Journal Article

Effects of atorvastatin on NGAL and cystatin C in chronic kidney disease: a <i>post</i> <i>hoc</i> analysis of the LORD trial

Robert G. Fassett, Iain K. Robertson, Madeleine J. Ball, Dominic P. Geraghty, John W. Cardinal and Jeff S. Coombes

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

Published on behalf of European Renal Association - European Dialysis and Transplant Assoc

Volume 27, issue 1, pages 182-189
Published in print January 2012 | ISSN: 0931-0509
Published online May 2011 | e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI:
Effects of atorvastatin on NGAL and cystatin C in chronic kidney disease: a post hoc analysis of the LORD trial

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Neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) and cystatin C are biomarkers of kidney injury and function, respectively. This study assessed whether plasma NGAL and/or serum cystatin C predicted baseline estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and urinary protein excretion, rate of change of eGFR and urinary protein excretion and whether atorvastatin influenced changes in these biomarkers in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD).


This is a post hoc analysis of the Lipid Lowering and Onset of Renal Disease trial, a randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled trial where 88 patients with Stages 2–4 CKD received atorvastatin 10 mg/day (48) or placebo (40). Stored blood samples were analysed for NGAL and cystatin C at baseline and a mean of 1.5 and 2.9 years later. Serum creatinine and Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD) eGFR were obtained three monthly.


There were negative associations between NGAL and cystatin C and eGFR (P = 0.025 and P < 0.001, respectively) at all time points. There were no associations between baseline NGAL and cystatin C and rate of change of eGFR (P = 0.44 and P = 0.49, respectively). Baseline NGAL but not cystatin C (P = 0.043 and P = 0.35, respectively) predicted rate of change of urinary protein excretion. In atorvastatin-treated patients, NGAL decreased (mean, −7.4 ng/mL/year; SD 128.4), whereas it increased in the placebo group [mean, 4.6 ng/mL/year; SD 56.6), the difference being statistically significant (P = 0.049).


NGAL is a biomarker of existing CKD but did not predict CKD progression. Atorvastatin reduced plasma NGAL but the significance and mechanisms require further investigation. Atorvastatin had no significant effect on cystatin C.

Keywords: biomarkers; chronic kidney disease; glomerular filtration rate; proteinuria; statins

Journal Article.  4516 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Nephrology

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