Reviews cover a clinical, translational, or basic science topic of interest to practitioners and describe the treatment, diagnosis, or pathogenesis of a disease process or its complications, emphasizing recent advances in the field.
- Evaluation of hematuria and microscopic examination of urine sediment are commonly used tools by nephrologists in their assessment of glomerular diseases. Certain morphological aspects of urine red blood cells (RBCs) seen by microscopy may help in identifying the source of hematuria as glomerular or not. Recognized signs of glomerular injury are RBC casts or dysmorphic RBCs, in particular acanthocytes (ring-shaped RBCs with protruding blebs). Despite being a highly operator-dependent test, urine sediment examination revealing these signs of glomerular hematuria has demonstrated specificities and positive predictive values ranging between 90%-100% for diagnosing glomerular disease, although sensitivity can be quite variable.
- Recent advances in glomerular biology have expanded our understanding of glomerular diseases, leading to more precise therapeutic options. Since the discovery of the autoantigen phospholipase A2 receptor in primary membranous nephropathy 10 years ago, the serologic evaluation of glomerular diseases has become more detailed and nuanced for nephrologists. In addition to phospholipase A2 receptor antibodies, circulating autoantibodies now include thrombospondin type 1 domain–containing 7A and most recently, neural epidermal growth factor–like 1 protein for membranous nephropathy.
- Because current treatment options for chronic kidney disease (CKD) are limited, many patients seek out alternative therapies such as traditional Chinese medicine. However, there is a lack of evidence from large clinical trials to support the use of traditional medicines in patients with CKD. Many active components of traditional medicine formulas are undetermined and their toxicities are unknown. Therefore, there is a need for research to identify active compounds from traditional medicines and understand the mechanisms of action of these compounds, as well as their potential toxicity, and subsequently perform well-designed, randomized, controlled, clinical trials to study the efficacy and safety of their use in patients with CKD.
- Glomerular diseases historically have been challenging disorders to comprehend and treat for patients and physicians alike. Kidney biopsy is the gold standard of diagnosis, but the link between pathophysiology and the histologic representation of kidney injury has remained elusive in many of these diseases. As a result, treatment of glomerular disease usually involves therapies that are not specific to disease pathogenesis, such as blockade of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system and various immunosuppression regimens.