The role of renal biomarkers to predict the need of surgery in congenital urinary tract obstruction in infants.

The diagnosis of renal function impairment and deterioration in congenital urinary tract obstruction (UTO) continues to be extremely challenging. The use of new renal biomarkers in this setting may favor early renal injury detection, allowing for a reliable choice of optimal therapeutic options and the prevention or minimization of definitive renal damage.

The aim of the study was to investigate a selection of promising biomarkers of renal injury with the intention of evaluating and comparing their profile with clinically based decisions for surgical intervention of infants with congenital obstructive uropathies.

The first-year profile of renal biomarkers, serum creatinine (sCr), serum and urine cystatin C (CyC), neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL), kidney injury molecule-1 (KIM-1), transforming growth factor beta-1 (TGF-β1), retinol-binding protein (RBP), and microalbuminuria (μALB), was analyzed in a cohort of 37 infants with congenital UTO, divided into three subgroups, 14 cases with grade III unilateral hydro(uretero)nephrosis, 13 cases with grade III bilateral hydro(uretero)nephrosis, and 10 cases with low urinary tract obstruction (LUTO), compared with 24 healthy infants matched by gestational age and birth weight. Serum and urine samples were stored at -70 °C and thereafter analyzed by quantitative enzymatic immunoassay.

Compared with the control group (Figure), all renal biomarker values were significantly increased in patients (P ≤ 0.02). In the unilateral hydronephrosis and LUTO group, RBP (P ≤ 0.043), NGAL (P ≤ 0.043), KIM-1 (P ≤ 0.03), and TGF-β1 (P ≤ 0.034) values dropped significantly after surgery. Neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin alone and in combination with urine and serum CyC demonstrated the best performance in determining the need for surgery (area under the curve, 0.801 and 0.881, respectively). Biomarker profile analysis was suggestive of surgical intervention in 55.4% (7/13) of non-operated cases, and most of the biomarker values were above the cutoff levels within at least 3 months before the clinically based surgical decision in 58% (14/24) of all operated patients.

To the best of the authors' knowledge, this is the first study to present the clinical use of selected group of serum and urinary biomarkers in the setting of UTO to distinguish between patients who would benefit from surgery intervention. The most promising results were obtained using NGAL, RBP, TGF-β1, and KIM-1, especially in the unilateral hydro(uretero)nephrosis and LUTO subgroups when compared with the control group.

Urine biomarkers, alone and in combination, demonstrated high potential as a non-invasive diagnostic tool for identifying infants who may benefit from earlier surgical intervention.

Journal of pediatric urology. 2019 Mar 16 [Epub ahead of print]

D Kostic, G P N S Beozzo, S B do Couto, A H T Kato, L Lima, P Palmeira, V L J Krebs, V Bunduki, R P V Francisco, M Zugaib, F T Dénes, W B de Carvalho, V H K Koch

Pediatric Nephrology Unit, Instituto da Criança - Hospital das Clínicas da Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil. Electronic address: ., Department of Pediatrics, Instituto da Criança - Hospital das Clínicas da Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil., Pediatric Nephrology Unit, Instituto da Criança - Hospital das Clínicas da Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil., Laborathory of Clinical Investigations (LIM-36) - Instituto da Criança - Hospital das Clínicas da Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil., Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hospital Das Clínicas da Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil., Division of Pediatric and Neonatal Urology, Department of Urology, Hospital das Clínicas da Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.

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