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Plasma Neutrophil Gelatinase Associated Lipocalin (NGAL) – Early Biomarker for Acute Kidney Injury in Critically Ill Patients

DOI: 10.1515/jccm-2015-0023

Introduction: NGAL (Neutrophil Gelatinase Associated Lipocalin) is a biomarker recently introduced into clinical practice for the early diagnosis of acute kidney injury (AKI). The aim of this study was to correlate the plasmatic NGAL value determined at admission with clinical progression and severity of AKI in critically ill patients.
Material and method: Thirty two consecutive critically ill adult patients at risk of developing AKI (trauma, sepsis), admitted in Intensive Care Unit of the Clinical County Emergency Hospital Mures, between January to March 2015 were enrolled in the study. For each patient included in the study plasma NGAL levels were determined on admission, and these were correlated with the degree of AKI development (according to AKIN criteria) at 48 hours and 5 days post admission. The discriminatory power of NGAL, creatinine, creatinine clearance and corrected creatinine (depending on water balance) were determined using the ROC (receiver-operating characteristic) and likelihood ratios.
Results: ROC curve analysis showed a better discriminatory capacity in terms of early diagnosis of AKI for NGAL (AUC=0.81 for NGAL, AUC=0.59 for creatinine, AUC=0.62 for corrected creatinine, AUC=0.29 for creatinine clearance). The value of likelihood ratio was also significantly higher for NGAL (3.01±2.73 for NGAL, 1.27±1.14 for creatinine, 1.78±1.81 for corrected creatinine, and 0.48±0.33 for creatinine clearance).
Conclusions: NGAL biomarker has a better discrimination capacity for early prediction of acute kidney injury compared to previously used markers.

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