Biomarkers and Precision Medicine in IgA Nephropathy

Semin Nephrol. 2018 Sep;38(5):521-530. doi: 10.1016/j.semnephrol.2018.05.022.


The field of biomarker research in IgA nephropathy has experienced a major boost in recent years with the publication of a large number of scientific reports. Candidate biomarkers from blood, urine, and renal tissue obtained through the use of clinical chemistry, molecular biology, and omics have been proposed for translation in clinical practice. Nevertheless, individual biomarkers often lack sensitivity and specificity with the consequent impairment of disease specificity. This review, moving on from the analysis of the four-hit hypothesis, illustrates the biomarkers linked to the abnormal glycosylation process of IgA1 and the immune complex formation. It also describes other serum and urinary biomarkers. Given the profound insights into the pleiotropic function of a single biomarker that is specific for a pathophysiological mechanism, this review suggests a novel approach based on a panel of biomarkers that covers the entire pathogenic process of the disease. Clinical bioinformatics that integrate genetic, clinical, and bioinformatics data sets could optimize the specific value of each biomarker in a multimarker panel. This is a promising approach for precision medicine and personalized therapy in IgA nephropathy.

Keywords: Biomarkers; IgA nephropathy; kidney biopsy; serum; urine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / metabolism*
  • Computational Biology
  • Glomerulonephritis, IGA / genetics
  • Glomerulonephritis, IGA / immunology*
  • Glomerulonephritis, IGA / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin A / immunology*
  • Immunoglobulin A / metabolism
  • Precision Medicine*


  • Biomarkers
  • Immunoglobulin A