The incessant search for renal biomarkers: is it really justified?

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: This review summarizes the most recent and relevant findings in the search for novel biomarkers for the most common renal diseases.

RECENT FINDINGS: Unprecedented, fast-paced technical advances in biomedical research have offered an opportunity to identify novel and more specific renal biomarkers in several clinical settings. However, despite the huge efforts made, the molecules identified so far have generally failed to provide relevant information beyond what has already been generated by established biomarkers, such as serum creatinine and proteinuria, whereas the complexity and costs of these technology platforms hamper their widespread implementation.

SUMMARY: No novel renal biomarkers have added clear-cut additional value in clinical decision-making. The only exception is anti-phospholipase A2 receptor antibodies, which have been implemented successfully as a diagnostic and prognostic biomarker of membranous nephropathy. This achievement, along with the large number of ongoing collaborative projects worldwide, should lead the renal community to be quite confident regarding the successful qualification of novel and effective diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic response biomarkers for kidney diseases, hopefully in the next few years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-202
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Nephrology and Hypertension
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019


  • Autoantibodies/blood
  • Biomarkers/blood
  • Glomerulonephritis, Membranous/blood
  • Humans
  • Kidney Diseases/blood
  • Prognosis
  • Receptors, Phospholipase A2/immunology


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