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1.  Urinary Biomarkers for The Prediction of Reversibility in Acute-on-Chronic Renal Failure 
Disease markers  2013;34(3):179-185.
BACKGROUND: There is no reliable clinical test to predict the reversibility of acute-on-chronic renal failure. We study whether urinary biomarkers could be used as a noninvasive prognostic marker in patients with acute-on-chronic renal failure.
METHODS: We studied 39 adult patients with pre-existing chronic renal impairment presenting to us with acute-on-chronic renal failure. Urinary neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) level was measured. The mRNA of kidney injury molecule-1 (KIM-1), interleukin-18 (IL-18), alpha-1-microglobulin (α1M), sodium/hydrogen exchanger-3 (NHE3), beta-2 microglobulin (β2M), and N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase (NAG) in urinary sediment were quantified.
RESULTS: Urinary NGAL level significantly correlated with the serum creatinine at presentation (r = 0.762, p < 0.0001) but not baseline serum creatinine. Urinary sediment β2M expression significantly correlated with baseline glomerular filtration rate (GFR) (r = –0.400, p = 0.012). Urinary α1M and NHE3 expressions were significantly higher in ischemic acute tubular necrosis than other causes of acute kidney injury (p < 0.0001 and p = 0.006, respectively). Urinary α1M expression significantly correlated with the degree of improvement in renal function (r = 0.387, p = 0.026), as well as the estimated GFR 6 months later (r = 0.386, p = 0.027).
CONCLUSION: In patients with acute-on-chronic renal failure, urinary NGAL level correlates with the severity of renal failure, while urinary α1M expression correlates with the degree of renal function recovery. Quantification of urinary α1M mRNA may be developed as an non-invasive tool for risk stratification of this group of patients.
doi:10.3233/DMA-120959
PMCID: PMC3809980  PMID: 23324582
Acute kidney injury; biomarker; proteinuria
2.  Comparative Analysis of Urinary Biomarkers for Early Detection of Acute Kidney Injury Following Cardiopulmonary Bypass 
The purpose of this study was to compare the performance of six candidate urinary biomarkers, kidney injury molecule 1 (KIM-1), N-acetyl-β-(D)-glucosaminidase (NAG), neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL), interleukin 18 (IL-18), cystatin C, and α-1 microglobulin, measured 2 hours following cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) for the early detection of acute kidney injury (AKI) in a prospective cohort of patients undergoing cardiac surgery. 103 subjects were enrolled, AKI developed in 13%. Urinary KIM-1 achieved the highest area under-the-receiver-operator-characteristic curve (AUC = 0.78, 95% CI 0.64-0.91), followed by IL-18 and NAG. Only urinary KIM-1 remained independently associated with AKI after adjustment for a preoperative AKI prediction score (Cleveland Clinic Foundation score; P= 0.02), or CPB perfusion time (P = 0.006). In this small pilot-cohort, KIM-1 performed best as an early biomarker for AKI. Larger studies are needed to further explore the role of biomarkers for early detection of AKI following cardiac surgery.
doi:10.1080/13547500903067744
PMCID: PMC2743298  PMID: 19572801
Acute kidney injury; early detection; urinary biomarker; cardiac surgery
3.  Tubular damage in chronic systolic heart failure is associated with reduced survival independent of glomerular filtration rate 
Heart (British Cardiac Society)  2010;96(16):1297-1302.
Background
The prognostic impact of reduced glomerular filtration rate (GFR) in chronic heart failure (CHF) is increasingly recognised, but little is known about tubular damage in these patients.
Objective
To investigate the prevalence of tubular damage, and its association with GFR, and prognosis in patients with CHF.
Methods and results
In 90 patients with CHF, GFR and effective renal plasma flow (ERPF) were measured ([125I] iothalamate and [131I]hippuran clearances). The tubular markers neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL), N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase (NAG) and kidney injury molecule 1 (KIM-1) as well as urinary albumin excretion were determined in 24 h urine collections. Mean GFR was 78±26 ml/min/1.73 m2. Urinary NGAL (175 (70—346) mg/g creatinine (gCr)), NAG (12 (6—17) U/gCr) and KIM-1 (277 (188—537) ng/gCr) levels were increased compared with 20 healthy controls (all p<0.001). Urinary NAG, but not NGAL or KIM-1 correlated with GFR (r=−0.34, p=0.001) and ERPF (r=−0.29, p=0.006). Both NAG (r=0.21, p=0.048) and KIM-1 (r=0.23, p=0.033) correlated with plasma N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide levels. Both urinary KIM-1 (HR=1.15 (95% CI 1.02 to 1.30) per 100 ng/gCr increase, p=0.025) and NAG (HR=1.42 (95% CI 1.02 to 1.94) per 5 U/gCr increase, p=0.039), were associated with an increased risk of death or heart failure hospitalisations, independent of GFR.
Conclusion
Tubular damage, as indicated by increased urinary concentrations of NGAL, NAG and KIM-1 is common in patients with CHF and mildly reduced GFR. Both urinary KIM-1 and NAG showed prognostic information additional to GFR. These findings suggest an important role for tubular damage and tubular markers in cardiorenal interaction in heart failure.
doi:10.1136/hrt.2010.194878
PMCID: PMC3480323  PMID: 20659949
4.  Glomerular and Tubular Damage Markers Are Elevated in Patients With Diabetes 
Diabetes Care  2011;34(4):975-981.
