Background: Lupus nephritis is one of the most serious complications of systemic lupus erythematosus. This study evaluates the prevalence and correlation between neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin and other biomarkers associated with renal involvement in systemic lupus erythematosus. Methods: Paired serum and urine specimens from 50 suspected systemic lupus erythematosus patients, characterized by antinuclear antibodies detected by indirect immunofluorescence assay and varying positive concentrations of anti-double stranded DNA antibodies by Crithidia luciliae immunofluorescence assay, were investigated. Of these 50 patients, 18 were identified with renal involvement based upon laboratory serology. Patients and healthy control serum samples (n = 50) were also evaluated for high avidity double stranded DNA IgG antibodies, anti-C1q IgG antibodies, and serum creatinine. The prevalence and relationship between biomarkers were evaluated using statistical methods. Results: Serum and urine neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin concentrations were significantly elevated in patients compared to controls, with a prevalence of 24% and 36%, respectively. These concentrations were also more markedly increased in systemic lupus erythematosus patients with renal involvement than those without. Spearman’s correlations between neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin and other biomarkers tested ranged from 0.06 to 0.66 in all patients. Combined concordance as determined by Cronbach alpha coefficient between biomarkers was reduced from 0.71 to 0.58 (serum) and 0.62 (urine) when neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin was removed. Conclusions: Neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin concentrations are elevated and demonstrate variable associated with other laboratory markers for renal involvement in systemic lupus erythematosus. Prospective longitudinal studies are needed to determine the optimal biomarker combinations for use in routine management of systemic lupus erythematosus patients at-risk for lupus nephritis.
- Neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin
- lupus nephritis
- systemic lupus erythematosus
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Biochemistry