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Urinary Biomarkers for the Assessment of Acute Kidney Injury of Pediatric Sickle Cell Anemia Patients Admitted for Severe Vaso-occlusive Crises.

Sickle cell nephropathy is a progressive morbidity, beginning in childhood, which is incompletely understood partially due to insensitive measures. We performed a prospective pilot study of pediatric and young adult patients with sickle cell anemia (SCA) to assess urinary biomarkers during acute pain crises. Four biomarkers were analyzed with elevations potentially suggesting acute kidney injury: (1) neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL), (2) kidney injury molecule-1, (3) albumin, and (4) nephrin. Fourteen unique patients were admitted for severe pain crises and were found to be representative of a larger SCA population. Urine samples were collected at the time of admission, during admission, and at follow-up after discharge. Exploratory analyses compared cohort values to the best available population values; individuals were also compared against themselves at various time points. Albumin was found to be moderately elevated for an individual during admission compared with follow-up (P = 0.006, Hedge g: 0.67). Albumin was not found to be elevated compared with population values. Neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin, kidney injury molecule-1, and nephrin were not found to be significantly elevated compared with population values or comparing admission to follow-up. Though albumin was found to be minimally elevated, further research should focus on alternative markers in efforts to further understand kidney disease in patients with SCA.

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