Objective: This study was conducted to evaluate the predictive value of urinary neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (uNGAL) for acute kidney injury (AKI) among septic preterm infants.
Methods: Twenty-six very low-birth-weight (VLBW) babies were separated into three groups: group I, healthy preterms; group II, preterms with sepsis but without AKI; group III, preterms with sepsis and AKI. Demographic, clinical, and laboratory data of the babies were recorded. uNGAL and creatinine values were obtained on days 1, 3, and 7 of life.
Results: uNGAL levels differed statistically among three groups for all 3 days. Levels in group I (days 1, 3, and 7) were significant lower than levels in both groups II and III [median (interquartile range): 4.5 (10.8) µ/L, 8.7 (18.5) µ/L, and 4.3 (1.1) µ/L, respectively]. In group III, uNGAL levels on days 1 and 3 were significantly higher than levels in group II (p = 0.001, 0.016, respectively).
Conclusion: First-day uNGAL levels were higher in VLBW preterm infants who later developed sepsis; whether the baby had AKI or not; but uNGAL levels were higher in septic babies with AKI compared with the infants without AKI. uNGAL is a promising early biomarker of AKI in VLBW infants with sepsis.
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