BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Biomarkers are diagnostic tools which discriminate between the good health and the illness. This study had as objective to recognize the clinical application of the renal function biomarkers in the clinical practice, in order to inform the diagnostic advances of the acute kidney injury (AKI). METHODS: Descriptive study of bibliographical survey of indexed periodicals from 1975 to October, 2006, by means of the LILACS and PubMed databases. RESULTS: Were available 505 articles from the bibliographical survey in the PubMed database and 6 in the Lilacs database. 106 articles were selected and, after full reading, only 69 referred to the intended thematic approach. CONCLUSIONS: In this survey, it was verified that despite the progresses in the molecular and cellular mechanisms understanding related to AKI, there is still a gap between the comprehension and the application of effective and specific therapeutics in the prevention and control of this syndrome.
acute renal failure; biological biomarker