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NGAL: a New Testing Reagent of Kidney Injury

Kidney diseases are common and frequently-occurring diseases that endanger human health. Because of the strong compensatory function of the kidney, kidney diseases are asymptomatic in the early stage. Only through early testing reagents can we discover and understand the development of diseases. 


Renal dysfunction caused by various reasons has become a common concern in the clinic. The diseases and diagnosis and treatment methods will damage the kidneys for the high-risk groups of diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, organ transplantation, angiography, and nephrotoxic drugs taking. So detecting early renal function indexes has great significance for early detection, diagnosis, and early treatment of renal abnormalities. 


Among them, cystatin C(CysC), a functional marker of renal injury, and neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL), a structural marker of renal injury, are commonly used indicators for early diagnosis of renal injury. 


Neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin, also known as NGAL testing reagent, is lipocalin. 


NGAL detection reagent exists in neutrophils and in specific epithelial cells. After 2 hours of renal injury, the levels of NGAL in urine and blood will increase significantly. Therefore, NGAL diagnostic kit is an early specific marker of acute kidney injury (AKI). 


Ⅰ. Clinical application of NGAL testing reagent 


Acute renal injury (AKI) is a clinical syndrome caused by the decline of renal function quickly. Real-time detection of NGAL in urine and blood can reflect the status of AKI at an early stage and then help doctors make clinical decisions rapidly. 


1. Intensive care: As many as 50% of critically ill patients will develop into AKI. NGAL testing reagent can give early warning as a screening program to gain more time to improve treatment. 


2. Post-cardiac detection: After cardiac surgery, monitoring the NGAL level can reflect the damage of the operation to the kidney. 


3. Assess the nephrotoxicity of intravenous contrast agent: Monitoring NGAL level can reflect the damage of contrast agent used in imaging diagnosis to the kidney. 


4. Early diagnosis and follow-up treatment of diabetic nephropathy (DN): NGAL testing reagent can be used for early diagnosis of DN and follow-up evaluation of treatment effect. 


5. Prognostic evaluation of renal transplantation: NGAL level after renal transplantation has clear predictive value for renal function and survival 


Ⅱ. The characteristics of NGAL testing reagent 


1. High sensitivity and early diagnosis time: NGAL can be significantly increased within 2 hours after kidney injury. The diagnosis was made 12-48 hours earlier than serum creatinine, urea nitrogen, cystatin C and β2- microglobulin. 


2. NGAL diagnostic kit is easy to judge: NGAL level can be increased hundreds of times when a renal injury occurs.

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