The Association between Polyclonal Combined Serum Free Light Chain Concentration and Mortality in Individuals with Early Chronic Kidney Disease.
A major component of increased mortality risk in people with chronic kidney disease (CKD) is associated with non-traditional cardiovascular risk factors including markers of inflammation. We studied whether a novel marker of systemic inflammation, elevated serum combined polyclonal immunoglobulin free light chains (cFLC), was an independent risk factor for increased all-cause mortality in people with CKD stage 3. In a prospective community based cohort study, 1695 participants with stage 3 CKD and no cases of monoclonal gammopathy had cFLC concentrations measured. cFLC levels were determined using the summation of Freelite kappa and lambda assays. All other bioclinical variables were collected at the time of sample collection. Kaplan-Meier plots and Cox proportional hazards analysis was used to assess the relationship between high cFLC levels (>43.3 mg/L) and mortality. There were 167 deaths (10%) after a median of 1375 days. cFLC levels at recruitment were higher in participants who died compared with those who were alive at the end of the study; median: 46.5 mg/L (IQR: 36.1-65.4 mg/L) and 35.4 mg/L (28.1-46.6 mg/L) respectively, P <0.001. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis demonstrated participants with cFLC >43.3 mg/L levels had an increased risk of mortality compared to people with normal cFLC levels (P <0.001). Elevated cFLC levels were independently associated with worse survival (Hazard ratio: 1.50; 95% confidence interval: 1.04-2.16; P=0.03). Other independent risk factors for worse survival were: older age, male gender, previous cardiovascular event, lower eGFR and higher high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP). To conclude, high cFLC levels predict increased mortality in people with stage 3 CKD, independent of established risk factors and other markers of inflammation.
- Specialist Medicine