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Am J Transplant. 2013 Oct;13(10):2634-44. doi: 10.1111/ajt.12426. Epub 2013 Aug 22.

Multicenter validation of urinary CXCL9 as a risk-stratifying biomarker for kidney transplant injury.

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University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Cleveland, OH.


Noninvasive biomarkers are needed to assess immune risk and ultimately guide therapeutic decision-making following kidney transplantation. A requisite step toward these goals is validation of markers that diagnose and/or predict relevant transplant endpoints. The Clinical Trials in Organ Transplantation-01 protocol is a multicenter observational study of biomarkers in 280 adult and pediatric first kidney transplant recipients. We compared and validated urinary mRNAs and proteins as biomarkers to diagnose biopsy-proven acute rejection (AR) and stratify patients into groups based on risk for developing AR or progressive renal dysfunction. Among markers tested for diagnosing AR, urinary CXCL9 mRNA (odds ratio [OR] 2.77, positive predictive value [PPV] 61.5%, negative predictive value [NPV] 83%) and CXCL9 protein (OR 3.40, PPV 67.6%, NPV 92%) were the most robust. Low urinary CXCL9 protein in 6-month posttransplant urines obtained from stable allograft recipients classified individuals least likely to develop future AR or a decrement in estimated glomerular filtration rate between 6 and 24 months (92.5-99.3% NPV). Our results support using urinary CXCL9 for clinical decision-making following kidney transplantation. In the context of acute dysfunction, low values can rule out infectious/immunological causes of injury. Absent urinary CXCL9 at 6 months posttransplant defines a subgroup at low risk for incipient immune injury.


Acute rejection; biomarker; chemokines; kidney allograft; kidney graft function

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