BACKGROUND Assessment of chronic kidney disease (CKD) risk after acute kidney injury (AKI) is based on limited markers primarily reflecting glomerular function. We evaluated markers of cell integrity (EGF) and inflammation (monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, MCP-1) for predicting long-term kidney outcomes after cardiac surgery.METHODS We measured EGF and MCP-1 in postoperative urine samples from 865 adults who underwent cardiac surgery at 2 sites in Canada and the United States and assessed EGF and MCP-1’s associations with the composite outcome of CKD incidence or progression. We used single-cell RNA-Seq (scRNA-Seq) of AKI patient biopsies to perform transcriptomic analysis of programs corregulated with the associated genes.RESULTS Over a median (IQR) follow-up of 5.8 (4.2–7.1) years, 266 (30.8%) patients developed the composite CKD outcome. Postoperatively, higher levels of urinary EGF were protective and higher levels of MCP-1 were associated with the composite CKD outcome (adjusted HR 0.83, 95% CI 0.73–0.95 and 1.10, 95% CI 1.00–1.21, respectively). Intrarenal scRNA-Seq transcriptomes in patients with AKI-defined cell populations revealed concordant changes in EGF and MCP-1 levels and underlying molecular processes associated with loss of EGF expression and gain of CCL2 (encoding MCP-1) expression.CONCLUSION Urinary EGF and MCP-1 were each independently associated with CKD after cardiac surgery. These markers may serve as noninvasive indicators of tubular damage, supported by tissue transcriptomes, and provide an opportunity for novel interventions in cardiac surgery.TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00774137.FUNDING The NIH funded the TRIBE-AKI Consortium and Kidney Precision Medicine Project. Yale O’Brien Kidney Center, American Heart Association, Patterson Trust Fund, Dr. Adam Linton Chair in Kidney Health Analytics, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, ICES, Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Academic Medical Organization of Southwestern Ontario, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University, Lawson Health Research Institute, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Human Cell Atlas Kidney Seed Network.


Steven Menez, Wenjun Ju, Rajasree Menon, Dennis G. Moledina, Heather Thiessen Philbrook, Eric McArthur, Yaqi Jia, Wassim Obeid, Sherry G. Mansour, Jay L. Koyner, Michael G. Shlipak, Steven G. Coca, Amit X. Garg, Andrew S. Bomback, John A. Kellum, Matthias Kretzler, Chirag R. Parikh, for the Translational Research Investigating Biomarker Endpoints in AKI (TRIBE-AKI) Consortium and the Kidney Precision Medicine Project


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