Martins Ifijeh

PathCare Laboratories, Nigeria’s only ISO accredited pathology laboratory, has called on doctors to urgently send their patients, who show symptoms of kidney disease, to good laboratories for quality medical investigations in order to improve chances of good recovery.

The Executive Director of the laboratory, Dr Tolulope Adewole, made the call in his presentation to the Guild of Medical Directors conference held at the Eye Foundation Hospital Ikeja recently.

In his presentation titled, ‘Laboratory Support for Diagnosis and Management of Chronic Kidney Disease’, Dr Adewole noted that, unlike most disease conditions, kidney diseases do not show symptoms in the early stages.

According to him, “the importance of early and accurate diagnosis cannot be over emphasised in any branch of medicine but renal diseases have a major need for this because symptoms do not show early in kidney diseases, thus making a case for urgent and accurate diagnosis to detect the presence of a kidney disease condition and to commence adequate treatment immediately.”

“Most of the ailments progression to kidney failure are preventable if caught early. They include diabetes, hypertension, kidney cysts, tuberculosis, and urinary tract infections, especially in children. Other cases are Turner Syndrome, sickle cell anaemia, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), multiple myeloma, metabolic disorders etc.,” Adewole, a consultant chemical pathologist and metabolic physician, continued.

He said that chronic kidney disease, “a progressive kidney damage based on findings of abnormal structure or glomerular filtration rate (GFR) of less than 60ml/minute/1.73m2 for three months with or without evidence of kidney damage,” is a global health problem which affects between ten and twenty percent of adult population in most countries.

Adewole informed the participants that the laboratory plays an important role in the diagnosis, treatment and management of chronic kidney diseases, as pathology has developed various tests that could detect abnormalities that point to renal diseases using blood, urine and imaging studies. He said that some of these diagnoses are very intricate and require quality laboratories and specialist attention to achieve accurate and reliable results.

In his words, “glomerular filtration rate (GFR) decline, for example, precedes kidney failure in all forms of progressive disease and is difficult to be measured directly but is measured based on the ability of the kidneys to clear an endogenous or exogenous markers, which are assayed in the laboratory. This is why doctors are advised to refer their patients to quality laboratories only.”

He further informed the participants that the need for early detection of renal disease prompted PathCare Laboratories to partner with different NGO’s, pharmaceutical companies, research organisations, foundations and corporate organisations to provide quality medical investigations in kidney diseases. “We developed the Know Your Number card that contains a checklist of the indicators used in monitoring and managing kidney diseases. These cards could be accessed free of charge from any of the PathCare Laboratory offices or www.pathcarenigeria.com

“PathCare Laboratories offers the widest range of tests in Nigeria, with over five thousand tests ranging from the routine to the specialized. We are the first in West Africa and currently the only laboratory in Nigeria to achieve International Standards Organization – ISO 15189 accreditation,” Dr Adewole concluded.