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Considerations in Controlling for Urine Concentration for Biomarkers of Kidney Disease Progression After Acute Kidney Injury

Biomarkers of acute kidney injury (AKI) are often indexed to urine creatinine (UCr) or urine osmolarity (UOsm) to control for urine concentration. We evaluated how these approaches affect the biomarker-outcome association in patients with AKI. The Assessment, Serial Evaluation, and Subsequent Sequelae in Acute Kidney Injury Study was a cohort of hospitalized patients with and without AKI between 2009 and 2015. Using Cox proportional hazards regression, we assessed the associations and predictions (C-statistics) of urine biomarkers with a composite outcome of incident chronic kidney disease (CKD) and CKD progression. We used 4 approaches to account for urine concentration: indexing and adjusting for UCr and UOsm. Among 1538 participants, 769 (50%) had AKI and 300 (19.5%) developed composite CKD outcome at median follow-up of 4.7 years. UCr and UOsm during hospitalization were inversely associated with the composite CKD outcome. The associations and predictions with CKD were significantly strengthened after indexing or adjusting for UCr or UOsm for urine kidney injury molecule-1 (KIM-1), interleukin-18 (IL-18), and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) in patients with AKI. There was no significant improvement with indexing or adjusting UCr or UOsm for albumin, neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL), and chitinase 3-like 1 (YKL-40). Uromodulin’s (UMOD) inverse association with the outcome was significantly blunted after indexing but not adjusting for UCr or UOsm. UCr and UOsm during hospitalization are inversely associated with development and progression of CKD. Indexing or adjusting for UCr or UOsm strengthened associations and improved predictions for CKD for only some biomarkers. Incorporating urinary concentration should be individualized for each biomarker in research and clinical applications.

Authors: Wen, Yumeng; Go, Alan S; Parikh, Chirag R; et al.

Kidney Int Rep. 2022 Jul;7(7):1502-1513. Epub 2022-04-06.

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