Background: No specific early biomarker is available to measure kidney injury after kidney transplantation (KT). Both neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) and kidney injury marker 1 (KIM-1) increase after oxidative injury. Their potential as early biomarkers was evaluated in this one-arm pilot study. Materials and Methods: Twenty consecutive KT patients receiving a kidney from a donation after circulatory death donor were included. Graft perfusate was collected, as well as serum samples before transplantation, at the end of surgery, and 1, 4, and 7 days after transplantation. NGAL and KIM-1 were measured using ELISA. Kidney function and delayed graft function (DGF) were monitored. Results: In this cohort, 85% of the KT patients developed DGF. Perfusate NGAL correlated with donor age (r2 = 0.094, p = 0.01) and serum creatinine (r2 = 0.243, p = 0.05). A cardiac cause of death was associated with higher NGAL in the perfusate (p = 0.03). Serum NGAL at day 1 was significantly higher in patients with DGF (730 ng/ml, range 490-1,655, vs. 417 ng/ml, range 232-481; p = 0.01). Serum NGAL levels at day 1, 4, and 7 correlated with the duration of DGF. KIM-1 was not detectable in the perfusate or in the serum until postoperative day 4 in 80% of patients. Conclusions: NGAL in the perfusate correlates with known donor risk factors for DGF. For the first time, we describe that serum NGAL at day 1 can discriminate between DGF and immediate graft function. Also, serum NGAL levels at day 1, 4, and 7 correlate with the duration of DGF. No association with KIM-1 was found. These data suggest that NGAL may be used as an early biomarker to detect DGF and warrants further study.

Biomarker, Delayed graft function, Donation after circulatory death, Kidney, Transplantation,
European Surgical Research: clinical and experimental surgery
Department of Cardiology

van den Akker, E.K, Hesselink, D.A, Manintveld, O.C, IJzermans, J.N.M, De Bruijn, R.W.F, & Dor, F.J.M.F. (2015). Neutrophil Gelatinase-Associated Lipocalin, but Not Kidney Injury Marker 1, Correlates with Duration of Delayed Graft Function. European Surgical Research: clinical and experimental surgery, 55(4), 319–327. doi:10.1159/000440718