OBJECTIVE
We investigated in a cross-sectional study the levels of serum and urinary damage markers in diabetic patients (n = 94) and nondiabetic control subjects (n = 45) to study the association of glomerular (IgG), proximal tubular (kidney injury molecule [KIM]-1, N-acetyl-β-d-glucosaminidase [NAG], neutrophil gelatinase–associated lipocalin [NGAL], and cystatin C), and distal tubular (heart fatty acid–binding protein [H-FABP]) damage markers with kidney disease severity, as assessed by albuminuria and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR).
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Damage markers were measured in triplicate in fresh morning urine samples and in plasma.
RESULTS
Of the diabetic patients, 41 were normoalbuminuric, 41 were microalbuminuric, and 12 were macroalbuminuric. Urinary NAG (ninefold), NGAL (1.5-fold), and H-FABP (3.5-fold) were significantly elevated in normoalbuminuric diabetic patients compared with nondiabetic control subjects. Urinary concentrations of all markers increased per albuminuria stratum, except KIM-1. All urinary damage markers, except KIM-1, were significantly associated with albuminuria, independent of age, sex, and plasma concentrations of the corresponding biomarker (standard βs between 0.35 and 0.87; all P ≤ 0.001). All urinary damage markers, except KIM-1, were significantly associated with the eGFR in univariate models (standard βs between −0.38 and −0.21; all P < 0.04). After adjusting for age, sex, plasma concentration of the corresponding damage marker, and albuminuria, only the association of H-FABP with eGFR remained significant (standard β −0.26; P = 0.037).
CONCLUSIONS
Glomerular and tubular markers are associated with albuminuria, independently of eGFR, suggesting that albuminuria reflects both glomerular and tubulointerstitial damage. Only urinary H-FABP is associated with eGFR independently of albuminuria and, therefore, may be a promising urinary damage marker to assess diabetic kidney disease.
doi:10.2337/dc10-1545
PMCID: PMC3064060  PMID: 21307379
5.  Mechanism-Based Urinary Biomarkers to Identify the Potential for Aminoglycoside-Induced Nephrotoxicity in Premature Neonates: A Proof-of-Concept Study 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(8):e43809.
Premature infants are frequently exposed to aminoglycoside antibiotics. Novel urinary biomarkers may provide a non-invasive means for the early identification of aminoglycoside-related proximal tubule renal toxicity, to enable adjustment of treatment and identification of infants at risk of long-term renal impairment. In this proof-of-concept study, urine samples were collected from 41 premature neonates (≤32 weeks gestation) at least once per week, and daily during courses of gentamicin, and for 3 days afterwards. Significant increases were observed in the three urinary biomarkers measured (Kidney Injury Molecule-1 (KIM-1), Neutrophil Gelatinase-associated Lipocalin (NGAL), and N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase (NAG)) during treatment with multiple courses of gentamicin. When adjusted for potential confounders, the treatment effect of gentamicin remained significant only for KIM-1 (mean difference from not treated, 1.35 ng/mg urinary creatinine; 95% CI 0.05–2.65). Our study shows that (a) it is possible to collect serial urine samples from premature neonates, and that (b) proximal tubule specific urinary biomarkers can act as indicators of aminoglycoside-associated nephrotoxicity in this age group. Further studies to investigate the clinical utility of novel urinary biomarkers in comparison to serum creatinine need to be undertaken.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0043809
PMCID: PMC3427159  PMID: 22937100
6.  Sensitivity and Specificity of a Single Emergency Department Measurement of Urinary Neutrophil Gelatinase–Associated Lipocalin for Diagnosing Acute Kidney Injury 
Annals of internal medicine  2008;148(11):810-819.
Background
A single serum creatinine measurement cannot distinguish acute kidney injury from chronic kidney disease or prerenal azotemia.
Objective
To test the sensitivity and specificity of a single measurement of urinary neutrophil gelatinase–associated lipocalin (NGAL) and other urinary proteins to detect acute kidney injury in a spectrum of patients.
Design
Prospective cohort study.
Setting
Emergency department of Columbia University Medical Center, New York, New York.
Participants
635 patients admitted to the hospital with acute kidney injury, prerenal azotemia, chronic kidney disease, or normal kidney function.
Measurements
Diagnosis of acute kidney injury was based on the RIFLE (risk, injury, failure, loss, and end-stage) criteria and assigned by researchers who were blinded to experimental measurements. Urinary NGAL was measured by immunoblot, N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase (NAG) by enzyme measurement, α1-microglobulin and α1-acid glycoprotein by immunonephelometry, and serum creatinine by Jaffe kinetic reaction. Experimental measurements were not available to treating physicians.
Results
Patients with acute kidney injury had a significantly elevated mean urinary NGAL level compared with the other kidney function groups (416 μg/g creatinine [SD, 387]; P = 0.001). At a cutoff value of 130 μg/g creatinine, sensitivity and specificity of NGAL for detecting acute injury were 0.900 (95% CI, 0.73 to 0.98) and 0.995 (CI, 0.990 to 1.00), respectively, and positive and negative likelihood ratios were 181.5 (CI, 58.33 to 564.71) and 0.10 (CI, 0.03 to 0.29); these values were superior to those for NAG, α1-microglobulin, α1-acid glycoprotein, fractional excretion of sodium, and serum creatinine. In multiple logistic regression, urinary NGAL level was highly predictive of clinical outcomes, including nephrology consultation, dialysis, and admission to the intensive care unit (odds ratio, 24.71 [CI, 7.69 to 79.42]).
