Reference Interval for Serum Neutrophil Gelatinase-Associated Lipocalin (NGAL) for diagnosing Kidney Injury Neutrophil Gelatinase-Associated Lipocalin

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Saleh Idris
Chidum Ezenwaka
Gershwin Davis



Aim: Neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin
(NGAL) is emerging, as a promising biomarker for
diagnosing acute kidney injury, yet its reference
interval is not established in many populations. This
report documents serum NGAL reference intervals
in apparently healthy population in the Caribbean in
relation to age, sex, body mass index (BMI) and blood
Methods: The blood pressure (BP), height and
weight of 90 (37 males, 53 females) apparently
healthy subjects aged between 17 and 83 years were
measured. Fasting blood samples were collected and
serum NGAL levels were measured with manual
ELISA technique and 95% reference intervals for
NGAL stratified by age and sex was established. The
Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS)
was used for statistical analysis.
Results: The results are expressed as mean ±2 SD.
The age, BP and BMI were similar in male and female
subjects studied (p > 0.05). NGAL levels showed a
normal Gaussian frequency distribution and were
similar in male and female subjects (p > 0.05). The
overall unisex reference interval for the population
(n = 90; age 17 – 83yrs.) was 73.3-85.6 ng/mL, while
the gender reference intervals was 68.3-92.6 ng/mL
for male and 73.2- 84.1 ng/mL for female and for
age category < 60yrs (n = 82; age 17 – 59yrs) was
73.3 – 84.1 ng/mL.
Conclusion: This study showed that apparently
healthy male and female subjects with similar mean
age, body mass index and blood pressure had similar serum NGAL levels. The gender- and age-specific
reference intervals determined in this study could
therefore provide a suitable template for further
studies in relation to establishing reference intervals
for serum NGAL for this and other populations.



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