Symmetric dimethylarginine (SDMASDMA = Symmetrical Dimethylarginine, which is a degradation product of the amino acid arginine and is excreted solely through the kidneys. SDMA is a highly specific biomarker for kidney function in cats. Read more: SDMA test (blood test)...) is a breakdown product of the amino acid arginine and is excreted exclusively via the kidneys. SDMA is a highly specific biomarker for cat’s kidney function. According to the manufacturer IDEXX, it can identify CKD in cats at an early stage, when 60% of the nephronsNephrone sind die Filtereinheiten der Nieren.... are still functional and creatine elevation or clinical symptoms are not yet present.
The advantage of SDMA compared to creatinineCreatinine is a breakdown product of muscle metabolism. Its blood level is dependent, among many factors, on age, weight, nutritional status and muscle mass. Hence, creatinine levels in the blood vary from individual to individual. Creatinine is continuously excreted in the urine. Increased blood creatinine... is that it isn’t influenced by other factors such as muscle mass. It also increases at a very early stage of CKD, because it is highly correlated with a decrease in the functional capacity of the kidneys – the glomerular filtration rateThe glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is defined as the volume of fluid that is filtered by the glomeruli of the nephrons of both kidneys per unit of time to produce primary urine. It is, therefore, the chief measure of kidney function. The rate corresponds to... (GFR).
A study on the SDMA test (Hall et al. 2014) demonstrated that it was able to identify CKD on average 17 months earlier than creatinine blood levels.
The SDMA test can identify CKD at an early stage.
An SDMA level of >14 µg/dl is indicative of CKD.
Earlier detection of CKD may contribute to better and more targeted treatment, with the potential of prolonging and improving the quality of life of a cat. I, therefore, personally recommend taking your cat for annual kidney check-ups from the age of 5 years.