First urine test to detect kidney fibrosis as an alternative to kidney biopsies

Francesc E. Borràs


    Francesc E. Borràs


    Fundació Institut d’Investigació en Ciències de la Salut Germans Trias i Pujol (IGTP), Badalona, Spain


    Chronic kidney disease affects approximately 15 % of the world's population and is strongly associated with cardiovascular risk factors and such chronic pathologies as diabetes and obesity. It is a condition that silently progresses towards kidney dysfunction and failure, ultimately requiring highly disabling and costly renal function replacement therapies such as dialysis and transplantation. The main driver of the progression of chronic kidney disease is the gradual accumulation of extracellular matrix in the kidneys, known as renal fibrosis.

    Although this is a disease that still has no cure, prevention and early detection can help delay, or even halt, its progression. However, current analytical parameters do not reflect fibrotic lesions, so the standard diagnostic system is renal biopsy. This is an invasive procedure with significant limitations and one which prevents optimal patient monitoring.

    The project team has discovered a correlation between vitronectin levels in urine and the degree of renal fibrosis. Based on this observation, they are developing a test for the diagnosis and monitoring of renal fibrosis using urine samples, thus providing a non-invasive alternative that overcomes most of the drawbacks of kidney biopsies. The researchers will develop two versions of the test: one for rapid screening that can be used in healthcare centres, and another for clinical laboratories, which will provide a more accurate assessment of vitronectin levels.


    FIBROKIT: First IVD-based non-invasive monitoring of kidney fibrosis


    Stage 3