Molecular phenotyping of clinical AKI with novel urinary biomarkers

Sarah Huen, Chirag R. Parikh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a common hospital complication. There are no effective treatments to minimize kidney injury or limit associated morbidity and mortality. Currently, serum creatinine and urine output remain the gold standard used clinically in the diagnosis of AKI. Several novel biomarkers can diagnose AKI earlier than elevations of serum creatinine and changes in urine output. Recent long-term observational studies have elucidated a subgroup of patients who have positive biomarkers of AKI but do not meet criteria for AKI by serum creatinine or urine output, termed subclinical AKI. These patients with subclinical AKI have increased risk of both short- and long-term mortality. In this review, we will highlight the implications of what these patients may represent and the need for better phenotyping of AKI by etiology, severity of injury, and ability to recover. We will discuss two AKI biomarkers, neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) and breast regression protein-39 (BRP-39)/YKL-40, that exemplify the need to characterize the complexity of the biological meaning behind the biomarker, beyond elevated levels reporting on tissue injury. Ultimately, careful phenotyping of AKI will lead to identification of therapeutic targets and appropriate patient populations for clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)F406-F413
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 4 2015


  • Chitinase 3-like 1
  • Heterogeneity
  • NGAL
  • Outcomes
  • Subclinical injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Urology


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