Markers warn of progressive kidney problems after heart surgery

March 1, 2012, American Society of Nephrology

Blood and urine markers can indicate which patients with an abrupt kidney injury following heart surgery will experience progressive kidney problems, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology (JASN). Testing for these markers soon after surgery could help doctors protect the health of patients' kidneys.

Acute (AKI), an abrupt or in , is an increasingly prevalent condition. Sometimes AKI arises following heart surgery because the kidneys are deprived of normal blood flow for extended periods of time during the procedure.

In most cases, AKI after heart surgery resolves quickly, but some cases worsen and can seriously affect patients' health and survival. Until now, doctors have not been able to determine which cases of AKI that develop after heart surgery will worsen.

To see if certain markers in the blood and urine might provide some clues, Chirag Parikh, MD, PhD (Yale University School of Medicine), Jay Koyner, MD (University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine), and their colleagues evaluated the blood and urine of 380 patients who developed AKI after .

The investigators found that the presence of certain markers on the day that AKI is diagnosed can indicate structural injury to the kidneys that will likely cause patients to experience progressive problems. High urinary interleukin-18 and a measure called the albumin-to-creatinine ratio increased patients' risk of experiencing persistent AKI by approximately three-fold, while high blood levels of a protein called neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin increased their risk by more than seven-fold.

"Our multi-center study is the largest acute kidney injury biomarker study performed to date in adults, and it strengthens the new paradigm that assessing structural injury at the time of with urine or blood markers of kidney injury can yield important prognostic information," said Dr. Parikh. "Future studies can build on this work and use these markers to enroll patients who are at a high risk for AKI and its associated complications into clinical trials of promising therapies," he added.

Explore further: Warning signs predict kidney injury after surgery

More information: The article, entitled "Biomarkers Predict Progression of Acute Kidney Injury following Cardiac Surgery," will appear online on March 1, 2012, doi: 10.1681/ASN.2011090907

Related Stories

Warning signs predict kidney injury after surgery

August 12, 2011
Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a common – but preventable -- complication after surgery that can lead to other complications or even death. The use and development of biomarkers will help physicians diagnose and treat ...

Patients with persistent kidney injuries rarely see specialists

December 8, 2011
Most patients with an abrupt kidney injury that does not get better do not see a kidney specialist within a year, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology (JASN). ...

Kidney injury: A serious risk to the health and survival of today's soldiers

December 8, 2011
Acute kidney injury (AKI), an abrupt or rapid decline in kidney function, is a serious and increasingly prevalent condition. Little information has been available about how common or how severe AKI is in military personnel ...

Recommended for you

Creation of synthetic horsepox virus could lead to more effective smallpox vaccine

January 19, 2018
UAlberta researchers created a new synthetic virus that could lead to the development of a more effective vaccine against smallpox. The discovery demonstrates how techniques based on the use of synthetic DNA can be used to ...

Study ends debate over role of steroids in treating septic shock

January 19, 2018
The results from the largest ever study of septic shock could improve treatment for critically ill patients and save health systems worldwide hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

New approach could help curtail hospitalizations due to influenza infection

January 18, 2018
More than 700,000 Americans were hospitalized due to illnesses associated with the seasonal flu during the 2014-15 flu season, according to federal estimates. A radical new approach to vaccine development at UCLA may help ...

Zika virus damages placenta, which may explain malformed babies

January 18, 2018
Though the Zika virus is widely known for a recent outbreak that caused children to be born with microencephaly, or having a small head, and other malformations, scientists have struggled to explain how the virus affects ...

Certain flu virus mutations may compensate for fitness costs of other mutations

January 18, 2018
Seasonal flu viruses continually undergo mutations that help them evade the human immune system, but some of these mutations can reduce a virus's potency. According to new research published in PLOS Pathogens, certain mutations ...

Study reveals how MRSA infection compromises lymphatic function

January 17, 2018
Infections of the skin or other soft tissues with the hard-to-treat MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) bacteria appear to permanently compromise the lymphatic system, which is crucial to immune system function. ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.