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Association between baseline serum hepcidin levels and infection in kidney transplant recipients: Potential role for iron overload.

Transpl Infect Dis; 20(1)2018 Feb.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29120522


The liver-synthesized peptide hepcidin is a key regulator of iron metabolism and correlates with total iron stores. We analyzed the association between pre-transplant hepcidin-25 levels and infection after kidney transplantation (KT).


Serum hepcidin-25 levels were measured at baseline by high-sensitivity ELISA in 91 patients undergoing KT at our institution between December 2011 and March 2013. The impact of this biomarker on the incidence of post-transplant infection (excluding lower urinary tract infection) during the first year was assessed by Cox regression.


Mean hepcidin-25 level was 82.3 ± 67.4 ng/mL and strongly correlated with serum ferritin (Spearman's rho = 0.703; P < .001). There were no significant differences in hepcidin-25 levels between patients with or without overall infection (96.4 ± 67.5 vs 72.6 ± 66.7 ng/mL; P = .101). Such difference was evident for opportunistic (128.9 ± 75.0 vs 73.0 ± 62.3 ng/mL; P = .003) and, to a lesser extent, surgical-site infection (107.5 ± 73.3 vs 76.5 ± 65.2 ng/mL; P = .087). Patients with hepcidin-25 levels ≥72.5 ng/mL had higher 12-month cumulative incidence of overall infection (51.2% vs 29.2%; P = .032). After multivariate adjustment, hepcidin-25 ≥72.5 ng/mL acted as an independent risk factor for overall (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] 3.86; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.49-9.96; P = .005) and opportunistic infection (aHR 4.32; 95% CI 1.18-15.75; P = .027).


Elevated baseline serum hepcidin-25 levels were associated with increased risk of infection after KT, suggesting a role for iron overload in the individual susceptibility to post-transplant infection.