Urinary Neutrophil Gelatinase-associated Lipocalin as a Marker for Identification of Acute Kidney Injury and Recovery in Dogs with Gentamicin-induced Nephrotoxicity

Carrie Palm, G. Segev, Larry D Cowgill, B. E. Leroy, K. L. Kowalkowski, K. Kanakubo, Joellen L Westropp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations


Background: Acute kidney injury (AKI) is associated with high mortality rates in dogs, which may be a consequence of late recognition using traditional diagnostic tests. Neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) is a protein-induced during kidney injury that may identify AKI earlier than traditional tests. Objectives/Hypothesis: To evaluate urinary NGAL (uNGAL) and uNGAL-to-urinary creatinine ratio (UNCR) as early markers of kidney injury and recovery in an AKI model in dogs. It was hypothesized that these markers would document AKI earlier than serum creatinine concentration. Animals: Five purpose-bred dogs. Methods: Prospective study. Acute kidney injury, defined as a > 50% increase in serum creatinine concentration above baseline, was induced in dogs by gentamicin administration (8-10 mg/kg SC q8h). Blood and urine collected for biochemical analyses and uNGAL and urinary creatinine concentrations, respectively, during AKI induction and recovery. Results: Acute kidney injury was diagnosed significantly earlier based on a 7-fold increase in UNCR compared to a > 50% increase in serum creatinine concentration (day 8; range, 2-10 mg/dl vs day 16; range, 14-19 mg/dl; P =.009). During recovery, the initial decrease in UNCR preceded the decrease in serum creatinine concentration by a median of 2 days. The uNGAL changes paralleled UNCR changes, but the increase in uNGAL was triphasic; the initial peak occurred earlier than UNCR (median, day 11 versus median, day 19). Conclusions and Clinical Importance: The UNCR was early marker of gentamicin-induced AKI and its decrease documented onset of renal recovery. Additional studies are needed to validate this marker in dogs with naturally occurring renal injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)200-205
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016



  • Acute kidney injury
  • Biomarker
  • Neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin
  • UNGAL to urinary creatinine ratio

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)

Cite this