Limitations
All patients came from a single center. Few kidney biopsies were performed.
Conclusion
A single measurement of urinary NGAL helps to distinguish acute injury from normal function, prerenal azotemia, and chronic kidney disease and predicts poor inpatient outcomes.
PMCID: PMC2909852  PMID: 18519927
7.  Serum Cystatin C and Tubular Urinary Enzymes as Biomarkers of Renal Dysfunction in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus 
Renal tubulointerstitium plays an important role in the development and progression of diabetic nephropathy. The aim of this study was to assess serum cystatin C and 2 renal tubular enzymes, neutrophil gelatinase associated lipocalin (NGAL) and N-acetyl-beta-D-glucosaminidase (NAG), as screening markers for early renal dysfunction in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). ROC curve analysis showed that urinary NAG is the most sensitive marker of microalbuminuria and early renal damage with sensitivity of 83.3%, while serum cystatin C was the most sensitive and specific marker of macroalbuminuria and damage progress with sensitivity of 70.8% and specificity of 83.3% versus 70.6% and 83.3% for uNGAL; and 64.7% and 66.7% for NAG, respectively. Our data indicate that urinary NAG is the most sensitive marker for early renal damage in diabetic patients. However, for damage progress, serum cystatin C is the most sensitive and specific marker for follow-up and monitoring renal dysfunction.
doi:10.4137/CMED.S12633
PMCID: PMC3738377  PMID: 23966807
diabetic nephropathy; neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin; N-acetyl-beta-D-glucosaminidase; cystatin C
8.  Tenofovir use and urinary biomarkers among HIV-infected women in the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) 
Background
Tenofovir has been associated with renal tubular injury. Biomarkers that signal early tubular dysfunction are needed because creatinine rise lags behind tenofovir-associated kidney dysfunction. We examined several urinary biomarkers to determine if rises accompanying tenofovir initiation preceded creatinine changes.
Methods
Three urinary biomarkers of tubular impairment- neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL), N-acetyl- β -D-glucosaminidase (NAG), and β-2-microglobulin (β2MG)-were measured across three time points (one pre-tenofovir visit and two post tenofovir visits) in one hundred and thirty two HIV-positive women from the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS). Women initiating HAART containing tenofovir were propensity score matched to women initiating HAART without tenofovir and women not on HAART.
Results
There were no differences between groups for NGAL or NAG but β2MG was 19 times more likely to be elevated among tenofovir users at the 2nd post tenofovir visit compared to non-TDF users at the pre-tenofovir visit (p<0.01). History of proteinuria was associated with elevated NGAL (p <0.01). Factors associated with elevated NAG were GFR<60 ml/min, history of proteinuria, hepatitis C (p<0.01 for all) and diabetes mellitus (p=0.05). Factors associated with increased odds of elevated β2MG were HIV RNA>100,000 copies/ml, hepatitis C, boosted protease inhibitor (PI) use, and GFR<60 ml/min (p≤0.01 for all).
Conclusions
β2MG levels are elevated in women on tenofovir indicating probable early renal dysfunction. Biomarker elevation is additionally associated with baseline chronic kidney disease, uncontrolled viremia, and boosted PI use. Future studies are needed to explore urinary biomarker thresholds in identifying treated HIV-infected individuals at risk for renal dysfunction.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0b013e31828175c9
PMCID: PMC3692572  PMID: 23254151
Tenofovir; urinary biomarkers; HIV infected women
9.  Correlation between glomerular filtration rate and urinary N acetyl-beta-D glucosaminidase in children with persistent proteinuria in chronic glomerular disease 
Korean Journal of Pediatrics  2012;55(4):136-142.
Purpose
Urinary excretion of N acetyl-beta-D glucosaminidase (NAG) and β2-microglobulin (β2-M) was increased in the presence of proximal tubular damage. Based on these urinary materials, we investigated the ability of expecting renal function in chronic glomerular diseases. In this study, we evaluated the relationship between glomerular filtration rate (GFR) urinary NAG, and urinary β2-M.
Methods
We evaluated 52 children with chronic kidney disease at the Chung-Ang University Hospital between January 2003 and August 2009. We investigated the 24-hour urinalysis and hematologic values in all 52 patients. Serum creatinine, creatinine clearance (Ccr), serum cystatin C, urinary β2-M and urinary NAG were measured.
Results
Out of 52 patients, there were 13 children with minimal change in disease, 3 children with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, 17 children with immunoglobulin A nephropathy, 15 children with Henoch-Schönlein purpua nephritis, 3 children with poststreptococcal glomerulonephritis, and 1 child with thin glomerular basement membrane disease. In these patients, there were significant correlation between the Ccr and urinary NAG (r=-0.817; P<0.01), and between the GFR (as determined by Schwartz method) and urinary NAG (r=-0.821; P<0.01). In addition, there was a significant correlation between the GFR (as determined by Bokencamp method) and urinary NAG (r=-0.858; P<0.01).
