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Mario Naranjo, Akanksha Agrawal, Abhinav Goyal, Janani Rangaswami
(Department of Medicine, Albert Einstein Medical Center, Philadelphia, USA)
Ann Transplant 2018; 23:467-474
Kidney transplantation is the treatment of choice for end stage kidney disease, but acute rejection remains a limiting factor in optimizing allograft and patient survival. Needle biopsy is the current standard of care for this diagnosis. The potential for complications with repeat biopsies limits the ability to obtain temporal immune surveillance of the allograft. The neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio (PLR) have been shown to be strong predictors of inflammation and of worse prognosis in a variety of conditions.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: This is a single center retrospective case control study which included all patients who underwent a “for -cause biopsy” of a transplanted kidney. NLR and PLR were calculated 1 month prior, at the time, and 6 months and 1 year after the biopsy.
RESULTS: A total of 159 biopsies were reviewed; 127 (79.9%) of these satisfied all inclusion and exclusion criteria, and 63.0% of the sample cohort (n=80) demonstrated acute cellular rejection (ACR). Patients without evidence of ACR had an average NLR of 26.8, which was approximately 7-fold greater than those patients with findings of ACR (P<0.01). A similar trend was found for PLR, where patients without ACR had a 5.5-fold greater PLR compared to those with rejection (P<0.01). The ROC showed AUC of 0.715 and 0.716 respectively. The NLR cutoff of 9.5 had a positive predictive value (PPV) of 80% and a negative predictive value (NPV) of 77.8%; the PLR cutoff of 380 had a PPV of 75% and a NPV of 100%.
CONCLUSIONS: This study showed that NLR and PLR are easily obtainable and reproducible predictors of ACR in the kidney allograft. Serial monitoring of these ratios will help identify subclinical inflammation before evidence of allograft dysfunction.