The Evolving Role of Novel Biomarkers in Glomerular Disease: A Review

Corey Cavanaugh, Mark D Okusa
American Journal of Kidney Diseases 2020 October 16
Recent advances in glomerular biology have expanded our understanding of glomerular diseases, leading to more precise therapeutic options. Since the discovery of the autoantigen phospholipase A2 receptor in primary membranous nephropathy 10 years ago, the serologic evaluation of glomerular diseases has become more detailed and nuanced for nephrologists. In addition to phospholipase A2 receptor antibodies, circulating autoantibodies now include thrombospondin type 1 domain-containing 7A and most recently, neural epidermal growth factor-like 1 protein for membranous nephropathy. Additionally, discoveries in C3 glomerulopathy and fibrillary glomerulonephritis are poised to improve the diagnostic approach to these disorders by using novel biomarkers to complement traditional histologic patterns on kidney biopsy. Although kidney biopsies are considered the gold standard in profiling glomerular diseases, validated novel glomerular biomarkers contribute substantially to the diagnostic and therapeutic approaches through their ability to improve sensitivity, permit dynamic longitudinal monitoring of disease activity, and capture genetic heterogeneity. We describe the value of specific biomarkers in selected glomerular diseases, with the major focus on their clinical applicability.

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