Purpose: Kidneys procured from donors after cardiac death hold great potential to expand the donor pool. However, they have not yet been fully used, in part due to the high incidence of delayed graft function. Although urine neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin is a well-known early biomarker for renal injury after kidney transplantation, its usefulness is limited in cases with delayed graft function because of the unavailability of a urine sample. We evaluated serum neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin as a potential biomarker to predict the functional recovery of kidneys transplanted from donors after cardiac death. Materials and Methods: Consecutive patients transplanted with a kidney from a living related (39), brain dead (1) or post-cardiac death (27) donor were retrospectively enrolled in the study. Serum samples were collected serially before and after kidney transplantation. Serum neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin was measured using the ARCHITECT® assay. Results: Average serum neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin was markedly high during the pre transplantation period. It decreased rapidly after transplantation. The slope of the decrease correlated well with the recovery period. By analyzing ROC curves we determined cutoffs to predict immediate, slow or delayed graft function requiring hemodialysis for longer than 1 week with high sensitivity and specificity. Conclusions: These data suggest that serial monitoring of serum neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin may allow us to predict graft recovery and the need for hemodialysis after kidney transplantation from a donor after cardiac death.
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