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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016, Article ID 9195219, 8 pages
Research Article

Elevated Plasma Neutrophil Gelatinase-Associated Lipocalin Level as a Risk Factor for Anemia in Patients with Systemic Inflammation

1Department of Laboratory Medicine, College of Medicine, Inha University, Incheon 22332, Republic of Korea
2School of Medicine, University of Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8577, Japan
3Department of Electrical Engineering and Bioscience, Waseda University, Tokyo 169-8050, Japan

Received 18 July 2016; Revised 18 November 2016; Accepted 8 December 2016

Academic Editor: Phillip E. Klebba

Copyright © 2016 Jong Weon Choi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Studies on neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) as an iron-regulatory protein are limited. This study investigated the relationships between plasma NGAL levels and indices of anemia in 187 patients with systemic inflammation. Plasma NGAL levels were significantly higher in patients with anemia versus in patients without anemia (185 ng/mL versus 98 ng/mL; P < 0.001). Serum iron levels were lower in patients with NGAL > 156 ng/mL than in those with NGAL ≤ 156 ng/mL (27.4 ± 25.3 µg/dL versus 58.1 ± 43.5 µg/dL; P < 0.001). In a receiver operating characteristic curve, the diagnostic ability of NGAL to identify anemia was superior to that of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein [0.712 (95% CI, 0.618–0.787) versus 0.649 (95% CI, 0.573–0.744); P < 0.01]. In a multivariate logistic regression analysis, the elevated NGAL level was significantly associated with the presence of anemia after adjusting for potential confounders [odds ratio, 1.30 (95% CI, 1.07–2.58); P = 0.010]. In conclusion, enhanced NGAL production may contribute to the development of anemia in patients with systemic inflammation.