Scientific publications

The neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio as a marker of systemic endothelial dysfunction in asymptomatic subjects

Feb 25, 2016 | Magazine: Nefrología

Martínez-Urbistondo D (1), Beltrán A (1), Beloqui O (1), Huerta A (2).


The neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio has demonstrated to be a prognostic inflammatory marker in cardiovascular disease.

The objective of this study is to evaluate the association between neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio and pathologic urinary albumin/creatinine ratio as an early marker of cardiovascular risk and systemic endothelial dysfunction, associated with microvascular disease, in asymptomatic subjects.


A unicenter cross-sectional study was conducted, including 1816 asymptomatic subjects. Patients with previous cardiovascular disease, those who were treated with ACE inhibitors and/or angiotensin II receptor blockers and patients with albumin/creatinine ratio over 300mg/g were excluded. The outcome of the study was the presence of a pathologic urinary albumin/creatinine ratio.


The neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio was significantly associated with altered urinary albumin/creatinine ratio in the univariate analysis and after adjustment for other known endothelial and cardiovascular risk factors (age, hypertension, dyslipidaemia, diabetes or altered glomerular filtration rate).

Based on the sensitivity and specificity of different neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio thresholds, 3 risk groups were created for altered urinary albumin/creatinine ratio: low risk in those with neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio < 1.5, intermediate risk in patients between 1.5 and 3, and high risk in those with neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio > 3.

These groups were found to have a statistically significant and independent prognostic power for altered urinary albumin/creatinine ratio in asymptomatic patients.


The neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio appears to be a cost-efficient, non-invasive and independent potential marker of systemic endothelial dysfunction in asymptomatic subjects.

CITATION Nefrologia. 2016 Feb 25. pii: S0211-6995(15)00224-6. doi: 10.1016/j.nefro.2015.10.018