Conclusion
In our study, there was a significant correlation between the GFR and urinary NAG, but there was no correlation between the GFR and urinary β2-M, suggesting that the GFR can be predicted by urinary NAG in patients with chronic glomerular disease.
doi:10.3345/kjp.2012.55.4.136
PMCID: PMC3346836  PMID: 22574074
Proteinuria; Glomerular filtration rate; N acetyl-beta-D glucosaminidase
10.  Renal tubular function of workers exposed to low levels of cadmium. 
Cadmium induced renal tubular effects were examined in 65 female workers in a factory manufacturing nickel cadmium batteries. Urinary beta 2-microglobulin (beta 2m), urinary N-acetyl-D-glucosaminidase activity (NAG), and serum creatinine and serum urea concentrations were used to assess the renal effects. Of the four measures, only urinary NAG and urinary beta 2m showed a strong positive correlation with blood cadmium concentrations (r = 0.49 and 0.43 respectively); NAG showed a weaker correlation with urinary cadmium concentrations (r = 0.35). Urinary beta 2m has weak correlation with urinary cadmium (r = 0.04). Only urinary NAG showed a significant deterioration in renal function among the exposed group. NAG detects the largest proportion of abnormalities among the exposed group. Abnormal urinary beta 2m is detected in only 15.4% of the workers, half of whom have blood cadmium above 10 micrograms/l. The proportion of abnormalities detected by urinary NAG differs significantly from the proportion of abnormalities detected by urinary beta 2m (p less than 0.01). The age adjusted mean urinary NAG excretion showed a significant rise with urinary cadmium of above 3 micrograms/g creatinine. Urinary beta 2m failed to show any significant rise. With blood cadmium concentrations, the age adjusted mean urinary NAG excretion showed a rise from 1 microgram/l of blood cadmium followed by a plateau between blood cadmium concentrations of 3-10 micrograms/l. No significant rise in mean urinary excretion in beta 2m was seen until blood cadmium concentrations exceeded 10 micrograms/l.
PMCID: PMC1009747  PMID: 2649143
11.  Urinary Aminopeptidase Activities as Early and Predictive Biomarkers of Renal Dysfunction in Cisplatin-Treated Rats 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(7):e40402.
This study analyzes the fluorimetric determination of alanyl- (Ala), glutamyl- (Glu), leucyl-cystinyl- (Cys) and aspartyl-aminopeptidase (AspAp) urinary enzymatic activities as early and predictive biomarkers of renal dysfunction in cisplatin-treated rats. Male Wistar rats (n = 8 each group) received a single subcutaneous injection of either saline or cisplatin 3.5 or 7 mg/kg, and urine samples were taken at 0, 1, 2, 3 and 14 days after treatment. In urine samples we determined Ala, Glu, Cys and AspAp activities, proteinuria, N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase (NAG), albumin, and neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL). Plasma creatinine, creatinine clearance and renal morphological variables were measured at the end of the experiment. CysAp, NAG and albumin were increased 48 hours after treatment in the cisplatin 3.5 mg/kg treated group. At 24 hours, all urinary aminopeptidase activities and albuminuria were significantly increased in the cisplatin 7 mg/kg treated group. Aminopeptidase urinary activities correlated (p<0.011; r2>0.259) with plasma creatinine, creatinine clearance and/or kidney weight/body weight ratio at the end of the experiment and they could be considered as predictive biomarkers of renal injury severity. ROC-AUC analysis was made to study their sensitivity and specificity to distinguish between treated and untreated rats at day 1. All aminopeptidase activities showed an AUC>0.633. We conclude that Ala, Cys, Glu and AspAp enzymatic activities are early and predictive urinary biomarkers of the renal dysfunction induced by cisplatin. These determinations can be very useful in the prognostic and diagnostic of renal dysfunction in preclinical research and clinical practice.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0040402
PMCID: PMC3390365  PMID: 22792302
12.  Rationale and design of the RESOLVE trial: lanreotide as a volume reducing treatment for polycystic livers in patients with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease 
BMC Nephrology  2012;13:17.
Background
A large proportion of patients with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) suffers from polycystic liver disease. Symptoms arise when liver volume increases. The somatostatin analogue lanreotide has proven to reduce liver volume in patients with polycystic liver disease. However, this study also included patients with isolated polycystic liver disease (PCLD). The RESOLVE trial aims to assess the efficacy of lanreotide treatment in ADPKD patients with symptomatic polycystic livers. In this study we present the design of the RESOLVE trial.
Methods/design
This open-label clinical trial evaluates the effect of 6 months of lanreotide in ADPKD patients with symptomatic polycystic livers. Primary outcome is change in liver volume determined by computerised tomography-volumetry. Secondary outcomes are changes in total kidney volume, kidney intermediate volume and renal function. Furthermore, urinary (NGAL, α1-microglobulin, KIM-1, H-FABP, MCP-1) and serum (fibroblast growth factor 23) biomarkers associated with ADPKD disease severity are assessed to investigate whether these biomarkers predict treatment responses to lanreotide. Moreover, safety and tolerability of the drug in ADPKD patients will be assessed.
Discussion
We anticipate that lanreotide is an effective therapeutic option for ADPKD patients with symptomatic polycystic livers and that this trial aids in the identification of patient related factors that predict treatment response.
