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Early detection of acute kidney injury in the perioperative period of liver transplant with neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin


BACKGROUND:Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a common complication in patients undergoing liver transplant (LT) and is associated with high morbidity and mortality. We aim to evaluate the pattern of urine and plasma neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) elevation during the perioperative period of LT and to assess it as a prognostic marker for AKI progression, need for dialysis and mortality. METHODS:We assessed NGAL levels before induction of anesthesia, after portal reperfusion and at 6, 18, 24, and 48 h after surgery. Patients were monitored daily during the first week after LT. RESULTS:Of 100 enrolled patients undergoing liver transplant, 59 developed severe AKI based on the KDIGO serum creatinine (sCr) criterion; 34 were dialysed, and 21 died within 60 days after LT. Applying a cut-off value of 136 ng/ml, UNGAL values 6 h after surgery was a good predictor of AKI development within 7 days after surgery, having a positive predictive value (PPV) of 80% with an AUC of 0.76 (95% CI 0.67-0.86). PNGAL at 18 h after LT was also a good predictor of AKI in the first week, having a PPV of 81% and AUC of 0.74 (95% CI 0.60-0.88). Based on PNGAL and UNGAL cut-off criteria levels, time to AKI diagnosis was 28 and 23 h earlier than by sCr, respectively. The best times to assess the need for dialysis were 18 h after LT by PNGAL and 06 h after LT by UNGAL. CONCLUSION:In conclusion, the plasma and urine NGAL elevation pattern in the perioperative period of the liver transplant can predict AKI diagnosis earlier. UNGAL was an early independent predictor of AKI development and need for dialysis. Further studies are needed to assess whether the clinical use of biomarkers can improve patient outcomes. TRIAL REGISTRATION:Registered at Clinical Trials ( ) in March 24th, 2014 by title "Acute Kidney Injury Biomarkers: Diagnosis and Application in Pre-operative Period of Liver Transplantation (AKIB)" and identifier NCT02095431, retrospectively registered.

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