Following preterm birth, the immature kidney is exposed to several harmful conditions, with an increased risk of renal impairment. We aimed to assess urinary biomarkers of renal function in very preterm infants during early nephrotoxic treatments.
Infants ≤32 weeks’ gestation and ≤1500 g were enrolled in this observational prospective study. Urine samples were collected on day 1(T1), 2–4(T2), 5–7(T3), 8–10(T4), 11–13(T5). The following urinary biomarkers were determined: osteopontin (uOPN), epidermal growth factor (uEGF), neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (uNGAL), cystatin C (uCysC). The infants were grouped according to their exposure to amikacin or ibuprofen during the study period and a between-group comparison of urinary biomarkers at each time point was performed.
Thirty-six infants were included. Urinary CysC, uOPN, and uNGAL rose significantly during ibuprofen or amikacin treatment, while no difference was observed for uEGF. After adjustment for possible influencing factors, amikacin administration was associated with higher uCysC at T1 (p = 0.007) and T2 (p = 0.016), whereas ibuprofen increased uOPN (p = 0.001) and uNGAL concentration (p = 0.009) at T3.
Nephrotoxic therapies induce molecule-specific change patterns of renal function biomarkers in treated preterm infants. Serial assessments of these biomarkers may aid to identify neonates at risk of renal impairment and to develop tailored therapeutic approaches.
Despite the wide use of nephrotoxic therapies in neonatal settings, little is known on their effect on renal function biomarkers in preterm infants.
This study describes molecule-specific change patterns of urinary biomarkers during ibuprofen and amikacin administration, suggesting underlying pathophysiological effects on renal function.
Given their low analytical costs and non-invasive collection, the urinary biomarkers investigated in this study represent a promising strategy for serial monitoring of renal function in at-risk neonates and may aid the early detection of renal function impairment at different kidney levels during nephrotoxic treatments.
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We thank Anna Girardi and Luca Leonardi for their contribution in data collection, and Maria Cappuccilli for supervising sample analysis.
This study received financial support by the “Fondazione del Monte” institution (grant no. FdM/3884).
The authors declare no competing interests.
Consent to participate
The study protocol was approved by the S. Orsola University Hospital Ethics Committee, Bologna, Italy (protocol no. 154/2015/U/Oss) and written informed consent for study participation was obtained from the parents/legal guardians of each patient.
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Martini, S., Vitali, F., Capelli, I. et al. Impact of nephrotoxic drugs on urinary biomarkers of renal function in very preterm infants. Pediatr Res 91, 1715–1722 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41390-021-01905-9
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