Trial registration number
Clinical trials.gov NCT01354405
doi:10.1186/1471-2369-13-17
PMCID: PMC3368739  PMID: 22475206
ADPKD; Urinary biomarkers; Polycystic liver disease; Lanreotide
13.  Indices of renal tubular function in perinatal asphyxia 
Aims—To determine and compare two urinary indices of renal tubular function, N-acetyl-glucosaminidase (NAG) and β2-microglobulin (β2M), in healthy term neonates and babies with perinatal asphyxia.
METHODS—In a prospective case-control study using asphyxiated (n=35) and normal control (n=55) infants, urinary NAG and β2M were assayed at 24-48 hours of life, 4-6 days, and 4-6 weeks.
RESULTS—NAG and β2M were significantly increased at 24-48 hours and 4-6 days in the asphyxiated infants compared with the controls. Increased NAG values reflect the degree of perinatal asphyxia more than do β2M. Gentamicin also increased NAG excretion, but to a lesser extent than did perinatal asphyxia.
CONCLUSIONS—NAG (+/- β2M) may be a useful marker of perinatal asphyxia. Urinary NAG concentrations correlate with the severity of perinatal asphyxia.

 Keywords: perinatal asphyxia; renal tubular function; N-acetyl-glucosaminidase
PMCID: PMC1720666  PMID: 9279185
14.  Urinary Biomarkers for Sensitive and Specific Detection of Acute Kidney Injury in Humans 
Acute kidney injury (AKI) is associated with high morbidity and mortality. The lack of sensitive and specific injury biomarkers has greatly impeded the development of therapeutic strategies to improve outcomes of AKI.
The unique objective of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic performance of nine urinary biomarkers of AKI—kidney injury molecule-1 (KIM-1), neutrophil gelatinase associated lipocalin (NGAL), interleukin-18 (IL-18), hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), cystatin C (Cys), N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase (NAG), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), chemokine interferon-inducible protein 10 (IP-10; CXCL10), and total protein—in a cross-sectional comparison of 204 patients with or without AKI.
Median urinary concentrations of each biomarker were significantly higher in patients with AKI than in those without AKI (p < 0.001). The area under the receiver operating characteristics curve (AUC-ROC) for the combination of biomarkers using a logic regression model [risk score of 2.93*(NGAL > 5.72 and HGF > 0.17) + 2.93*(PROTEIN > 0.22) −2*(KIM < 0.58)] was greater (0.94) than individual biomarker AUC-ROCs. Age-adjusted levels of urinary KIM-1, NAG, HGF, VEGF, and total protein were significantly higher in patients who died or required renal replacement therapy (RRT) when compared to those who survived and did not require RRT.
Our results demonstrate the comparative value of multiple biomarkers in the diagnosis and prognosis of AKI.
doi:10.1111/j.1752-8062.2008.00053.x
PMCID: PMC2638059  PMID: 19212447
biomarkers; acute kidney injury; kidney injury molecule-1; neutrophil gelatinase associated lipocalin; hepatocyte growth factor
15.  Biomarkers for the Diagnosis of Acute Kidney Injury 
Nephron. Clinical practice  2008;109(4):c192-c197.
The identification of acute kidney injury relies on tests like blood urea nitrogen and serum creatinine that were identified and incorporated into clinical practice several decades ago. This review summarizes clinical studies of newer biomarkers that may permit earlier and more accurate identification of acute kidney injury. The urine may contain sensitive and specific markers of kidney injury that are present due to either impaired tubular reabsorption and catabolism of filtered molecules or release of tubular cell proteins in response to ischemic or nephrotoxic injury. Many potential markers have been studied. Promising injury markers in the urine include N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase (NAG), neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL), kidney injury molecule-1 (KIM-1), and interleukin-18 (IL-18). New biomarkers of kidney injury hold the promise of substantially improving the diagnostic approach to acute kidney injury. Adequately powered clinical studies of multiple biomarkers are needed to qualify the biomarkers before they can be fully adopted in clinical practice. Once adopted, more sensitive biomarkers of acute kidney injury hold the potential to transform the care of patients with renal disease.
doi:10.1159/000142928
PMCID: PMC2713682  PMID: 18802367
acute kidney injury; acute renal failure; biomarker; diagnosis
16.  Angiogenic growth factors correlate with disease severity in young patients with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease 
Kidney international  2010;79(1):10.1038/ki.2010.355.
Renal cysts, pain and hematuria are common presentations of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) in children. Renal function, however, is typically preserved in these patients despite increased renal volume. Since angiogenesis has been implicated in promotion of renal cyst growth in ADPKD we measured the serum level of various angiogenic factors and early renal structural changes and cardiovascular parameters in 71 patients with ADPKD with a mean age of 16 years. Renal structure and left ventricular mass index were measured by magnetic resonance imaging or by echocardiogram. Renal function was assessed by creatinine clearance, and urinary protein excretion. Serum growth factor levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Because of skewed distributions, the various parameters are reported as log10. Serum Log10 vascular endothelial growth factor was positively correlated with renal and cardiac structure, but negatively correlated with creatinine clearance. Serum angiopoietin 1 levels significantly correlated with structural change in both the kidney and the heart and with urinary protein. Thus, the correlation between angiogenic growth factors with both renal and cardiac disease severity is compatible with a possible role for angiogenesis in the early progression of disease in ADPKD.
doi:10.1038/ki.2010.355
PMCID: PMC3815472  PMID: 20881939
17.  Improved performance of urinary biomarkers of acute kidney injury in the critically ill by stratification for injury duration and baseline renal function 
Kidney international  2011;79(10):10.1038/ki.2010.555.
