Chronic kidney disease (CKD), which is characterized by the gradual loss of kidney function, is a growing worldwide problem due to CKD-related morbidity and mortality. There are no reliable and early biomarkers enabling the monitoring, the stratification of CKD progression and the estimation of the risk of CKD-related complications, and therefore, the search for such molecules is still going on. Numerous studies have provided evidence that miRNAs are potentially important particles in the CKD field. Studies indicate that some miRNA levels can be increased in patients with CKD stages III-V and hemodialysis and decreased in renal transplant recipients (miR-143, miR-145 and miR-223) as well as elevated in patients with CKD stages III-V, decreased in hemodialysis patients and even more markedly decreased in renal transplant recipients (miR-126 and miR-155). miRNA have great potential of being sensitive and specific biomarkers in kidney diseases as they are tissue specific and stable in various biological materials. Some promising non-invasive miRNA biomarkers have already been recognized in renal disease with the potential to enhance diagnostic accuracy, predict prognosis and monitor the course of disease. However, large-scale clinical trials enrolling heterogeneous patients are required to evaluate the clinical value of miRNAs.
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