Cystatin C Level as a Predictor of Death and Cardiovascular Events After Liver Transplantation

The diagnosis of renal failure is important in cirrhosis. Cystatin C (Cys) has been suggested not only to be a sensitive marker of renal function, but also a stronger predictor of the risk of death and cardiovascular events in heart failure. Our aims were to investigate plasma Cys concentrations for the detection of moderately impaired renal function and its association with mortality and cardiovascular events among cirrhotic patients after liver transplantation (OLT).

Clinical and biochemical data, including Cys levels, were analyzed in 99 cirrhotic candidates for OLT. We recorded cardiovascular events.

Receiver-operator characteristics curves showed a similar efficiency to detect a creatinine clearance <60 mL/min per 1.73m2 (Cys = 0.753; creatinine [Cr] = 0.799; glomerular filtration rate [GFR, Cockcroft–Gault formula] = 0.842; urea = 0.823; P = .001). However, at cutoff concentrations of 1.3 mg/dL, Cr showed great specificity (96%) but poor sensitivity (13%), while the sensitivity of Cys was superior (83%) with moderate specificity (55%) at a cutoff of 1400 ng/mL. Over a median follow-up of 2.7 years, 14 patients developed a cardiovascular event, including, 11 who displayed Cys levels >1400 ng/mL before OLT, showing a significant difference (P < .05) compared to patients who showed no cardiovascular event. Kaplan–Meier analysis Cys discriminated significantly better than the Model for End-Stage Liver Disease score between survivors and nonsurvivors (P < .05).

Cys determinations could be a valuable tool for early diagnosis of renal dysfunction among cirrhotic patients. Furthermore, it may predict the risk of death and cardiovascular events after OLT.

Transplantation Proceedings
Volume 43, Issue 3, April 2011, Pages 732-734