To better understand the diagnostic and predictive performance of urinary biomarkers of kidney injury, we evaluated γ-glutamyltranspeptidase (GGT), alkaline phosphatase (AP), neutrophil-gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL), cystatin C (CysC), kidney injury molecule-1 (KIM-1), and interleukin-18 (IL-18) in a prospective observational study of 529 patients in 2 general intensive care units (ICUs). Comparisons were made using the area under the receiver operator characteristic curve (AUC) for diagnosis or prediction of acute kidney injury (AKI), dialysis, or death, and reassessed after patient stratification by baseline renal function (estimated glomerular filtration rate, eGFR) and time after renal insult. On ICU entry, no biomarker had an AUC above 0.7 in the diagnosis or prediction of AKI. Several biomarkers (NGAL, CysC, and IL-18) predicted dialysis (AUC over 0.7), and all except KIM-1 predicted death at 7 days (AUC between 0.61 and 0.69). Performance was improved by stratification for eGFR or time or both. With eGFR <60ml/min, CysC and KIM-1 had AUCs of 0.69 and 0.73, respectively, within 6 h of injury, and between 12 and 36 h, CysC (0.88), NGAL (0.85), and IL-18 (0.94) had utility. With eGFR >60 ml/min, GGT (0.73), CysC (0.68), and NGAL (0.68) had the highest AUCs within 6h of injury, and between 6 and 12 h, all AUCs except AP were between 0.68 and 0.78. Beyond 12 h, NGAL (0.71) and KIM-1 (0.66) performed best. Thus, the duration of injury and baseline renal function should be considered in evaluating biomarker performance to diagnose AKI.
doi:10.1038/ki.2010.555
PMCID: PMC3884688  PMID: 21307838
acute kidney injury; clinical trail; diagnosis; glomerular filtration rate
18.  Clinical Characteristics and Disease Predictors of a Large Chinese Cohort of Patients with Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e92232.
Objective
Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is a relentlessly progressing form of chronic kidney disease for which there is no cure. The aim of this study was to characterize Chinese patients with ADPKD and to identify the factors which predict cyst growth and renal functional deterioration.
Methods
To analyze disease predicting factors we performed a prospective longitudinal observational study in a cohort of 541 Chinese patients with ADPKD and an eGFR ≥30 ml/min/1.73 m2. Patients were followed clinically and radiologically with sequential abdominal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Clinical characteristics and laboratory data were related to changes in estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and total kidney volume (TKV). A linear regression model was developed to analyze the factors which determine eGFR and TKV changes.
Results
The age range of this unselected cohort ranged from 4 to 77 years. Median follow-up time was 14.3±10.6 months. Although inter-individual differences in eGFR and TKV were large, there was a consistent link between these two parameters. Baseline log10-transformed TKV and urinary protein/creatinine ratio were identified as the major predictors for a faster eGFR decline and were associated with a higher TKV growth rate. Interestingly, a lower thrombocyte count correlated significantly with lower eGFR (r = 0.222) and higher TKV (r = 0.134).
Conclusions
This large cohort of Chinese patients with ADPKD provides unique epidemiological data for comparison with other cohorts of different ethnicity. In Chinese patients we identified a lower thrombocyte count as a significant predictor of disease progression. These results are important for the design of future clinical trials to retard polycystic kidney disease progression.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0092232
PMCID: PMC3961326  PMID: 24651850
19.  Urinary N-acetyl-beta-D-glucosaminidase activity in workers exposed to inorganic lead. 
Urinary N-acetyl-beta-D-glucosaminidase (NAG) had been shown to be a useful early marker of renal injury. In workers exposed to lead it seems to be the only early marker but the dose response and dose effect relations are weak. Furthermore, the significance and underlying mechanism of increased urinary NAG activity is far from clear. By studying the isoenzyme profiles of urinary NAG, the significance and underlying mechanism may be further clarified. The heat labile (NAG-A) and heat stable (NAG-B) isoenzyme profiles of 128 workers exposed to lead from a lead stabiliser factory were analysed. NAG activity was expressed as total NAG, NAG-A, and NAG-B activity as well as ratios (NAG-B/total NAG and NAG-B/NAG-A). Exposure indices included the recent concentration of blood lead (BPb), a cumulative blood lead index (TBPb), and the recent change in concentration of blood lead (CBPb). The NAG indices correlated best with CBPb. Nearly 50% of the variation in NAG-B activity could be explained by the combination of all three exposure indices but only the CBPb was highly significant. When these exposure indices were entered separately into the regression equation, CBPb accounted for 36.3% of the variation in NAG-B activity, 5.7% was accounted for by TBPb and 2.7% by BPb. There was also no dose-effect or dose-response relation between the NAG variables and BPb or TBPb groups. With CBPb, there were dose-effect and dose-response relations. With CBPb, there was an increase in NAG variables in the group with more than 25% increase in blood lead over the past six months. The increase in NAG activity in this study is likely to be due to a recent increase in concentration of blood lead and hence presumably a recent rise in renal burden of inorganic lead. This suggests that the increase in urinary NAG activity is a form of acute response to a sharp increase in renal burden of lead, rather than to a cumulative dose. Heat stable NAG is part of the lysosomal membrane and is present in the urine when there is breakdown of lysosomes. Our data therefore contradict suggestions that the increase in urinary NAG activity is due to exocytosis.
