Assessment and prediction of acute kidney injury in patients with decompensated cirrhosis with serum cystatin C and urine N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase

The Korean Study Group of Portal Hypertension

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Background and Aim: For appropriate management of acute kidney injury (AKI) in cirrhotic patients, accurate differentiation of the types of AKI, prerenal azotemia (PRA), hepatorenal syndrome (HRS), and acute tubular necrosis (ATN) is very important. Urine N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase (NAG) has been proposed as a good tubular injury marker in many studies, but its efficacy in cirrhosis is unclear. This study was performed to evaluate the usefulness of urine NAG in patients with decompensated cirrhosis. Methods: In 114 hospitalized patients with decompensated cirrhosis, we assessed serum creatinine, cystatin C, and urine NAG levels as markers for AKI differentiation and development and patient mortality. Results: Thirty patients diagnosed with AKI at baseline had significantly higher serum creatinine and cystatin C levels, urine NAG levels, and Child–Pugh scores than those without AKI. Only urine NAG levels were significantly higher in patients with ATN than those with PRA or HRS (116.1 ± 46.8 U/g vs 39.4 ± 20.2 or 54.0 ± 19.2 U/g urinary creatinine, all P < 0.05). During a median follow up of 6.1 months, AKI developed in 17 of 84 patients: PRA in nine, HRS in six, and ATN in three. Higher serum cystatin C and urine NAG levels were independent predictors of AKI development in patients with decompensated cirrhosis. Survival was significantly associated with low serum cystatin C and urine NAG levels. Conclusion: Serum cystatin C and urine NAG levels are useful to differentiate types of AKI and are strong predictors for AKI development and mortality in patients with decompensated cirrhosis.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (Australia)
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2018 Jan 1



  • acute kidney injury
  • acute tubular necrosis
  • cystatin C
  • hepatorenal syndrome
  • liver cirrhosis
  • N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology

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