ASN's Mission

To create a world without kidney diseases, the ASN Alliance for Kidney Health elevates care by educating and informing, driving breakthroughs and innovation, and advocating for policies that create transformative changes in kidney medicine throughout the world.

learn more

Contact ASN

1401 H St, NW, Ste 900, Washington, DC 20005


The Latest on Twitter

Kidney Week

Abstract: FR-PO1092

Polyomavirus BK, BKV MicroRNA, and Urinary Neutrophil Gelatinase-Associated Lipocalin Can Be Used as Potential Biomarkers of Lupus Nephritis

Session Information

Category: Glomerular Diseases

  • 1203 Glomerular Diseases: Clinical, Outcomes, and Trials


  • Li, Yi-Jung, Kidney Research Center, Department of Nephrology, Linkou Chang-Gung Memorial Hospital, Taiwan, Tauyuan, Taiwan

Group or Team Name

  • Linkou Kidney Research Center

Lupus nephritis (LN) frequently progresses to end-stage renal disease. Finding a biomarker for LN and a predictor for the development of chronic kidney disease (CKD) is important for patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).


Ninety patients with SLE were divided into biopsy-proven LN (n = 54) and no kidney involvement (non-LN) (n = 36) groups and followed up for 54 months.


Of 36 patients with LN, 3 (5.6%) had class II disease, 3 (5.6%) had class III, 35 (64.8%) had class IV, 10 (18.5%) had class V, and 3 (5.6 %) had class VI (advanced sclerosis). Compared to the non-LN group, patients in the LN group had higher autoimmunity evidenced by a higher proportion of low C3 and C4 levels, positive anti-double-stranded DNA antibody levels, and lower estimated glomerular filtration rates (eGFR). Urinary neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (uNGAL) levels were significantly higher in the LN group (LN vs non-LN, 670 vs 33 ng/mL, respectively). The patients with LN had a higher urinary polyomavirus BK (BKV) load (3.6 vs 3.0 log copies/mL) and a lower urinary BKV miRNA (miR-B1) 5p level (0.29 vs 0.55 log copies/mL, p = 0.025), while there was no significant difference in the level of miR-B1-3p. Urinary miR-B1-5p level but not urinary BKV load was negatively correlated with uNGAL level (r = -0.22, p = 0.004). At the cutoff value of 80 ng/mL, the receiver operating characteristic curve analysis showed that uNGAL level as a predictor of the presence of LN had a high sensitivity (98%) and specificity (100%) (area under the curve [AUC], 0.997; p < 0.001). During the 54-month follow-up period, 14 (7%) patients with LN and none of the non-LN patients developed CKD. Multivariate Cox regression analysis revealed that baseline uNGAL level was the only predictive factor for CKD development, while baseline serum creatinine level and eGFR were not.


An elevated urinary BKV viral load with a decreased level of miR-B1 implies the presence of LN. In addition, an increased uNGAL level is a good biomarker not only in predicting the presence of LN but also for prediction of CKD development in patients with SLE.