Urinary biomarkers for acute kidney injury: Perspectives on translation

Steven G. Coca, Chirag R. Parikh

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

122 Scopus citations


Acute kidney injury (previously known as acute renal failure) is a common complication in hospitalized patients, and its incidence has risen significantly in the past 15 yr. Despite significant technical advances in therapeutics, the mortality and morbidity rates associated with acute kidney injury remain dismally high and have not appreciably improved during the past four decades. Although the serum creatinine concentration performs fairly well for estimating kidney function in patients with stable chronic kidney disease, it performs poorly in the setting of acute disease. An ideal biomarker for acute kidney injury would help clinicians and scientists diagnose the most common form of acute kidney injury in hospitalized patients, acute tubular necrosis, early and accurately and may aid to risk-stratify patients with acute kidney injury by predicting the need for renal replacement therapy, the duration of acute kidney injury, the length of stay, and mortality. Herein is reviewed the diagnostic and prognostic performance of several types of urinary biomarkers for the diagnosis and risk stratification of acute kidney injury. The major types of urinary biomarkers fall into three classes: (1) Inflammatory, (2) renal tubular proteins that are excreted into the urine after injury, and (3) surrogate markers of tubular injury. Also discussed are statistical issues in evaluating the accuracy of biomarkers as diagnostic tests. It is likely that a panel of biomarkers, rather than a single biomarker, will be needed to perform extremely well in these three situations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)481-490
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Nephrology
  • Transplantation


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