Urine NGAL as a biomarker for septic AKI : a critical appraisal of clinical utility—data from the observational FINNAKI study

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Annals of Intensive Care. 2020 Apr 28;10(1):51

Title: Urine NGAL as a biomarker for septic AKI : a critical appraisal of clinical utility—data from the observational FINNAKI study
Author: Törnblom, Sanna; Nisula, Sara; Petäjä, Liisa; Vaara, Suvi T.; Haapio, Mikko; Pesonen, Eero; Pettilä, Ville
Publisher: Springer International Publishing
Date: 2020-04-28
Language: en
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/314627
Abstract: Abstract Background Neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) is released from kidney tubular cells under stress as well as from neutrophils during inflammation. It has been suggested as a biomarker for acute kidney injury (AKI) in critically ill patients with sepsis. To evaluate clinical usefulness of urine NGAL (uNGAL), we post-hoc applied recently introduced statistical methods to a sub-cohort of septic patients from the prospective observational Finnish Acute Kidney Injury (FINNAKI) study. Accordingly, in 484 adult intensive care unit patients with sepsis by Sepsis-3 criteria, we calculated areas under the receiver operating characteristic curves (AUCs) for the first available uNGAL to assess discrimination for four outcomes: AKI defined by Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) criteria, severe (KDIGO 2–3) AKI, and renal replacement therapy (RRT) during the first 3 days of intensive care, and mortality at day 90. We constructed clinical prediction models for the outcomes and used risk assessment plots and decision curve analysis with predefined threshold probabilities to test whether adding uNGAL to the models improved reclassification or decision making in clinical practice. Results Incidences of AKI, severe AKI, RRT, and mortality were 44.8% (217/484), 27.7% (134/484), 9.5% (46/484), and 28.1% (136/484). Corresponding AUCs for uNGAL were 0.690, 0.728, 0.769, and 0.600. Adding uNGAL to the clinical prediction models improved discrimination of AKI, severe AKI, and RRT. However, the net benefits for the new models were only 1.4% (severe AKI and RRT) to 2.5% (AKI), and the number of patients needed to be tested per one extra true-positive varied from 40 (AKI) to 74 (RRT) at the predefined threshold probabilities. Conclusions The results of the recommended new statistical methods do not support the use of uNGAL in critically ill septic patients to predict AKI or clinical outcomes.
Subject: Neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin
Acute kidney injury
Critical illness
Intensive care

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