Whole blood neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin predicts acute kidney injury in burn patients

Soman Sen, Zack R. Godwin, Tina L Palmieri, David G Greenhalgh, Amanda N. Steele, Nam Tran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Background Early detection of acute kidney injury (AKI) in severely burn-injured patients can help alter treatment to prevent progression to acute failure and reduce the need for renal replacement therapy. We hypothesized that whole blood neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) will be increased in severely burn-injured patients who develop AKI during acute resuscitation. Materials and methods We performed a prospective observation study of adult burn patients with a 20% total body surface area (TBSA) burned or greater burn injury. Two-hour serial measurements of NGAL, serum creatinine (Cr), and hourly urine output (UO) were collected for 48 h after admission. Our primary goal was to correlate the risk of AKI in the first week after burn injury with serial NGAL levels in the first 48 h after admission. Our secondary goal was to determine if NGAL was an earlier independent predictor of AKI compared with Cr and UO. Results We enrolled 30 adult (age 18 y) burn patients with the mean ± standard deviation age of 40.9 ± 15.4 and mean TBSA of 46.4 ± 22.4. Fourteen patients developed AKI within the first 7 d after burn injury. There were no differences in age, TBSA, fluid administration, mean arterial pressure, UO, and Cr between AKI and no-AKI patients. NGAL was significantly increased as early as 4 h after injury (182.67 ± 83.3 versus 107.37 ± 46.15) in the AKI group. Controlling for age, TBSA, and inhalation injury, NGAL was a predictor of AKI at 4 h after injury (odds ratio, 1.02) and remained predictive of AKI for the period of more than the first 24 h after admission. UO and Cr were not predictive of AKI in the first 24 h after admission. Conclusions Whole blood NGAL is markedly increased in burn patients who develop AKI in the first week after injury. In addition, NGAL is an early independent predictor of AKI during acute resuscitation for severe burn injury. UO and Cr are not predictive of AKI during this time period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)382-387
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 15 2015


  • Acute renal injury
  • Burn injury
  • NGAL
  • Resuscitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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