Biomarkers for predicting outcomes in chronic kidney disease

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Purpose of review

Current biomarkers for chronic kidney disease (CKD) are limited by lack of sensitivity and inability to prognosticate CKD progression. Significant recent research has better characterized novel biomarker candidates that are associated with CKD progression and cardiovascular mortality in CKD. This review discusses the most significant advances within the past year.

Recent findings

We discuss biomarkers for outcomes in CKD under two categories: emerging (defined as having been validated in an independent cohort), which include serum cystatin C, serum β-trace protein, β2-microglobulin, soluble urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor, soluble tumor necrosis factor receptors 1/2, urinary monocyte chemotactic protein-1, neutrophil gelatin-associated lipocalin, kidney injury molecule-1, and fibroblast growth factor-23; and novel (which have shown associations in smaller observational studies but have not been validated yet), which include indoxyl sulfate, p-cresyl sulfate, trimethylamine-N-oxide, IL-18, Klotho, markers of endothelial dysfunction, vimentin, and procollagen type III N-terminal propeptide. Further, we also discuss future directions for biomarker research including unbiased –omics approaches.


There are a number of promising biomarkers that can better prognosticate outcomes in and progression of CKD. Further research is warranted to examine whether these biomarkers validate independently as well, and if their incorporation improves clinical practice or trial enrollment.

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