AIMS - Reliable detectors of worsening renal function (WRF) in Emergency Department (ED) patients with acute heart failure (AHF) are limited. We hypothesized that initial urinary neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalcin (NGAL) levels, and changes in urinary NGAL levels after initial ED AHF therapy, would be associated with WRF and adverse events.
METHODS AND RESULTS - Urinary NGAL upon ED presentation and 12-24 h after ED treatment was measured in a cohort of ED patients with AHF. NGAL was corrected for urinary creatinine (uCr). WRF was defined as RIFLE stages 1, 2, or 3, or a creatinine increase of ≥0.3 mg/dL. Patients were prospectively followed for 5- and 30-day adverse cardiovascular events. The 399 patients had a median age of 63 years, 50% were Caucasian, and 62% were male. Those with WRF at 72-96 h were more likely to have a higher initial NGAL value (71 vs. 32 ng NGAL/mg uCr) (P = 0.005), and a higher NGAL level at 12-24 h after ED therapy (107 vs. 25ng NGAL/mg uCr, P < 0.001). In a multivariable model, NGAL at 12-24 h remained a significant predictor of WRF (P = 0.012). Of all variables available 12-24 h after initial therapy, the only significant predictor of 30-day events was an elevated urinary NGAL level (P = 0.02).
CONCLUSIONS - Urinary NGAL levels determined 12-24 h after ED therapy are significantly associated with both WRF at 72-96 h and 30-day adverse events. This suggests that early management strategies may have an impact on subsequent WRF and outcomes. If confirmed, NGAL may have a role for guiding therapeutic decisions.