DIAGNOSTICS AND TECHNIQUES: Edited by Maarten W. TaalExtracellular vesicles: a novel window into kidney function and diseaseSun, In O.a; Kwon, Soon HyobAuthor Information aDivision of Nephrology, Department of Internal Medicine, Presbyterian Medical Center, Jeonju bDivision of Nephrology, Department of Internal Medicine, Soonchunhyang University Seoul Hospital, Seoul, Korea Correspondence to Soon Hyo Kwon, MD, PhD, Division of Nephrology, Department of Internal Medicine, Soonchunhyang University Seoul Hospital, Seoul 04401, Korea. Tel: +82 2 709 9177; e-mail: [email protected] Current Opinion in Nephrology and Hypertension: November 2020 - Volume 29 - Issue 6 - p 613-619 doi: 10.1097/MNH.0000000000000641 Buy Metrics Abstract Purpose of review There has been an increasing interest in extracellular vesicles as potential diagnostic, prognostic or therapeutic biomarkers for various kidney diseases, as extracellular vesicles mediate cell-cell or intercellular communication. This review explores the current state of knowledge regarding extracellular vesicles as a tool for examining kidney physiology and disease. Recent findings Urinary extracellular vesicles may be useful as biomarkers to detect abnormal function in renal endothelial and tubular cells as well as podocytes. Recent studies suggest that urinary extracellular vesicles may facilitate early diagnosis and/or monitoring in acute kidney injury, glomerular disease, autosomal dominanat polycyst kidney disease and urinary tract malignancies. Circulating extracellular vesicles may serve as biomarkers to assess cardiovascular disease. Summary Urinary and circulating extracellular vesicles have gained significant interest as potential biomarkers of renal diseases. Analysis of extracellular vesicles may serve as a logical diagnostic approach for nephrologists as well as provide information about disease pathophysiology. Copyright © 2020 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.