The traditional chronic kidney disease (CKD) biomarkers (eGFR based on serum creatinine, sex and age and albuminuria) cannot predict a patient’s individual risk for developing progressive CKD. For this reason, it is necessary to identify novel CKD biomarkers that will be able to predict which patients are prone to develop progressive disease and discriminate between disease processes in different parts of the nephron (glomeruli or tubules).
A good biomarker should change before or simultaneously with lesion development and its changes should correlate strongly with lesion development. Also, there should be a close relationship between severity of injury and amount of detectable biomarker and its levels should decrease with diminishing injury.
Among the large number of molecules under investigation, we have reviewed the most promising ones: NGAL and KIM-1, MCP-1, MMP-9, clusterin, MMP-9, TIMP-1, Procollagen I alpha 1 and suPAR. All these, have been studied as biomarkers for prediction of CKD progression in cohorts of patients with chronic kidney disease of different stages and various aetiologies (proteinuric and non-proteinuric, glomerulonephritides, diabetic, hypertensive and polycystic kidney disease). There is evidence that these molecules could be useful as biomarkers for progressive chronic kidney disease, however, the available data are not enough to draw final conclusions. Further studies with large cohorts and long follow-up are required to identify appropriate biomarkers, that will be able to accurately and reliably define the risk for progressive chronic kidney disease.