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Biomarkers of renal and hepatic failure 

Biomarkers of renal and hepatic failure
Biomarkers of renal and hepatic failure

Mario Plebani

, Monica Maria Mion

, and Martina Zaninotto


February 22, 2018: This chapter has been re-evaluated and remains up-to-date. No changes have been necessary.

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date: 11 July 2020

In the last few years, major advances have been achieved in the understanding of the molecular and pathophysiological mechanisms which underlie the complex interactions between the heart and the kidney, as well as between the heart and the liver. According to these new insights, new biomarkers have been proposed for better evaluating and monitoring patients affected by cardiovascular diseases. In addition, some biomarkers should be used as risk factors and for an early identification and treatment of these severe diseases. This chapter reviews the most important biomarkers for evaluating the ‘cardiorenal syndrome’, in particular, the measurement of serum creatinine and its use for calculating the glomerular filtration rate which, with the new and more efficient equation, namely Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration, still remains the most widely used biomarker. The role of newer biomarkers will be explored. The measurement of cystatin C, representing additional information, particularly in paediatric age groups and in the early phase of kidney disease, plays an increasing role. Neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin is a recently developed and very promising new biomarker for the diagnosis of acute kidney injury, while the well-known albumin/creatinine ratio has been re-evaluated as a simple and useful tool for an early identification of kidney disease. Regarding liver diseases, a growing body of evidence demonstrates the usefulness of non-invasive makers of hepatic fibrosis that may avoid the need for a liver biopsy in most patients. A promising field of research is represented by the role of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease.

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