Eight hundred and seventy-nine patients with acute kidney injury were retrospectively studied over year and eleven months for evaluation of urine volume as a risk factor for death. They were divided into five groups, according to the 24 h urine volume (UV): anuric (UV <or= 50 mL/24 h, group 1), oliguric (UV > 50 mL/24 h and < 400 mL/24 h, group 2), and non-oliguric (UV >or= 400 mL/24 h). Nonoliguric group was subdivided in three subgroups: UV > 400 mL/24 h and <or= 1000 mL/24 h (group 3, reference group), UV > 1000 mL/24 h and <or= 2000 mL/24 h (group 4), and UV > 2000 mL/24 h (group 5). Linear tendency test (Mantel extension) pointed out a significant increase in mortality with UV decrease (p < 0.001), confirmed by multivariate analysis. Anuric and oliguric patients had increased risk of respectively 95% and 76% times for death compared to controls (p < 0.05). Patients from groups 4 and 5 presented a reduced risk for death of 50% and 70%, respectively, p = 0.004 and p = 0.001. In conclusion, urine volume was a strong independent factor for mortality in this cohort of AKI patients.