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Journal of Diabetes Research
Volume 2016, Article ID 4626125, 13 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/4626125
Review Article

Urinary Biomarkers in the Assessment of Early Diabetic Nephropathy

1Division of Nephrology, University of Medicine and Pharmacy “V. Babes”, 300041 Timisoara, Romania
2Romanian Academy of Medical Sciences, 300041 Timisoara, Romania
3Department of Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases, University of Medicine and Pharmacy “V. Babes”, 300041 Timisoara, Romania
4Division of Hematology, University of Medicine and Pharmacy “V. Babes”, 300041 Timisoara, Romania
5Department of Biochemistry, University of Medicine and Pharmacy “V. Babes”, 300041 Timisoara, Romania

Received 24 March 2016; Accepted 12 May 2016

Academic Editor: Nikolaos Papanas

Copyright © 2016 Cristina Gluhovschi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is a frequent and severe complication of diabetes mellitus (DM). Its diagnosis in incipient stages may allow prompt interventions and an improved prognosis. Towards this aim, biomarkers for detecting early DN can be used. Microalbuminuria has been proven a remarkably useful biomarker, being used for diagnosis of DN, for assessing its associated condition—mainly cardiovascular ones—and for monitoring its progression. New researches are pointing that some of these biomarkers (i.e., glomerular, tubular, inflammation markers, and biomarkers of oxidative stress) precede albuminuria in some patients. However, their usefulness is widely debated in the literature and has not yet led to the validation of a new “gold standard” biomarker for the early diagnosis of DN. Currently, microalbuminuria is an important biomarker for both glomerular and tubular injury. Other glomerular biomarkers (transferrin and ceruloplasmin) are under evaluation. Tubular biomarkers in DN seem to be of a paramount importance in the early diagnosis of DN since tubular lesions occur early. Additionally, biomarkers of inflammation, oxidative stress, podocyte biomarkers, and vascular biomarkers have been employed for assessing early DN. The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of the current biomarkers used for the diagnosis of early DN.