Biomarkers in acute and chronic kidney disease

Curr Opin Nephrol Hypertens. 2008 Mar;17(2):127-32. doi: 10.1097/MNH.0b013e3282f4e525.


Purpose of review: The paucity of early, predictive, noninvasive biomarkers has impaired our ability to institute potentially effective therapies for acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease in a timely manner.

Recent findings: Promising novel biomarkers for acute kidney injury include a plasma panel (neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin and cystatin C) and a urine panel (neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin, interleukin-18, and kidney injury molecule-1). For chronic kidney disease, these include a similar plasma panel and a urine panel (neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin, asymetric dimethylarginine, and liver-type fatty acid-binding protein). The biomarker panels will probably be useful for assessing the duration and severity of kidney disease, and for predicting progression and adverse clinical outcomes. It is also likely that the biomarker panels will help to distinguish between the various etiologies of acute kidney injury or chronic kidney disease.

Summary: The tools of functional genomics and proteomics have provided us with promising novel biomarkers for acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease. It will be important in future studies to validate the sensitivity and specificity of these biomarker panels in clinical samples from large cohorts and in multiple clinical situations. Such studies will be facilitated by the availability of commercial tools for reproducible measurement of these panels.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury / diagnosis*
  • Acute Kidney Injury / metabolism
  • Acute-Phase Proteins / metabolism
  • Arginine / analogs & derivatives
  • Arginine / metabolism
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Biomarkers / metabolism*
  • Biomarkers / urine
  • Cystatin C
  • Cystatins / metabolism
  • Fatty Acid-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Hepatitis A Virus Cellular Receptor 1
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-18 / metabolism
  • Lipocalin-2
  • Lipocalins / metabolism
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / metabolism
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / metabolism
  • Receptors, Virus / metabolism
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / diagnosis*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / metabolism
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Acute-Phase Proteins
  • Biomarkers
  • CST3 protein, human
  • Cystatin C
  • Cystatins
  • FABP1 protein, human
  • Fatty Acid-Binding Proteins
  • HAVCR1 protein, human
  • Hepatitis A Virus Cellular Receptor 1
  • Interleukin-18
  • LCN2 protein, human
  • Lipocalin-2
  • Lipocalins
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Receptors, Virus
  • N,N-dimethylarginine
  • Arginine