Translational research in nephrology: prognosis

Clin Kidney J. 2021 Aug 26;15(2):205-212. doi: 10.1093/ckj/sfab157. eCollection 2022 Feb.


Translational research aims at reducing the gap between the results of studies focused on diagnosis, prognosis and therapy, and every day clinical practice. Prognosis is an essential component of clinical medicine. It aims at estimating the risk of adverse health outcomes in individuals, conditional to their clinical and non-clinical characteristics. There are three fundamental steps in prognostic research: development studies, in which the researcher identifies predictors, assigns the weights to each predictor, and assesses the model's accuracy through calibration, discrimination and risk reclassification; validation studies, in which investigators test the model's accuracy in an independent cohort of individuals; and impact studies, in which researchers evaluate whether the use of a prognostic model by clinicians improves their decision-making and patient outcome. This article aims at clarifying how to reduce the disconnection between the promises of prognostic research and the delivery of better individual health.

Keywords: calibration; discrimination; precision medicine; prognostic research.