Scientists find warning signs for developing kidney injury after surgery

Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a common but preventable complication after surgery that can lead to other complications or even death. The use and development of biomarkers will help physicians diagnose and treat acute kidney injury.

Three protein measurements indicate who has a high risk of developing kidney injury after heart surgery, according to two studies appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

The studies included more than 1,200 adults and 300 children undergoing heart surgery throughout North America. Frequent urine and blood samples were collected to measure levels of three proteins – urine interleukin-18 (IL-18) and urine and plasma (blood) neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL)—and assess their ability to predict who will develop kidney injury after surgery.

Traditionally, kidney trouble is assessed by measuring the blood protein creatinine, which is not ideal because it has a delayed result—it does not pick up early damage and injury to the kidneys.

Read more at Journal of the American Society of Nephrology