Clin Nephrol. 2023 Jan 23. doi: 10.5414/CN110952. Online ahead of print.
INTRODUCTION: Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a frequent condition in patients hospitalized for COVID-19. There are only a few reports on the use of urinary biomarkers in COVID-19 and no data so far comparing the prognostic use of individual biomarkers in the prediction of adverse outcomes.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We performed a prospective mono-centric study on the value of urinary biomarkers in predicting the composite endpoint of a transfer to the intensive care unit, the need for renal replacement therapy, mechanical ventilation, and in-hospital mortality. 41 patients hospitalized for COVID-19 were enrolled in this study. Urine samples were obtained shortly after admission to assess neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL), kidney injury molecule-1 (KIM-1), calprotectin, and vascular non-inflammatory molecule-1 (vanin-1).
RESULTS: We identified calprotectin as a predictor of a severe course of the disease requiring intensive care treatment (AUC 0.728, p = 0.016). Positive and negative predictive values were 78.6% and 76.9%, respectively, using a cut-off concentration of 127.8 ng/mL. NGAL tended to predict COVID-19-associated AKI without reaching statistical significance (AUC 0.669, p = 0.053). The best parameter in the prediction of in-hospital mortality was NGAL as well (AUC 0.674, p = 0.077). KIM-1 and vanin-1 did not reach significance for any of the investigated endpoints.
CONCLUSION: While KIM-1 and vanin-1 did not provide prognostic clinical information in the context of COVID-19, the present study shows that urinary calprotectin is moderately predictive of the need for intensive care unit (ICU) admission, and NGAL may be modestly predictive of AKI in COVID-19. Calprotectin and NGAL show promise as potential helpful adjuncts in the identification of patients at increased risk of poor outcomes or complications in COVID-19.