Recent improvements in our understanding of AKI have enabled us to better recognize and identify early changes within the spectrum of kidney injury. AKI is prevalent among urological patients and carries signiﬁcant clinical and ﬁnancial costs. The previous lack of consensus about the classiﬁcation of ARF and limited diagnostic tools to identify early renal dysfunction impeded research and development of early prevention and treatment strategies for AKI. The longstanding need for earlier and more reliable detection of AKI has led to the discovery of promising biomarkers for AKI, such as NGAL, IL-18, cystatin C, and KIM-1, which have the potential to be analogous to troponins in the management of cardiac ischemia. In the future, these novel biomarkers will likely prove invaluable for the prevention and clinical management of AKI. Partial nephrectomy serves as an excellent paradigm for the potential use of these biomarkers, although there are several other urological disease processes that are often associated with AKI that will also likely be transformed by this new biotechnology. Although recent results have been robust, further validation of these biomarkers in a variety of clinical settings will be required before wider implementation.
UROLOGY 77: 5–11, 2011. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.