Urinary N  -acetyl-β-glucosaminidase as an indicator of renal dysfunction in electroplating workers

International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health (Impact Factor: 2.2). 06/1998; 71(5):348-352. DOI: 10.1007/s004200050291


Objectives: To investigate chromium-induced renal dysfunction in electroplating workers. Methods: A cross-sectional study was used to evaluate four biochemical markers of renal function. A total of 178 workers were divided
into 3 comparable groups consisting of 34 hard-chrome plating workers, 98 nickel-chrome electroplating workers, and 46 aluminum
anode-oxidation workers, who represented the reference group. Ambient and biological monitoring of urinary chromium were performed
to measure exposure concentrations. Results: Overall, urinary chromium concentrations were highest among hard-chrome plating workers (geometric mean 2.44 μg/g creatinine),
followed by nickel-chrome electroplating workers (0.31 μg/g creatinine) and aluminum workers (0.09 μg/g creatinine). Airborne
chromium concentrations were also highest in the hard-chrome plating area (geometric mean 4.20 μg/m3), followed by the nickel-chrome electroplating area (0.58 μg/m3) and the aluminum area (0.43 μg/m3). A positive correlation was found between urinary chromium and airborne concentrations (r = 0.54, P < 0.01). Urinary concentrations of N-acetyl-β-d-glucosaminidase (NAG) were also highest among hard-chrome plating workers (geometric mean 4.9 IU/g creatinine), followed
by nickel-chrome workers (3.4 IU/g creatinine) and aluminum workers (2.9 IU/g creatinine). The prevalence of “elevated” NAG
(>7 IU/g creatinine) was significantly highest among hard-chrome plating workers (23.5%), then among nickel-chrome workers
(7.1%) and aluminum workers (8.7%). Differences in β2-microglobulin, total protein, and microalbumin were not significant. Conclusion: The author's evidence indicates that NAG is an early indicator of renal dysfunction in hard-chrome plating workers.

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    • "ent . The increase in serum Cys - C and urinary mALB in chronic Cr - exposed workers suggests the possible renal impairment or dysfunction . Our observation is diVerent from previous reports , which could be due to the exposure level in our study was obviously higher than the previously published data ( Nagaya et al . 1994 ; Foa et al . 1988 ; and Liu et al . 1998 ) . The tubular epithelium has the ability to regen - erate , which makes it diYcult to use urinary NAG activity and 2 M as the predictor of chronic renal injury ( Wedeen and Qian 1991 ) . Generally , the glomerular impairment is irreversible , serum Cys - C and urinary mALB would be sen - sitive indicators for chronic glomerular dysfun"
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    ABSTRACT: To determine the nephritic toxicity of chromate after chronic occupational exposure. The environmental contamination was assessed by measuring the chromium (Cr) in 8-h airborne sampler. The integrated level of Cr was determined by Cr concentrations in the whole blood (WB-Cr) and the urine (U-Cr). The renal glomerular and tubule impairment was evaluated by determination of cystatin C (Cys-C) in the serum and microalbumin (mALB), urinary beta(2)-microglobulin (β(2)M), N-acetyl-beta-D-glucosaminidase (NAG) activity in the urine. The mean occupational exposure time to Cr was 12.86 years with average daily air level of 27.13 μg/m(3) comparing to 0.11 μg/m(3) of the background level. The WB-Cr and U-Cr were 23.49 μg/L and 17.41 μg/g creatinine (Cre), respectively in the chromate-exposed workers comparing to 3.32 μg/L and 1.52 μg/g Cre in the controls. The serum Cys-C and urinary mALB were significantly increased in the chromate-exposed workers. Exposure to Cr seems to induce an enhanced level of urinary NAG activity and β(2)M concentration. The increased serum Cys-C concentration was positively correlated with the level of serum Cre. The U-Cr was positively correlated to the concentrations of urinary mALB, β(2)M, and the activity of NAG. Chronic occupational exposure to chromate causes comprehensive renal impairment though more severity could occur in the tubule than in the glomerular.
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate the immunological parameters of chromic acid exposure among electroplating workers. Forty-six subjects were selected from five electroplating plants in central Taiwan. Each subject was interviewed by questionnaire, and urine chromium (urine-Cr) concentration was assessed. Immunological parameters were evaluated by interleukin (IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, TNF-alpha, IFN-gamma) and levels of lymphocyte subsets (T-cell, B-cell, T4, T8 and T4/T8). Levels of IL-6 and IL-8 significantly increased in subjects with high urine Cr concentration, but TNF-alpha levels decreased. IL-2, IL-4, IL-10 and IFN-gamma were undetected. Flow cytometry was used to determine levels of lymphocyte subsets: only B-cells percentage had a negative correlation with urine-Cr. Smoking was an important factor that influenced levels of lymphocyte subsets. Exposure to Cr has a detrimental effect on the immune system, so it is evident that worker exposure to chromic acid in the electroplating workplace must be reduced to a minimum.
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