Article Abstract

The role of prognostic assessment with biomarkers in chronic kidney disease: a narrative review

Authors: Sebastian Schwab, Tim Marwitz, Rainer Peter Woitas


Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is associated with high morbidity and mortality. In the past, residual kidney function in CKD patients was assessed by serum creatinine-based equations. However, due to low accuracy of those calculations there is a need for alternative biomarkers. As cardiovascular disease is a major cause of increased mortality in patients with CKD novel biomarkers to estimate risk of cardiovascular death are vital. We reviewed articles approaching beta-trace protein, beta-2 microglobulin (B2MG) and cystatin C as alternative biomarkers to estimate glomerular filtration rate (GFR) in CKD patients. Furthermore, we included recent publications showing the role of high sensitive troponin and sFlt-1 in assessment of progressing cardiovascular disease in patients with renal failure as well as the role of inflammatory biomarkers in those patients. Lastly, we present basic research regarding the role of APOL1 gene variants, suPAR and αvβ3 integrin on decline of renal function. Measuring GFR with serum creatinine and cystatin C seems to be more accurate than equations based on beta-trace protein and B2MG. Beta-trace protein however, seems to be a predictive marker to assess risk of end-stage renal disease. A recent study showed that serum sFlt-1 levels after heparin injection could predict cardiovascular mortality in patients with chronic renal failure. High sensitive troponin is a recently introduced biomarker measuring myocardial damage in acute myocardial infarction (MI) and can predict short-term all cause death in patients with reduced GFR. Progression of renal disease is attributed to increased inflammation levels and can be predicted by measuring proinflammatory biomarkers such as TNF-receptor 1, TNF-receptor 2 and KIM-1. We gave an updated review of novel biomarkers in CKD. While some have proven useful in certain situations it is unclear whether one single biomarker for assessing renal function or predicting mortality in patients with renal failure can be found.