C-terminal fragment of agrin (CAF) levels predict acute kidney injury after acute myocardial infarction

BMC Nephrol. 2017 Jun 24;18(1):202. doi: 10.1186/s12882-017-0611-9.


Background: Patients with acute myocardial infarction are at high risk for acute kidney injury. Novel biomarkers that can predict acute kidney injury in AMI may allow timely interventions. C-terminal fragment of agrin (CAF), a proteoglycan of the glomerular and tubular basement membrane, have been recently associated with rapid renal function deterioration and proximal tubular dysfunction. It is unknown whether elevated CAF levels may serve as a novel AKI biomarker in patients presenting with AMI.

Methods: In 436 persons enrolled in a multicenter prospective observational cohort study of patients with acute myocardial infarction, we measured plasma and urine levels of several kidney injury biomarkers including CAF, neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL), interleukin-18 (IL-18) and cystatin-C.The relationship between biomarker levels at baseline and the development of AKI and long-term mortality were analyzed after adjustment for demographic and clinical variables.

Results: AKI incidence was up to 15% during hospitalization. The predictive accuracy for AKI of urinary CAF was similar to NGAL and superior to other tested kidney injury biomarkers. In a multivariate model that included all possible confounding variables only urinary CAF continued to be an independent marker for AKI (OR 1.35 95%CI 1.05 -1.74). During the 2 years follow-up, only plasma CAF levels remained a significant independent predictor of mortality (OR 2.5 95%CI 1.02-6.2; P = 0.04).

Conclusions: Elevated CAF levels are associated with AKI in patients with acute myocardial infarction. Our study provides preliminary evidence that CAF levels may predict AKI and mortality after AMI in low risk patients with relative preserved kidney function at baseline.

Keywords: Acute kidney injury; Acute myocardial infarction; Biomarkers; C-terminal agrin fragment.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury / diagnosis*
  • Acute Kidney Injury / metabolism*
  • Acute Kidney Injury / mortality
  • Aged
  • Agrin / metabolism*
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / diagnosis*
  • Myocardial Infarction / metabolism*
  • Myocardial Infarction / mortality
  • Peptide Fragments / metabolism*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prospective Studies


  • Agrin
  • Biomarkers
  • C-terminal agrin fragment
  • Peptide Fragments