Background: The optimal intensity of continuous renal-replacement therapy remains unclear. We conducted a multicenter, randomized trial to compare the effect of this therapy, delivered at two different levels of intensity, on 90-day mortality among critically ill patients with acute kidney injury.
Methods: We randomly assigned critically ill adults with acute kidney injury to continuous renal-replacement therapy in the form of postdilution continuous venovenous hemodiafiltration with an effluent flow of either 40 ml per kilogram of body weight per hour (higher intensity) or 25 ml per kilogram per hour (lower intensity). The primary outcome measure was death within 90 days after randomization.
Results: Of the 1508 enrolled patients, 747 were randomly assigned to higher-intensity therapy, and 761 to lower-intensity therapy with continuous venovenous hemodiafiltration. Data on primary outcomes were available for 1464 patients (97.1%): 721 in the higher-intensity group and 743 in the lower-intensity group. The two study groups had similar baseline characteristics and received the study treatment for an average of 6.3 and 5.9 days, respectively (P=0.35). At 90 days after randomization, 322 deaths had occurred in the higher-intensity group and 332 deaths in the lower-intensity group, for a mortality of 44.7% in each group (odds ratio, 1.00; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.81 to 1.23; P=0.99). At 90 days, 6.8% of survivors in the higher-intensity group (27 of 399), as compared with 4.4% of survivors in the lower-intensity group (18 of 411), were still receiving renal-replacement therapy (odds ratio, 1.59; 95% CI, 0.86 to 2.92; P=0.14). Hypophosphatemia was more common in the higher-intensity group than in the lower-intensity group (65% vs. 54%, P<0.001).
Conclusions: In critically ill patients with acute kidney injury, treatment with higher-intensity continuous renal-replacement therapy did not reduce mortality at 90 days. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00221013.)
2009 Massachusetts Medical Society