Indexed on: 19 Dec '13Published on: 19 Dec '13Published in: Circulation. Heart failure
In patients with heart failure, renal dysfunction is associated with a poor outcome. We aimed to assess the prognostic value of plasma neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL), a novel marker of renal tubular damage, in patients with heart failure with or without renal dysfunction, and compare it with 2 frequently used biomarkers of chronic kidney disease.Plasma NGAL, estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), and cystatin C were assessed in 562 patients with heart failure. Chronic kidney disease was defined as eGFR<60 mL/min per 1.73 m2. Outcome was all-cause mortality at 36 months. Mean age was 71±11 years, 61% were men, and 97% were in New York Heart Association functional class II/III. Mean baseline eGFR was 54±20 mL/min per 1.73 m2, mean cystatin C was 11.2 (7.7-16.2) mg/L, and median plasma NGAL was 85 (60-123) ng/mL. Higher plasma NGAL levels were independently associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality, in patients with and without chronic kidney disease (hazard ratio [per SD increase in log NGAL]=1.45 [1.22-1.72]; P<0.001 and hazard ratio=1.51 [1.06-2.16]; P=0.023, respectively). Similarly, both in patients with high and low cystatin C (median cut-off), higher plasma NGAL levels were independently associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality. Moreover, when NGAL was entered in the multivariable risk prediction model, eGFR (P=0.616) and cystatin C (P=0.937) were no longer associated with mortality.Plasma NGAL predicts mortality in patients with heart failure, both in patients with and without chronic kidney disease and is a stronger predictor for mortality than the established renal function indices eGFR and cystatin C.