Study Suggests Urine NGAL Biomarker May Help Predict Delayed Graft Function

By Abbott, PRNE
Wednesday, January 19, 2011

DELKENHEIM, Germany, January 20, 2011 - A diagnostic test for early detection of acute kidney injury may assist
in predicting delayed graft function (DGF) in kidney transplant patients,
according to a Finnish study published in Kidney International, the journal
of the International Society of Nephrology.

DGF occurs when a transplanted kidney does not function immediately. It
is a common complication after kidney transplants, and in some reports, the
incidence is as high as 40 percent. DGF is an increasing problem as more
kidneys coming from expanded criteria donors are accepted for

The aim of the study, led by Maria Hollmen, M.D., Helsinki University
Hospital, was to examine how serial urine NGAL (neutrophil
gelatinase-associated lipocalin) concentrations change over time following
kidney transplants and whether urine concentrations of NGAL can predict the
onset of delayed graft function or prolonged delayed graft function.

DGF and prolonged DGF (14 days or longer) can cause acute organ
rejection, require patients to undergo dialysis, prolong post-transplant
hospital stays, and increase post-operative care costs. According to the
study's authors, there is an unmet medical need for an effective test to help
predict delayed graft function soon after transplantation, which could help
in developing therapeutic interventions to prevent DGF.

"Day one urinary NGAL predicted DGF even when it was not clinically
expected early on, and importantly, it predicted prolonged DGF that led to
worse graft survival," according to Dr. Hollmen.

One-hundred-and-seventy-six renal transplant patients were evaluated in
the study. Urine samples were collected before transplantation and for
several days afterward. Seventy patients had DGF and 26 of them were

The patients who developed DGF had a significantly slower decrease in
urinary NGAL compared to those without DGF. Urine NGAL levels measured a day
following transplant predicted prolonged DGF, which had significantly worse
one-year graft survival (73 percent) compared with shorter DGF (100 percent).

In the study, the researchers concluded that urine NGAL measurements can
predict prolonged DGF and identify patients with severe kidney injury and
inferior long-term organ survival. They added that the test also provides a
simple method to quantify recovery from kidney injury.

About NGAL

Urine NGAL, a protein found in kidney tubules, can aid in the diagnosis
of acute kidney injury (AKI). AKI is a common and potentially devastating
illness that quickly reduces the ability of the kidneys to filter waste, a
condition which can then progress to kidney failure. Common causes of AKI
include sepsis, major surgery, coardiogenic shock, trauma, and medications
toxic to the kidney. Abbott has introduced an automated Urine NGAL assay in
Europe on ARCHITECT(R), the company's flagship instrument system.

About Abbott Diagnostics

Abbott is a global leader in in vitro diagnostics and offers a broad
range of innovative instrument systems and tests for hospitals, reference
labs, molecular labs, blood banks, physician offices and clinics. With more
than 69,000 customers in more than 100 countries, Abbott's diagnostic
products offer customers automation, convenience, bedside testing,
cost-effectiveness and flexibility. Abbott has helped transform the practice
of medical diagnosis from an art to a science through the company's
commitment to improving patient care and lowering costs.

About Abbott

Abbott (NYSE: ABT) is a global, broad-based health care company devoted
to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals
and medical products, including nutritionals, devices and diagnostics. The
company employs nearly 90,000 people and markets its products in more than
130 countries.

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