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Serum NGAL Is Superior to Cystatin C in Predicting the Prognosis of Acute-on-Chronic Liver Failure

Jianchun Lu, Lin Lin, Chunyan Ye, Qian Tao, Manman Cui, Shuqin Zheng, Dongmei Zhu, Longgen Liu, Yuan Xue


Introduction and aim. Acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) is a syndrome with high short-term mortality, and predicting the prognosis is challenging. This study aimed to compare the performance of neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) and cystatin C (CysC) in predicting the 90-day mortality in patients with hepatitis B virus (HBV)-associated ACLF (HBV-ACLF). Materials and methods. This prospective, observational study enrolled 54 patients with HBV-ACLF. The serum NGAL and CysC levels were determined. A multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to analyze the independent risk factors of mortality. Results. Serum NGAL, but not CysC, was found to significantly correlate with the total bilirubin, international normalized ratio, and model for end-stage liver disease (MELD). Serum NGAL [odds ratio (OR), 1.008; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.004-1.012; P < 0.01], but not CysC, was an independent risk factor for developing hepatorenal syndrome. Moreover, NGAL (OR, 1.005; 95% CI, 1.001-1.010; P < 0.01) along with the MELD score was independently associated with the overall survival in patients with HBV-ACLF. Patients with HBV-ACLF were stratified into two groups according to the serum NGAL level at baseline (low risk: <217.11 ng/mL and high risk: ≥ 217.11 ng/mL). The 90-day mortality rate was 22.73% (5/22) in the low-risk group and 71.88% (23/32) in the high-risk group. Moreover, NGAL, but not CysC, significantly improved the MELD score in predicting the prognosis of HBV-ACLF. Conclusion. The serum NGAL might be superior to CysC in predicting the prognosis of HBV-ACLF with the normal creatinine level.

Key words. Creatinine, Glomerular filtration rate, Model for end-stage liver disease, Neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin, Mortality

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The Official Journal of the Mexican Association of Hepatology, the Latin-American Association for the Study of the Liver and the Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver

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