Cystatin C in acute kidney injury diagnosis: early biomarker or alternative to serum creatinine?
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Early acute kidney injury (AKI) diagnosis is needed to pursue treatment trials. We evaluated cystatin C (CysC) as an early biomarker of serum creatinine (SCr)-AKI and an alternative to define AKI.
We studied 160 non-cardiac children in the intensive care unit (ICU). We measured daily CysC and SCr. AKI was staged by KDIGO (Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes) guidelines using SCr and CysC (CysC-AKI). We calculated area under the curve (AUC) for (1) neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL), interleukin-18 (IL-18), kidney injury molecule-1 (KIM-1) and urine CysC to diagnose SCr- and CysC-AKI; and (2) for CysC to diagnose SCr-AKI. We evaluated AKI associations with length of stay and ventilation duration.
We found that 44 % of patients developed SCr-AKI; 32 % developed CysC-AKI. Early ICU NGAL was most diagnostic of CysC-AKI (AUC 0.69, 95% CI 0.54–0.84); IL-18 was most diagnostic for SCr-AKI (AUC 0.69 95% CI 0.55–0.82). Combining SCr and CysC-AKI definition led to higher biomarker diagnostic AUC’s. CysC-AKI was not more strongly associated with clinical outcomes. Early ICU CysC predicted SCr-AKI development (AUC 0.70, 95 % CI 0.53–0.89).
Our findings do not support replacing SCr by CysC to define AKI. Early ICU CysC predicts SCr-AKI development and combined SCr-CysC-AKI definition leads to stronger AKI biomarker associations.
KeywordsDiagnostic testing Urine biomarkers Acute renal failure Pediatric intensive care unit
Dr. Zappitelli received institutional funding from the McGill University Health Centre Research Institute, the Kidney Research Scientist Core Education and National Training Program and the Fonds de Recherches en Santé du Quebec to support this work.
PD is a co-inventor on patents submitted for the use of NGAL as a biomarker of kidney injury.
JB is a co-inventor on patents involving KIM-1.
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