Accurate biomarkers that both predict the progression to, and detect the early stages of chronic kidney disease (CKD) are lacking, resulting in difficulty in identifying individuals who could potentially benefit from targeted intervention. In a recent issue [Clinical Science (2018) 132, 2121–2133], Cui et al. examine the ability of urinary angiotensinogen (uAGT) to predict the progression of acute kidney injury (AKI) to CKD. They principally employ a murine ischaemia reperfusion injury model to study this and provide data from a small prospective study of patients with biopsy proven acute tubular necrosis. The authors suggest that uAGT is a dynamic marker of renal injury that could be used to predict the likelihood of structural recovery following AKI. Here we comment on their findings, exploring the clinical utility of uAGT as a biomarker to predict AKI to CKD transition and perhaps more controversially, to discuss whether the early renin–angiotensin system blockade following AKI represents a therapeutic target.

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