Background and aims We investigated whether plasma cystatin C (CysC) and neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) are associated with intravascular ultrasound (IVUS)-derived characteristics of coronary atherosclerosis and 1-year adverse coronary events in patients with normal and mildly-to-moderately impaired kidney function. Methods Between 2008 and 2011, virtual histology (VH)-IVUS of a non-culprit coronary artery was performed in 581 patients undergoing coronary angiography. Creatinine, CysC and NGAL were measured in pre-procedural blood samples. Presence of VH-IVUS-derived thin-cap fibroatheroma (TCFA) lesions, lesions with plaque burden (PB)≥70% and lesions with minimal luminal area (MLA)≤4 mm2 was assessed. Major adverse coronary events (MACE) comprised the composite of all-cause mortality, acute coronary syndrome, or unplanned coronary revascularization. Analyses were stratified using eGFRCr of 90 ml/min/1.73 m2 as the cut-off. Results In patients with normal kidney function, those with higher CysC levels had fewer lesions with PB ≥ 70% and fewer VH-TCFA lesions (adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs): 0.46 [0.30–0.69] and 0.59 [0.44–0.83], respectively, per standard deviation (SD) ln[ng/mL] CysC). Those with higher NGAL levels also had fewer lesions with PB ≥ 70% (adjusted OR [95% CI]:0.49 [0.29–0.82]) In patients with impaired kidneys, no differences in high-risk lesions were observed for CysC or NGAL. However, those with higher CysC had higher risk of MACE (hazard ratio (HR):1.4, 95% CI [1.03–1.92]). This was not the case in patients with normal kidney function. NGAL did not influence risk of MACE. Conclusions: Mild-to-moderate kidney dysfunction modifies the relationship between CysC and high-risk coronary lesions. This has not been established before, and offers an explanation for the difference in findings between experimental and epidemiologic studies.
Brankovic, M., Akkerhuis, K. M., Buljubasic, N., Cheng, J. M., Oemrawsingh, R. M., Garcia-Garcia, H. M., … Kardys, I. (2016). Plasma cystatin C and neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin in relation to coronary atherosclerosis on intravascular ultrasound and cardiovascular outcome: Impact of kidney function (ATHEROREMO-IVUS study). Atherosclerosis, 254, 20–27. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2016.09.016