Evidence suggests that novel biomarkers predict acute kidney injury (AKI) development and outcome earlier than serum creatinine. The aim of this study was to determine the incidence and prognosis of AKI in decompensated cirrhotic patients, and also assess the usefulness of plasma cystatin C, urine neutrophil gelatinase associated lipocalin (NGAL), tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-2 (TIMP-2) and insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 7 (IGFBP7) in early prediction of AKI and mortality. Single-center, prospective observational study enrolling decompensated cirrhotic patients without AKI at the time of admission. Of 111 patients with decompensated cirrhosis, 45 (40.5%) developed AKI while hospitalized. Even with 53.3% being transient (stage 1), mortality was significantly higher in AKI than non-AKI patients (46.5% vs. 25%, p = 0.02). Plasma cystatin C and urine NGAL, but not urine [TIMP-2]·[IGFBP7] at the time of admission were found to be independent early predictors of AKI. Substitution of cystatin C for creatinine significantly improved the model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) score accuracy for mortality prediction. The incidence of AKI is high and is associated with high mortality in decompensated cirrhotic patients. Plasma cystatin C and urine NGAL are useful for early detection of AKI. MELD-cystatin C, rather than original MELD, improves predictive accuracy of mortality.
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