We prospectively investigated the prognostic value of urinary liver-type fatty-acid-binding protein (L-FABP) levels on hospital admission, both independently and in combination with serum creatinine-defined acute kidney injury (AKI), to predict long-term adverse outcomes in 1119 heterogeneous patients (mean age; 68 years) treated at medical (non-surgical) cardiac intensive care units (CICUs). Patients with stage 5 chronic kidney disease were excluded from the study. Of these patients, 47% had acute coronary syndrome and 38% had acute decompensated heart failure. The creatinine-defined AKI was diagnosed according to the "Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes" criteria. The primary endpoint was a composite of all-cause death or progression to end-stage kidney disease, indicating the initiation of maintenance dialysis therapy or kidney transplantation. Creatinine-defined AKI occurred in 207 patients, with 44 patients having stage 2 or 3 disease. During a mean follow-up period of 41 months after enrollment, the primary endpoint occurred in 242 patients. Multivariate Cox regression analyses revealed L-FABP levels as independent predictors of the primary endpoint (p < 0.001). Adding L-FABP to a baseline model with established risk factors further enhanced reclassification and discrimination beyond that of the baseline model alone, for primary-endpoint prediction (both; p < 0.01). On Kaplan-Meier analyses, increased L-FABP (≥4th quintile value of 9.0 ng/mL) on admission or presence of creatinine-defined AKI, correlated with an increased risk of the primary endpoint (p < 0.001). Thus, urinary L-FABP levels on admission are potent and independent predictors of long-term adverse outcomes, and they might improve the long-term risk stratification of patients admitted at medical CICUs, when used in combination with creatinine-defined AKI.
Keywords: acute kidney injury; cardiac intensive care units; liver-type fatty-acid-binding protein; long-term outcomes.