JOURNAL ARTICLE

Serum neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin and recovery of kidney graft function after transplantation

Maria E Hollmen, Lauri E Kyllönen, Jussi Merenmies, Kaija T Salmela
BMC Nephrology 2014 July 28, 15: 123
25066815

BACKGROUND: Neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) is a marker for acute kidney injury. We studied whether serum NGAL predicts delayed graft function (DGF) and recovery of kidney function after transplantation.

METHODS: Serum NGAL was analyzed using commercial ELISA and point-of-care (POC) (Triage®, Biosite) methods. Serum samples were collected from 176 consecutive, deceased-donor kidney recipients just before transplant surgery and on day 1 and 14 after transplantation. The first 132 samples were analyzed with both methods and the remaining samples with the POC method.

RESULTS: The correlation between the ELISA and POC methods was 0.89, p < 0.0001 and hence the POC method was used for the remaining analyses. DGF was seen in 66/176 patients. Day 1 sNGAL was significantly higher in DGF (588 ng/ml, SD 189.6) compared to early graft function (355 ng/ml, SD 166.2, p < 0.0001) and this difference persisted on day 14. Day 1 sNGAL predicted DGF with an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.853 (CI 0.792-0.914, p < 0.0001). At the optimal cutoff level of 423 ng/ml the sensitivity was 87% and the specificity 77%. In a multivariate analysis, day 1 sNGAL emerged as an independent predictor of DGF. The sNGAL also predicted DGF lasting longer than 14 days with an AUC of 0.825 (CI 0.751-0.899, p < 0.0001). At the optimal cutoff level of 486 ng/ml, the sensitivity was 80% and specificity 75%.

CONCLUSION: Serum NGAL predicts clinically significant DGF and is useful in the care of kidney transplant recipients.

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