Chronic kidney disease, the gradual loss of renal function, is an increasingly recognized burden for patients and health care systems; globally, it has a high and rapidly growing prevalence, a significant mortality, and causes disproportionately high costs, particularly for hemodialysis and kidney transplantations. Yet, the available diagnostic tools are either impractical in clinical routine or have serious shortcomings preventing a well-informed disease management, although optimized treatment strategies with impressive benefits for patients have been established. Advances in bioanalytics have facilitated the identification of many genomic, proteomic, and metabolic biomarker candidates, some of which have been validated in independent cohorts. Summarizing the markers discovered so far, this chapter focuses on compounds or pathways, for which quantitative data, substantiating evidence from translational research, and a mechanistic understanding is available. Also, multiparametric marker panels have been suggested with promising diagnostic and prognostic performance in initial analyses, although the data basis from prospective trials is very limited. Large-scale studies, however, are underway and will validate certain sets of parameters and discard others. Finally, the path from clinical research to routine application is discussed, focusing on potential obstacles such as the use of mass spectrometry, and the feasibility of obtaining regulatory approval for metabolomics assays.
Part of the book: Advances in Nephropathy