Clinical and experimental evidence support a cause–effect relationship between altered insulin signaling and development of kidney disease of metabolic and non-metabolic origin. However, the current criteria to measure and/or estimate the insulin resistance (IR) are available as research tool but are very difficult to implement in the clinical practice. Therefore, a better understanding of the key players contributing to IR may lead to the development of new non-invasive tools to assess organ-specific insulin sensitivity (IS). We will therefore first introduce the concept that IR and kidney disease may be causally linked as suggested by clinical and experimental studies. We will then, expand on the potential mechanisms leading to altered renal insulin signaling. After reviewing the limitation of currently available strategies to determine IR, this review article will focus on imaging techniques that could be utilized to determine renal IR and that could be tested to predict kidney disease development and progression.

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