Urinary Neutrophil Gelatinase-Associated Lipocalin as Predictor of Short- or Long-Term Outcomes in Cardiac Surgery Patients

Mercedes Garcia-Alvarez, Neil J. Glassford, Antoni J. Betbese, Jordi Ordoñez, Victoria Baños, Marta Argilaga, Alfonso Martínez, Satoshi Suzuki, Antoine G. Schneider, Glenn M. Eastwood, M. Victoria Moral, Rinaldo Bellomo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives To determine the ability of urinary neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (uNGAL) to predict cardiac surgery-associated acute kidney injury (CSA-AKI), continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT), mortality, and a composite outcome of major adverse kidney events at 365 days (MAKE365), and to investigate the influence of cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) on NGAL release. Design A prospective observational study. Setting A single-center university hospital. Participants A cohort of 288 adult cardiac surgery patients. Interventions uNGAL was measured at baseline, immediately after surgery, and on days 1 and 2 postoperatively. The authors used the recent Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcomes consensus criteria to define CSA-AKI. Measurements and Main Results CSA-AKI occurred in 36.1% of patients. uNGAL rapidly became significantly higher in patients who developed AKI, with peak value immediately after surgery (349.9 [76.6-1446.6] v 90.1 [20.8-328] ng/mg creatinine; p<0.001). No measure of uNGAL (peak, postsurgery, day 1 or 2 postsurgery) accurately predicted CSA-AKI, CRRT, mortality, or MAKE365. However, immediately after surgery, CPB induced greater uNGAL release compared with off-pump surgery (265.5 μmol/L [71-989.6] v 48.7 ng/mg creatinine [17-129.8]; p<0.001). Moreover, such early uNGAL release correlated with CPB duration (r = 0.505; p<0.001) but not with peak serum creatinine values on day 3 or 7 after surgery. Conclusions uNGAL had a limited predictive ability for CSA-AKI or other relevant clinical outcomes after cardiac surgery and appeared to be more closely related to the use and duration of CPB. Thus, its levels may represent the aggregate effect of an inflammatory response to CPB as well as a renal response to cardiac surgery and inflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1480-1488
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • acute kidney injury
  • biomarker
  • cardiac surgery
  • cardiopulmonary bypass
  • neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin
  • urine NGAL

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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