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Neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) is a protein expressed by kidney tubular cells in response to ischemia, but may also be an early indicator of immunological rejection, calcineurin inhibitor toxicity, obstructive nephropathy, subclinical tubulitis or infection. Although there is currently no evidence to support the routine serial measurement of blood or urinary NGAL to detect subclinical acute tubular injury, NGAL has the potential to provide useful information to those that care for kidney transplant recipients (KTRs). First, high urinary or serum NGAL concentrations shortly after transplantation are a predictor of delayed graft function and are associated with reduced graft function at one year. Secondly, among KTRs with previously stable graft function who then suffer acute graft dysfunction, a high urinary NGAL predicts graft loss at one year. If further refined, diagnostic tests based on NGAL levels may provide future useful clinical tools.

Original publication




Journal article


Transplant Rev (Orlando)

Publication Date





139 - 144


Acute-Phase Proteins, Biomarkers, Delayed Graft Function, Graft Rejection, Humans, Kidney Transplantation, Lipocalin-2, Lipocalins, Monitoring, Physiologic, Predictive Value of Tests, Proto-Oncogene Proteins, Time Factors, Transplantation, Homologous