Biomarkers of kidney diseases has been designated as one of the important areas of research by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). There has been exponential growth in research on biomarkers of kidney diseases over the last 5 years. Preclinical studies have been taken to the bedside. It is now possible to use biomarkers to diagnose certain kidney diseases at an earlier stage than was possible with conventional tests. The prospect of early diagnosis and treatment of kidney diseases has made biomarker research one of the most exciting areas of kidney research.
Advances in long-term improvement and outcomes of patients with kidney disease will require the use of novel biomarkers to identify patients at high risk for kidney disease and to diagnose kidney disease early for effective treatment. A biomarker is a substance found in the blood, body fluids, or tissues that provides a measure of normal biological or pathological processes or response to pharmacological compounds or drugs. There are a wide variety of biomarkers including mRNA, proteins and peptides, and lipid molecules.
In Acute Kidney Disease (AKI) and Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), important pathophysiological processes such as inflammation, apoptotic and necrotic cell death and, tubule regeneration may be reflected in blood or urine. An array of candidate markers along with clinical information in long-term clinical studies with appropriate analytical methodologies will likely provide prognostic information.