Plasma Neutrophil Gelatinase Associated Lipocalin in Neonates With and Without Sepsis

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Background: Plasma neutrophil gelatinase associated lipocalin (NGAL) level is increased in sepsis irrespective of renal dysfunction. We investigated the effect of sepsis on the plasma level of NGAL in neonates. Objectives: The aim of this study was to find whether serum NGAL is a reliable marker for early diagnosis of sepsis in neonates. Patients and Methods: We conducted a prospective observational study in a university hospital neonatal intensive care unit. Serum NGAL was measured in 120 neonates admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit. Neonates were classified according to the presence of sepsis. Fifty-two Patients had sepsis. Results: The NGAL levels were significantly higher in septic neonates compared with non-septic neonates (102.9 ± 69.9 ng/mL versus 29.2 ± 13.3 ng/mL, P value = 0.0001). An optimal cut off-point of 48 ng/mL for serum NGAL could potentially detect neonates with sepsis with a sensitivity and specificity of 92% and 91%, respectively. Conclusions: Sepsis enhances the production of plasma NGAL in critically ill neonates. Thus Plasma NGAL can help clinicians diagnose sepsis in critically ill neonates during early phases.