PMCID: PMC1127917  PMID: 8111460
20.  Use of the kidney injury molecule-1 as a biomarker for early detection of renal tubular dysfunction in a population chronically exposed to cadmium in the environment 
SpringerPlus  2013;2:533.
Cadmium (Cd) has been found as an environmental pollutant in Mae Sot district, Tak province, Thailand. Prolong exposure to high levels of Cd of the resident increases high risk of Cd toxicity especially to kidney which is the primary target of Cd. In order to investigate the early effect of Cd induced renal dysfunction, a kidney injury molecule-1 (KIM-1), a novel biomarker of renal tubular dysfunction, was measured using an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The method was validated and used to quantify the KIM-1 concentrations in the urine of 700 subjects (260 men, 440 women) who lived in the Cd contaminated area. The KIM-1 concentrations were compared to the concentrations of two conventional renal tubular dysfunction biomarkers, N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase (NAG) and β2-microglobulin (β2-MG). Urinary KIM-1 was correlated with urinary and blood Cd as well as NAG. After adjustment of age and smoking, urinary KIM-1 was correlated with blood Cd more than urinary NAG did. Clear dose response relationships of urinary KIM-1 with urinary Cd were shown in both men and women. These results indicate that the urinary KIM-1 might be more sensitive biomarker than urinary NAG and β2-MG for an early detection of renal tubular dysfunction. It is useful as a tool to detect renal effect of toxicity due to chronic Cd exposure at high level.
doi:10.1186/2193-1801-2-533
PMCID: PMC3824703  PMID: 24255836
KIM-1; Biomarker; Cadmium; Chronic exposure; Renal tubular dysfunction
21.  Urinary Neutrophil Gelatinase-Associated Lipocalin Levels in Comparison with Glomerular Filtration Rate for Evaluation of Renal Function in Patients with Diabetic Chronic Kidney Disease 
Diabetes & Metabolism Journal  2012;36(4):307-313.
Background
Neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) is a promising biomarker of acute kidney injury. There is a growing body of evidence suggesting that NGAL is also a marker of kidney disease and severity in chronic kidney disease (CKD). We studied the utility of urinary NGAL in more accurately predicting renal function in patients with diabetic CKD.
Methods
We studied possible relationships between urinary NGAL, estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), and proteinuria in diabetic CKD patients and in healthy populations.
Results
Urinary NGAL levels were significantly higher in CKD patients than in healthy controls (96.0 [2.7 to 975.2] ng/mL vs. 18.8 [1.3 to 81.9] ng/mL, P=0.02), and the GFR was lower among CKD patients (49.3 [13.1 to 78.3] mL/min/1.73 m2 vs. 85.6 [72 to 106.7] mL/min/1.73 m2, P<0.0001). The urinary NGAL level showed a significant inverse correlation with GFR (r=-0.5634, P<0.0001). The correlation analyses between urinary protein level and urinary NGAL levels and GFR were as follows: urine protein and urinary NGAL (r=0.3009, P=0.0256), urine protein and GFR (r=-0.6245, P<0.0001), urine microalbumin and urinary NGAL (r=0.1794, P=0.2275), and urine microalbumin and GFR (r=-0.5190, P=0.0002).
Conclusion
From these results, we concluded that urinary NGAL is a reliable marker of renal function in diabetic CKD patients. However, urinary NGAL did not provide more accurate information regarding renal function than GFR.
doi:10.4093/dmj.2012.36.4.307
PMCID: PMC3428420  PMID: 22950063
Chronic kidney disease; Glomerular filtration rate; Neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin
22.  Amniotic fluid N-acetyl-beta-D-glucosaminidase activity and renal abnormalities. 
Archives of Disease in Childhood  1991;66(10 Spec No):1147-1149.
Amniotic fluid N-acetyl-beta-D-glucosaminidase (NAG) activity was measured in 21 normal pregnancies to determine reference values, and in 10 pregnancies with fetuses who had prenatally recognised renal and urinary tract malformations. The normal values obtained at 17-19 and 28-31 gestational weeks did not differ, and an activity of 105 units NAG/mmol creatinine was the upper limit of the normal range. Raised NAG activities were found in four fetuses with oligohydramnios and severe bilateral renal disease, and also in two infants with a normal amount of amniotic fluid, only unilateral renal lesions, and a normal renal function after birth. Three of four cases with normal NAG activities had malformations without kidney damage, but one baby with prune belly syndrome was subsequently found to have dysplastic kidneys and renal failure. Our preliminary results suggest that a high level of NAG activity in the amniotic fluid indicates unilateral or bilateral kidney damage but is not proof of intrauterine renal failure.
PMCID: PMC1590281  PMID: 1750765
23.  Renal Function after Reduction in Cadmium Exposure: An 8-Year Follow-up of Residents in Cadmium-Polluted Areas 
Environmental Health Perspectives  2011;120(2):223-228.
Background and objective: Long-term exposure to cadmium (Cd) causes renal dysfunction, but the change in renal function with exposure is unknown. We assessed the evolution of Cd-induced renal effects after a reduction in dietary exposure to Cd in rice.
