J Clin Med. 2021 Nov 18;10(22):5379. doi: 10.3390/jcm10225379.
Acute kidney injury (AKI) is one of the most common complications in critically ill patients. In recent years, studies have focused on exploring new biomarkers for the early diagnosis and prognosis of AKI. The aim of this study was to investigate serum prognostic biomarkers (neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin, NGAL, and creatinine) of AKI in critically ill patients. The study included 266 critically ill, initially nonseptic, patients admitted to a multidisciplinary ICU. Serum levels of NGAL and creatinine were measured at ICU admission. ROC curves were generated to estimate the prognostic value of the biomarkers, while a logistic regression analysis was performed to assess their association with an increased AKI risk. Patients were divided in two groups based on the development (n = 98) or not (n = 168) of AKI during their ICU stay. Serum NGAL levels at ICU admission were significantly higher in those who subsequently developed AKI compared to those who did not (p < 0.0001). NGAL was shown to be more accurate in predicting AKI development than creatinine; furthermore, NGAL levels were associated with an increased risk of AKI development (1.005 (1.002-1.008), p < 0.0001). In the present study, we were able to demonstrate that increased serum NGAL levels at ICU admission might be predictive of AKI development during ICU hospitalization. Further studies are needed to support NGAL as a prognostic marker of acute kidney injury.