Accuracy of cystatin C in prediction of acute kidney injury in children; serum or urine levels: which one works better? A systematic review and meta-analysis
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© 2017 The Author(s). Background: There is still an ongoing discussion on the prognostic value of cystatin C in assessment of kidney function. Accordingly, the present study aimed to conduct a meta-analysis to provide evidence for the prognostic value of this biomarker for acute kidney injury (AKI) in children. Methods: An extensive search was performed in electronic databases of Medline, Embase, ISI Web of Science, Cochrane library and Scopus until the end of 2015. Standardized mean difference (SMD) with a 95% of confidence interval (95% CI) and the prognostic performance characteristics of cystatin C in prediction of AKI were assessed. Analyses were stratified based on the sample in which the level of cystatin C was measured (serum vs. urine). Results: A total of 24 articles were included in the meta-analysis [1948 children (1302 non-AKI children and 645 AKI cases)]. Serum (SMD = 0.96; 95% CI: 0.68-1.24; p < 0.0001) and urine (SMD = 0.54; 95% CI:0.34-0.75; p < 0.0001) levels of cystatin C were significantly higher in children with AKI. Overall area under the curve of serum cystatin C and urine cystatin C in prediction of AKI were 0.83 (95% CI: 0.80-0.86) and 0.85 (95% CI: 0.81-0.88), respectively. The best sensitivity (value = 0.85; 95% CI: 0.78-0.90) and specificity (value = 0.61; 95% CI: 0.48-0.73), were observed for the serum concentration of this protein and in the cut-off points between 0.4-1.0 mg/L. Conclusion: The findings of the present study showed that cystatin C has an acceptable prognostic value for prediction of AKI in children. Since the serum level of cystatin C rises within the first 24 h of admission in patients with AKI, this biomarker can be a suitable alternative for traditional diagnostic measures.