Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a serious complication after liver transplantation. Currently there are no validated biomarkers available for early diagnosis of AKI. The current study was carried out to determine the usefulness of the recently identified biomarkers netrin-1 and semaphorin 3A in predicting AKI in liver transplant patients. A total of 63 patients' samples were collected and analyzed. AKI was detected at 48 hours after liver transplantation using serum creatinine as a marker. In contrast, urine netrin-1 (897.8±112.4 pg/mg creatinine), semaphorin 3A (847.9±93.3 pg/mg creatinine) and NGAL (2172.2±378.1 ng/mg creatinine) levels were increased significantly and peaked at 2 hours after liver transplantation but were no longer significantly elevated at 6 hours after transplantation. The predictive power of netrin-1, as demonstrated by the area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve for diagnosis of AKI at 2, 6, and 24 hours after liver transplantation was 0.66, 0.57 and 0.59, respectively. The area under the curve for diagnosis of AKI was 0.63 and 0.65 for semaphorin 3A and NGAL at 2 hr respectively. Combined analysis of two or more biomarkers for simultaneous occurrence in urine did not improve the AUC for the prediction of AKI whereas the AUC was improved significantly (0.732) only when at least 1 of the 3 biomarkers in urine was positive for predicting AKI. Adjusting for BMI, all three biomarkers at 2 hours remained independent predictors of AKI with an odds ratio of 1.003 (95% confidence interval: 1.000 to 1.006; P = 0.0364). These studies demonstrate that semaphorin 3A and netrin-1 can be useful early diagnostic biomarkers of AKI after liver transplantation.
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