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Research at Vanderbilt

Kidney woes during heart failure

by | Posted on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012 — 8:00 AM

Patients who present to the Emergency Department (ED) with acute heart failure have multiple co-morbidities, including abnormal kidney function, which is associated with increased risk of complications. Reliable early markers of worsening renal function in patients with acute heart failure are lacking.

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Sean Collins, M.D., associate professor of Emergency Medicine, and colleagues tested urinary levels of NGAL (an indicator of kidney tubular injury) at presentation and 12-24 hours after treatment in ED patients with acute heart failure. They followed the patients for 5- and 30-day adverse cardiovascular events. The researchers found that high urinary NGAL levels 12-24 hours after ED therapy are associated with both worsening renal function at 72-96 hours and with 30-day adverse events.

The findings, reported in the September issue of the European Journal of Heart Failure, suggest that urinary NGAL levels 12-24 hours after acute heart failure therapy may be a better predictor of worsening renal function than other available laboratory data. If future studies confirm the findings, NGAL may have a role for guiding therapeutic decisions.

This research was supported by grants from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (HL085387) and the National Center for Research Resources/National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (RR026314) of the National Institutes of Health, and by Abbott Point of Care.

Contact:
Leigh MacMillan, (615) 322-4747
leigh.macmillan@vanderbilt.edu