% were black; the median eGFR was 43 ml/min per 1.73m2. After adjustment, lower kidney clearances of six solutes-kynurenic acid, pyridoxic acid, indoxyl sulfate, xanthosine, isovalerylglycine, and cinnamoylglycine-were associated with significantly greater risks of CKD progression, with clearance of kynurenic acid, a highly protein-bound solute, having the strongest association. Lower clearances of isovalerylglycine, tiglylglycine, hippurate, and trimethyluric acid were significantly associated with all-cause mortality after adjustment. Conclusions: We found lower kidney clearances of endogenous secretory solutes to be associated with CKD progression and all-cause mortality, independent of eGFR and albuminuria. This suggests that tubular clearance of secretory solutes provides additional information about kidney health beyond measurements of glomerular function alone.
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