Early Postoperative Neutrophil Gelatinase-Associated Lipocalin Predicts the Development of Chronic Kidney Disease After Liver Transplantation

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Abstract

Background

Urinary neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (uNGAL)-associated acute kidney injury is common after liver transplantation (LT), but whether early acute kidney injury predicts chronic kidney disease (CKD) and mortality remains uncertain.

Methods

Adults with LT from 2008 to 2010 in a previously published prospective cohort evaluating serial uNGAL pre- and post-LT were retrospectively assessed to evaluate uNGAL as a predictor of long-term outcomes post-LT. The primary outcomes were post-LT CKD, defined as Modification of Diet in Renal Disease estimated glomerular filtration rate less than 60 mL/min per 1.73 m2 for 3 continuous months, and death.

Results

uNGAL at 24 hours postreperfusion was significantly higher among patients who developed CKD. Multivariable modeling for the development of CKD demonstrated that uNGAL at 24-hours postreperfusion, 24 hours post-LT renal function, initial calcineurin inhibitor, and age were independent predictors of the development of CKD at in this cohort with long-term follow-up post-LT. Further, this association was stronger in those with preserved pre-LT renal function, a population where renal outcomes are often difficult to predict.

Conclusions

We propose that perioperative uNGAL may identify patients at risk for CKD and allow for targeted early implementation of renal-sparing strategies.

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