Increased Urinary Liver-Type Fatty Acid-Binding Protein Level Predicts Major Adverse Cardiovascular Events in Patients With Hypertension

Am J Hypertens. 2020 Jul 18;33(7):604-609. doi: 10.1093/ajh/hpaa035.


Background: Urinary liver-type fatty acid-binding protein (L-FABP) has been known as a potential biomarker for acute kidney injury. It has also been suggested to have an effective predictive value for cardiovascular mortality in patients with diabetes or critically ill condition. Therefore, this study aimed to examine the ability of urinary L-FABP in predicting mid-term cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in patients with hypertension.

Methods: Urinary L-FABP levels in stable outpatients without diabetes who were treated with antihypertensive drugs were measured, and a 5-year follow-up was planned. The primary end-point was a combination of acute heart failure requiring hospitalization, myocardial infarction, stroke, and cardiovascular death. The secondary end-point was kidney disease progression defined as a relative decline in the estimated glomerular filtration rate of ≥30% from the baseline.

Results: A total of 197 patients were recruited. Primary and secondary end-points occurred in 24 (12.2%) and 42 (21.3%) patients, respectively, during a median follow-up of 5.7 years. Patients with urinary L-FABP levels higher than the upper limit (8.4 µg/g creatinine) were more likely to reach the primary (30.43% vs. 9.77%; P = 0.003) and secondary end-points (56.52% vs. 16.67%; P < 0.001) than those with urinary L-FABP levels within the normal limits. Urinary L-FABP level was independently associated with both primary (hazard ratio (HR) 1.21; P = 0.03) and secondary end-points (HR 1.19; P = 0.02).

Conclusions: This study demonstrated that increased urinary L-FABP levels may predict adverse cardiovascular events and renal dysfunction progression even among stable nondiabetic patients with hypertension.

Keywords: biomarker; blood pressure; hypertension; kidney disease progression; liver-type fatty acid-binding protein; major adverse cardiovascular events.