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Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are sulfated, negatively charged polysaccharides produced in almost every cell of the human body. As GAGs are extracellularly localized, the changes in body fluids such as blood and urine may reflect pathological changes in the urinary system as observed in other pathologies. In this review, we determined the potential of urinary and/or serum GAG levels as a marker for kidney and urothelial system diseases. We performed a search in the PubMed, MEDLINE, and ScienceDirect databases until September 30, 2019. A number of studies reported changes in the urinary and/or plasma GAG levels or composition in urological diseases and conditions, such as renal cell carcinoma, kidney stone, bladder carcinoma, and overactive bladder. GAGs were found to have a predictive biomarker potential that could be limited by generalizability concerns.


Yasemin Ustundağ, Kağan Huysal, Muhammet Guzelsoy, Canan Erdem Genim, Ayca Yavuz. Urine and serum glycosaminoglycan levels in the diagnosis of urological diseases and conditions: A narrative review of the literature. Urologia. 2021 May;88(2):103-109

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PMID: 33043817

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