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1.  Additive value of blood neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin to clinical judgement in acute kidney injury diagnosis and mortality prediction in patients hospitalized from the emergency department 
Critical Care  2013;17(1):R29.
Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a common complication among hospitalized patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate the utility of blood neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) assessment as an aid in the early risk evaluation for AKI development in admitted patients.
This is a multicenter Italian prospective emergency department (ED) cohort study in which we enrolled 665 patients admitted to hospital from the ED.
Blood NGAL and serum creatinine (sCr) were determined at ED presentation (T0), and at: 6 (T6), 12 (T12), 24 (T24) and 72 (T72) hours after hospitalization. A preliminary assessment of AKI by the treating ED physician occurred in 218 out of 665 patients (33%), while RIFLE AKI by expert nephrologists was confirmed in 49 out of 665 patients (7%). The ED physician's initial judgement lacked sensitivity and specificity, overpredicting the diagnosis of AKI in 27% of the cohort, while missing 20% of those with AKI as a final diagnosis.
The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC), obtained at T0, for blood NGAL alone in the AKI group was 0.80. When NGAL at T0 was added to the ED physician's initial clinical judgment the AUC was increased to 0.90, significantly greater when compared to the AUC of the T0 estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) obtained either by modification of diet in renal disease (MDRD) equation (0.78) or Cockroft-Gault formula (0.78) (P = 0.022 and P = 0.020 respectively). The model obtained by combining NGAL with the ED physician's initial clinical judgement compared to the model combining sCr with the ED physician's initial clinical judgement, resulted in a net reclassification index of 32.4 percentage points. Serial assessment of T0 and T6 hours NGAL provided a high negative predictive value (NPV) (98%) in ruling out the diagnosis of AKI within 6 hours of patients' ED arrival. NGAL (T0) showed the strongest predictive value for in-hospital patient's mortality at a cutoff of 400 ng/ml.
Our study demonstrated that assessment of a patient's initial blood NGAL when admitted to hospital from the ED improved the initial clinical diagnosis of AKI and predicted in-hospital mortality. Blood NGAL assessment coupled with the ED physician's clinical judgment may prove useful in deciding the appropriate strategies for patients at risk for the development of AKI.
See related commentary by Legrand et al.,
PMCID: PMC4056001  PMID: 23402494
2.  Utility of Procalcitonin (PCT) and Mid regional pro-Adrenomedullin (MR-proADM) in risk stratification of critically ill febrile patients in Emergency Department (ED). A comparison with APACHE II score 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2012;12:184.
The aim of our study was to evaluate the prognostic value of MR-proADM and PCT levels in febrile patients in the ED in comparison with a disease severity index score, the APACHE II score. We also evaluated the ability of MR-proADM and PCT to predict hospitalization.
This was an observational, multicentric study. We enrolled 128 patients referred to the ED with high fever and a suspicion of severe infection such as sepsis, lower respiratory tract infections, urinary tract infections, gastrointestinal infections, soft tissue infections, central nervous system infections, or osteomyelitis. The APACHE II score was calculated for each patient.
MR-proADM median values in controls were 0.5 nmol/l as compared with 0.85 nmol/l in patients (P < 0.0001), while PCT values in controls were 0.06 ng/ml versus 0.56 ng/ml in patients (P < 0.0001). In all patients there was a statistically significant stepwise increase in MR-proADM levels in accordance with PCT values (P < 0.0001). MR-proADM and PCT levels were significantly increased in accordance with the Apache II quartiles (P < 0.0001 and P = 0.0012 respectively).
In the respiratory infections, urinary infections, and sepsis-septic shock groups we found a correlation between the Apache II and MR-proADM respectively and MR-proADM and PCT respectively. We evaluated the ability of MR-proADM and PCT to predict hospitalization in patients admitted to our emergency departments complaining of fever. MR-proADM alone had an AUC of 0.694, while PCT alone had an AUC of 0.763. The combined use of PCT and MR-proADM instead showed an AUC of 0.79.
The present study highlights the way in which MR-proADM and PCT may be helpful to the febrile patient’s care in the ED. Our data support the prognostic role of MR-proADM and PCT in that setting, as demonstrated by the correlation with the APACHE II score. The combined use of the two biomarkers can predict a subsequent hospitalization of febrile patients. The rational use of these two molecules could lead to several advantages, such as faster diagnosis, more accurate risk stratification, and optimization of the treatment, with consequent benefit to the patient and considerably reduced costs.
PMCID: PMC3447640  PMID: 22874067
Procalcitonin; Mid regional pro-Adrenomedullin; Fever; APACHE II score

Results 1-2 (2)