Background: The Acute Dialysis Quality Initiative Working Group recently developed the RIFLE criteria, a consensus definition for acute kidney injury (AKI). We sought to evaluate the RIFLE criteria on the day of ICU admission in a large heterogenous population of critically ill patients.
Methods: Retrospective interrogation of prospectively collected data from the Australian New Zealand Intensive Care Society Adult Patient Database. We evaluated 120 123 patients admitted for >/=24 h from 1 January 2000 to 31 December 2005 from 57 ICUs across Australia.
Results: The median (IQR) age was 64.3 (50.8-75.4) years, 59.5% were male, 28.6% had co-morbid disease, 50.3% were medical admissions and the initial mean (+/-SD) APACHEII score was 16.9 (+/-7.7). According to the RIFLE criteria, on the day of admission, AKI occurred in 36.1%, with a maximum RIFLE category of Risk in 16.3%, Injury in 13.6%, and Failure 6.3%. AKI, defined by any RIFLE category, was associated with an increase in hospital mortality (OR 3.29, 95% CI 3.19-3.41, P < 0.0001). The crude hospital mortality stratified by RIFLE category was 17.9% for Risk, 27.7% for Injury and 33.2% for Failure. By multivariable analysis, each RIFLE category was independently associated with hospital mortality (OR: Risk 1.58, Injury 2.54 and Failure 3.22).
Conclusion: In a large heterogenous cohort of critically ill patients, the RIFLE criteria classified >36% with AKI on the day of admission. For successive increases in severity of RIFLE category, there were increases in hospital mortality. The RIFLE criteria represent a simple tool for the detection and classification of AKI and for correlation with clinical outcomes.