Urine Neutrophil Gelatinase-Associated Lipocalin a Possible Diagnostic Marker for Egyptian Hepatocellular Carcinoma Patients

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Hepatology and Gastroenterology, National Liver Institute, Menoufia University, Egypt.

2 Department of Clinical Pathology, National Liver Institute, Menoufia University, Egypt.

3 Department of Clinical Biochemistry and Molecular Diagnostics, National Liver Institute, Menoufia University, Egypt.


Background: Most effective method for reducing mortality from hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is early diagnosis. Despite its lack of adequate sensitivity, ultrasound is considered fundamental for HCC screening. Aim: to evaluate urinary neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) as non-invasive marker for HCC diagnosis in Egyptian patients. Methods: One hundred and twenty patients were divided into three groups (40 patients each): patients with chronic viral hepatitis (HCV or HBV), cirrhotic patients and HCC patients and 40 healthy age and gender matched subjects were enrolled as control group. After clinical assessments, urinary NGAL was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results: Our results revealed that median level of urinary NGAL was 290, 834, 1090 and 1925 pg/ml in control, chronic hepatitis, cirrhotic and HCC groups respectively among studied groups (p<0.001). Receiver operating characteristics (ROC) analysis showed that urinary NGAL cutoff value of 1255 ng/ml could discriminate between HCC and cirrhosis. The area under curve (AUC) was 0.95 with 90% sensitivity, 87.5% specificity (p-value <0.001). In HCC group, urine NGAL level didn`t show significant correlation with Child Pugh score, MELD score or Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) stage. Conclusion: Urinary NGAL could be a simple, non-invasive test for diagnosis of HCC in chronic liver disease patients.


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