Background: Acute kidney injury (AKI) has been hard to assess due to the lack of standard definitions. Recently, the Risk, Injury, Failure, Loss and End-Stage Kidney (RIFLE) classification has been proposed to classify AKI in a number of clinical settings. This study aims to estimate the frequency and levels of severity of AKI and to study its association with patient mortality and length of stay (LOS) in a cohort of trauma patients needing intensive care.
Methods: Between August 2001 and September 2007, 436 trauma patients consecutively admitted to a general intensive care unit (ICU), were assessed using the RIFLE criteria. Demographic data, characteristics of injury, and severity of trauma variables were also collected.
Results: Half of all ICU trauma admissions had AKI, which corresponded to the group of patients with a significantly higher severity of trauma. Among patients with AKI, RIFLE class R (Risk) comprised 47%, while I (Injury) and F (Failure) were, 36% and 17%, respectively. None of these patients required renal replacement therapy. No significant differences were found among these three AKI classes in relation to patient's age, gender, type and mechanism of injury, severity of trauma or mortality. Nevertheless, increasing severity of acute renal injury was associated with a longer ICU stay.
Conclusions: AKI is a common feature among trauma patients requiring intensive care. Although the development of AKI is associated with an increased LOS it does not appear to influence patient mortality.