Background: In postoperative critically-ill patients who develop Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) it is important to focus on survival and quality of life beyond hospital discharge. The aim of the study was to evaluate outcome and quality of life in patients that develop AKI after major surgery.
Methods: This retrospective study was carried out in a Post-Anaesthesia Care Unit with five intensive care beds during 2 years. Patients were followed for the development of AKI. Preoperative characteristics, intra-operative management and outcome were evaluated. Six months after discharge, these patients were contacted to complete a Short Form-36 questionnaire (SF-36) and to have their dependency in ADL evaluated. Chi-square or Fischer's exact test were used to compare proportions between groups. A "t test" and a paired "t test" for independent groups was used for comparisons.
Results: Of 1584 patients admitted to the PACU, 1200 patients met the inclusion criteria. One hundred-fourteen patients (9.6%) met AKI criteria. Patients with AKI were more severely ill, stayed longer at the PACU. Among 71 hospital survivors at 6 months follow-up, 50 completed the questionnaires. Fifty-two percent of patients reported that their general level of health was better on the day they answered the questionnaire than 12 months earlier. Patients that met AKI criteria after surgery had worse SF-36 scores for physical function, role physical and role emotional domains. Six months after PACU discharge, patients that met AKI criteria were more dependent in I-ADL but not in P-ADL.
Conclusions: Patients that develop AKI improved self-perception of quality of life despite having high rate of dependency in ADL tasks. For physical function and role physical domains they had worse scores than PACU patients that did not develop AKI.