Methods: Four hundred twelve residents in previously Cd-polluted and nonpolluted areas were examined twice, in 1998 and in 2006. Changes in blood Cd, urinary Cd, and kidney function [N-acetyl-β-d-glucosaminidase (NAG), β2-microglobulin, and albumin in urine] were measured.
Results: In the most polluted area, mean blood Cd was 8.9 μg/L and 3.3 μg/L in 1998 and in 2006, respectively, and urinary Cd was 11.6 and 9.0 μg/g creatinine. Urinary albumin in 1998 increased with urinary Cd, but no such exposure–response relation appeared for 2006 albumin versus urinary Cd 1998, indicating recovery. Other biomarkers of kidney function were also elevated in 1998. Partial recovery was observed for NAG among women and was suggested for β2-microglobulin among young individuals. The probability of having β2-microglobulin levels above the 95th percentile in 2006 was high in those with elevated β2-microglobulin in 1998 [odds ratio (OR) = 24.8; 95% confidence interval (CI): 11.2, 55.3] compared with albumin (OR = 3.0; 95% CI: 1.2, 7.5) and NAG (OR = 2.6; 95% CI: 1.6, 4.4).
Conclusions: Results suggest that a Cd-mediated increase in urinary albumin excretion is reversible upon substantial reduction of exposure. For markers of tubular effects, we observed a tendency toward improvement but not complete recovery. Data from repeated observations suggest that β2-microglobulin may be more informative than NAG as an indicator for an individual’s future tubular function.
doi:10.1289/ehp.1103699
PMCID: PMC3279438  PMID: 22027495
albumin; β2-microglobulin; cadmium; environmental exposure; N-acetyl-β-d-glucosaminidase; renal function
24.  Chronic renovascular hypertension is associated with elevated levels of neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin 
Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation  2012;27(11):4153-4161.
Background
Renovascular hypertension (RVH) is characterized by chronic inflammation of the stenotic kidney and progressive renal dysfunction. Neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL), an acute phase protein induced in inflammatory conditions and ischemia, is a novel biomarker for acute kidney injury. We hypothesized that chronic RVH would be associated with increased renal and circulating NGAL levels.
Methods
We prospectively measured renal vein and inferior vena cava (IVC) levels of NGAL and inflammatory cytokines in essential hypertensive (EH) and RVH patients, during constant sodium intake and anti-hypertensive regimens, and compared them with systemic levels in age-matched normotensive subjects (n = 22 each). In addition, we measured urinary NGAL and kidney injury molecule (KIM)-1 in all patients.
Results
Blood pressure, serum creatinine, estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), lipid panels and medications were similar in RVH and EH. Systemic, stenotic and contralateral renal vein levels of NGAL were all similarly elevated in RVH versus normal hypertension and EH (P < 0.05), as were renal vein levels of inflammatory markers like tumor necrosis factor-α. Furthermore, renal vein NGAL levels inversely correlated with eGFR, and directly with renal vein (but not systemic) levels of inflammatory markers. Urinary levels of NGAL and KIM-1 were elevated in both EH and RVH, as were systemic levels of C-reactive protein.
Conclusions
Chronic RVH is associated with elevated NGAL levels, likely due to ongoing kidney and systemic inflammation and ischemia. These findings may also imply the occurrence of the inflammation process in chronic RVH, which might contribute to the poorer outcomes of RVH compared with EH patients.
doi:10.1093/ndt/gfs370
PMCID: PMC3616756  PMID: 22923545
cytokines; inflammation; KIM-1; NGAL; renovascular hypertension
25.  Renal Effects of Dental Amalgam in Children: The New England Children’s Amalgam Trial 
Environmental Health Perspectives  2007;116(3):394-399.
Background
Mercury is nephrotoxic and dental amalgam is a source of mercury exposure.
Methods
Children 6–10 years of age (n = 534) with two or more posterior teeth with caries but no prior amalgam restorations, were randomized to one of two treatments—amalgam or resin composite (white fillings)—used for caries treatment during 5 years of follow-up. The primary outcome was change in IQ, but important secondary outcomes were effects on markers of glomerular and tubular kidney function: urinary excretion of albumin, alpha-1-microglobulin (A1M), γ-glutamyl transpeptidase (γ-GT), and N-acetyl-β-d-glucosaminidase (NAG). These markers were measured on several occasions during the trial, together with urinary mercury and covariates. We evaluated the results using repeated-measures analyses.
Results
There were no significant differences between treatment groups in average levels of renal biomarkers, nor significant effects of number of dental amalgams on these markers. There was, however, a significantly increased prevalence of microalbuminuria (MA) among children in the amalgam group in years 3–5 (adjusted odds ratio 1.8; 95% confidence interval, 1.1–2.9). Most of these cases are likely to be temporary MA, but 10 children in the amalgam group had MA in both years 3 and 5, versus 2 children in the composite group (p = 0.04). There were no differences in the occurrence of high levels of renal tubular markers (A1M, γ-GT, or NAG).
Conclusions
The increase in MA may be a random finding, but should be tested further. The results did not support recent findings in an observational study of an effect of low-level mercury on tubular biomarkers in children.
doi:10.1289/ehp.10504
PMCID: PMC2265055  PMID: 18335109
albumin; alpha-1-microglobulin; children; dental amalgam; γ-glutamyl transpeptidase; glomerular kidney function; NAG; renal function; tubular kidney function

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