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Keywords:

  • Biomarker;
  • Diagnosis;
  • Dog;
  • Renal disease;
  • Urine

Routinely, kidney dysfunction and decreased glomerular filtration rate (GFR) are diagnosed by the evaluation of changes in the serum creatinine (SCr) and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) concentrations. However, neither of these tests is sensitive or specific enough for the early diagnosis of impaired kidney function because they are both affected by other renal and nonrenal factors. Furthermore, kidney injury can be present in the absence of kidney dysfunction. Renal reserve enables normal GFR even when nephrons are damaged. Renal biomarkers, especially those present in urine, may be useful for the study of both acute and chronic nephropathies. The aim of this review is to describe the current status of urinary biomarkers as diagnostic tools for kidney injury in dogs with particular focus on acute kidney injury (AKI). The International Renal Interest Society (IRIS) canine AKI grading system and the implementation of urinary biomarkers in this system also are discussed. The discovery of novel urinary biomarkers has emerged from hypotheses about the pathophysiology of kidney injury, but few proteomic urine screening approaches have been described in dogs. Lack of standardization of biomarker assays further complicates the comparison of novel canine urinary biomarker validation results among studies. Future research should focus on novel biomarkers of renal origin and evaluate promising biomarkers in different clinical conditions. Validation of selected urinary biomarkers in the diagnosis of canine kidney diseases must include dogs with both renal and nonrenal diseases to evaluate their sensitivity, specificity as well as their negative and positive predictive values.