Urinary biomarkers and renal near-infrared spectroscopy predict intensive care unit outcomes after cardiac surgery in infants younger than 6 months of age

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2013 Oct;146(4):861-867.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2012.12.012. Epub 2013 Jan 12.


Objective: To assess the ability of urinary acute kidney injury biomarkers and renal near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) to predict outcomes in infants after surgery for congenital heart disease.

Methods: Urinary levels of neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL), interleukin-18 (IL-18), kidney injury molecule-1 (KIM-1), and cystatin C were measured preoperatively and postoperatively in 49 infants younger than 6 months of age. Renal NIRS was monitored for the first 24 hours after surgery. A composite poor outcome was defined as death, the need for renal replacement therapy, prolonged time to first extubation, or prolonged intensive care unit length of stay.

Results: Forty-two (86%) patients had acute kidney injury as indicated by at least Acute Kidney Injury Network/Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (AKIN/KDIGO) stage 1 criteria, and 17 (35%) patients had poor outcomes, including 3 deaths. With the exception of KIM-1, all biomarkers demonstrated significant increases within 24 hours postoperatively among patients with poor outcomes. Low levels of NGAL and IL-18 demonstrated high negative predictive values (91%) within 2 hours postoperatively. Poor outcome infants had greater cumulative time with NIRS saturations less than 50% (60 vs 1.5 minutes; P = .02) in the first 24 hours.

Conclusions: Within the first 24 hours after cardiopulmonary bypass, infants at increased risk for poor outcomes demonstrated elevated urinary NGAL, IL-18, and cystatin C and increased time with low NIRS saturations. These findings suggest that urinary biomarkers and renal NIRS may differentiate patients with good versus poor outcomes in the early postoperative period, which could assist clinicians when counseling families and inform the development of future clinical trials.

Keywords: 41.3; AKI; AKIN; Acute Kidney Injury Network; CPB; ECMO; ICU; IL-18; KDIGO; KIM-1; Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes; NGAL; NIRS; RACHS-1; RIFLE; RIFLE criteria modified to pediatrics; RRT; Risk Adjustment for Congenital Heart Surgery 1; Risk, Injury, Failure, Loss, End-stage kidney disease; S(Cr); acute kidney injury; cardiopulmonary bypass; extracorporeal membrane oxygenation; intensive care unit; interleukin 18; kidney injury molecule-1; near-infrared spectroscopy; neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin; pRIFLE; rSO(2); regional oxyhemoglobin saturation; renal replacement therapy; serum creatinine.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury / blood
  • Acute Kidney Injury / diagnosis*
  • Acute Kidney Injury / etiology
  • Acute Kidney Injury / mortality
  • Acute Kidney Injury / therapy
  • Acute Kidney Injury / urine
  • Acute-Phase Proteins / urine*
  • Age Factors
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Biomarkers / urine
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures / adverse effects*
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures / mortality
  • Cardiopulmonary Bypass / adverse effects
  • Cystatin C / urine*
  • Female
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / blood
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / mortality
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / surgery*
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / urine
  • Hepatitis A Virus Cellular Receptor 1
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal
  • Intensive Care Units, Pediatric*
  • Interleukin-18 / urine*
  • Length of Stay
  • Lipocalin-2
  • Lipocalins / urine*
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / urine
  • Oxyhemoglobins / metabolism*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / urine*
  • Receptors, Virus
  • Renal Replacement Therapy
  • Risk Factors
  • Spectroscopy, Near-Infrared*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Up-Regulation


  • Acute-Phase Proteins
  • Biomarkers
  • CST3 protein, human
  • Cystatin C
  • HAVCR1 protein, human
  • Hepatitis A Virus Cellular Receptor 1
  • Interleukin-18
  • LCN2 protein, human
  • Lipocalin-2
  • Lipocalins
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Oxyhemoglobins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Receptors, Virus