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Transplant Proc. 2013 Jan-Feb;45(1):241-4. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2012.02.047.

Lipocalin-2 serum levels are increased in acute hepatic failure.

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Department of Anesthesiology, General Intensive Care and Pain Medicine, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.


Lipocalin-2 (LCN-2), which is expressed in immunocytes as well as hepatocytes, is upregulated in cells under stress from infection or inflammation with increase in serum levels. We sought to investigate the relevance of LCN-2 in the setting of acute hepatic failure, particularly when addressed with the molecular adsorbent recirculating system (MARS). We measured serum LCN-2 concentrations with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in 8 patients with acute-on-chronic-liver failure (ACLF) and acute liver failure (ALF) who were treated with MARS. The controls were 14 patients with stable chronic hepatic failure (CHF). LCN-2 was determined immediately before and after the first MARS session. Baseline LCN-2 serum concentrations were significantly increased among ACLF and ALF patients as compared with CHF (P = .004 and P = .0086, respectively). There was no significant difference between the ALF and ACLF group. Moreover, serum LCN-2 levels did not change significantly during the MARS treatment. Serum LCN-2 levels, therefore, may be useful to discern acute from chronic hepatic failure and to monitor the course as well as the severity of the disease.

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