Research ArticleKidney Fibrosis

Elastin imaging enables noninvasive staging and treatment monitoring of kidney fibrosis

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Science Translational Medicine  03 Apr 2019:
Vol. 11, Issue 486, eaat4865
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aat4865

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Finding fibrosis

Excessive extracellular matrix deposition in the kidney impairs renal function, contributing to chronic kidney disease. As an alternative to needle-based biopsies used to diagnose and stage kidney disease, Sun et al. used an elastin-specific imaging agent, ESMA, to noninvasively analyze kidney fibrosis. Elastin was overexpressed in renal tissue from patients with kidney fibrosis, and ESMA identified fibrotic areas in human kidneys ex vivo. Similar results were seen in vivo using three mouse models of kidney fibrosis. ESMA could be used to track the progression of renal fibrosis and response to imatinib therapy in mice. These results support the use of ESMA-based imaging for noninvasive renal fibrosis monitoring.

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