The ASSESS-AKI Study found urinary epidermal growth factor is associated with reduced risk of major adverse kidney events Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Biomarkers of tubular function such as epidermal growth factor (EGF) may improve prognostication of participants at highest risk for chronic kidney disease (CKD) after hospitalization. To examine this, we measured urinary EGF (uEGF) from samples collected in the Assessment, Serial Evaluation, and Subsequent Sequelae of Acute Kidney Injury (ASSESS-AKI) Study, a multi-center, prospective, observational cohort of hospitalized participants with and without AKI. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to investigate the association of uEGF/Cr at hospitalization, three months post-discharge, and the change between these time points with major adverse kidney events (MAKE): CKD incidence, progression, or development of kidney failure. Clinical findings were paired with mechanistic studies comparing relative Egf expression in mouse models of kidney atrophy or repair after ischemia-reperfusion injury. MAKE was observed in 20% of 1,509 participants over 4.3 years of follow-up. Each 2-fold higher level of uEGF/Cr at three months was associated with decreased risk of MAKE (adjusted hazards ratio 0.46, 95% confidence interval: 0.39-0.55). Participants with the highest increase in uEGF/Cr from hospitalization to three-month follow-up had a lower risk of MAKE (adjusted hazards ratio 0.52; 95% confidence interval: 0.36-0.74) compared to those with the least change in uEGF/Cr. A model using uEGF/Cr at three months combined with clinical variables yielded moderate discrimination for MAKE (area under the curve 0.73; 95% confidence interval: 0.69-0.77) and strong discrimination for kidney failure at four years (area under the curve 0.96; 95% confidence interval: 0.92-1.00). Accelerated restoration of Egf expression in mice was seen in the model of adaptive repair after injury, compared to a model of progressive atrophy. Thus, urinary EGF/Cr may be a biomarker of distal tubular health, with higher concentrations and increased uEGF/Cr post-discharge independently associated with reduced risk of MAKE in hospitalized patients.


  • Menez, Steven
  • Wen, Yumeng
  • Xu, Leyuan
  • Moledina, Dennis G
  • Thiessen-Philbrook, Heather
  • Hu, David
  • Obeid, Wassim
  • Bhatraju, Pavan K
  • Ikizler, T Alp
  • Siew, Edward D
  • Chinchilli, Vernon M
  • Garg, Amit
  • Go, Alan S
  • Liu, Kathleen D
  • Kaufman, James S
  • Kimmel, Paul L
  • Himmelfarb, Jonathan
  • Coca, Steven G
  • Cantley, Lloyd G
  • Parikh, Chirag R

publication date

  • December 2023