Role of urinary NGAL and microalbuminuria in the detection of subclinical acute kidney injury in pediatric intensive care unit and diabetic children


Submitted: 24 March 2022
Accepted: 20 June 2022
Published: 15 July 2022
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Subclinical Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) describes patients who did not fulfill the classical criteria for AKI diagnosis but showed elevated levels of new biomarkers reflecting tubular injury. One of these biomarkers is Neutrophil Gelatinase-Associated Lipocalin (NGAL). The aim of this study is to investigate the role of urinary NGAL and microalbuminuria as non-invasive biomarkers in the detection of subclinical AKI. Analysis of urinary NGAL and microalbuminuria in 91 subjects [30 pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) patients, 31 diabetic patients and 30 healthy controls] recruited from Cairo University Pediatric Hospital was done. Our study revealed that urinary NGAL was significantly higher in the PICU group followed by the diabetic group and lowest in the controls group (p=0.022). A positive correlation was found between urinary NGAL and microalbuminuria in the PICU group (Rvalue= 0.585, p-value=0.001). In diabetic group, a positive correlation was found between urinary NGAL and fasting blood glucose, 2 hours post prandial and HbA1C (R-value=0.421; pvalue= 0.021; R-value=0.426; p-value=0.019; R-value=0.438; pvalue= 0.018 respectively). Urinary NGAL may be a potential biomarker to detect subclinical AKI before actual functional renal damage leading to early intervention and reduction of mortality.


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