IDEXX test promises to detect kidney disease months or years earlier


SDMA will be offered as part of routine reference test at no additional charge.

IDEXX Laboratories announced this week during the North American Veterinary Community conference that it's introducing a new kidney function test called SDMA (or symmetric dimethylarginine) that detects kidney loss in cats and dogs much earlier than standard creatinine tests, letting treatment commence earlier as well.

SDMA is a biomarker that is highly specific to kidney damage, showing up in blood tests when there is only 25 to 40 percent kidney loss, IDEXX representatives say. In contrast, creatinine levels rise when there is 75 percent or greater loss and can indicate problems other than kidney disease.

IDEXX plans to include the SDMA test in all routine reference laboratory chemistry profiles at no additional cost. The company will begin offering the test to a core group of several hundred customers in March, with a full-market rollout this summer.

In a recent clinical study, Oregon State University researchers showed that SDMA identified disease much earlier in the disease progression, when the kidney had suffered far less damage that results in permanent loss of function-up to four years earlier in at least one animal.1 On average, SDMA detected kidney disease when only 40 percent of function had been lost and, in some cases, 25 percent of function.

To learn more about SDMA, visit


Hall JA, Yerramilli M, Obare E et al. Comparison of serum concentrations of symmetric dimethylarginine and creatinine as kidney function biomarkers in healthy geriatric cats fed reduced protein foods enriched with fish oil, L-carnitine, and medium-chain triglycerides. Vet J 2014;202(3):588-96.

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