Surrogate end points of renal failure are instrumental to the testing of new treatments in patients with chronic kidney disease, the natural history of which is characterized by a slow, asymptomatic decline in renal function. The magnitude of proteinuria is widely recognized as a marker of the severity of glomerulopathy. Population-based studies have identified proteinuria as a predictor of future decline in glomerular filtration rate and of the development of end-stage renal disease. More importantly, a reduction in proteinuria invariably translates into a protection from renal function decline in patients with diabetic and nondiabetic renal disease with overt proteinuria. Thus, proteinuria should be considered a valuable surrogate end point for clinical trials in patients with proteinuric renal diseases.
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