Acute renal failure is NOT an "acute renal success"--a clinical study on the renal oxygen supply/demand relationship in acute kidney injury

Crit Care Med. 2010 Aug;38(8):1695-701. doi: 10.1097/CCM.0b013e3181e61911.


Objectives: Acute kidney injury occurs frequently after cardiac or major vascular surgery and is believed to be predominantly a consequence of impaired renal oxygenation. However, in patients with acute kidney injury, data on renal oxygen consumption (RVO2), renal blood flow, glomerular filtration, and renal oxygenation, i.e., the renal oxygen supply/demand relationship, are lacking and current views on renal oxygenation in the clinical situation of acute kidney injury are presumptive and largely based on experimental studies.

Design: Prospective, two-group comparative study.

Setting: Cardiothoracic intensive care unit of a tertiary center.

Patients: Postcardiac surgery patients with (n = 12) and without (n = 37) acute kidney injury were compared with respect to renal blood flow, glomerular filtration, RVO2, and renal oxygenation.

Interventions: None

Measurements and main results: Data on systemic hemodynamics (pulmonary artery catheter) and renal variables were obtained during two 30-min periods. Renal blood flow was measured using two independent techniques: the renal vein thermodilution technique and the infusion clearance of paraaminohippuric acid, corrected for renal extraction of paraaminohippuric acid. The filtration fraction was measured by the renal extraction of Cr-EDTA and the renal sodium resorption was measured as the difference between filtered and excreted sodium. Renal oxygenation was estimated from the renal oxygen extraction. Cardiac index and mean arterial pressure did not differ between the two groups. In the acute kidney injury group, glomerular filtration (-57%), renal blood flow (-40%), filtration fraction (-26%), and sodium resorption (-59%) were lower, renal vascular resistance (52%) and renal oxygen extraction (68%) were higher, whereas there was no difference in renal oxygen consumption between groups. Renal oxygen consumption for one unit of reabsorbed sodium was 2.4 times higher in acute kidney injury.

Conclusions: Renal oxygenation is severely impaired in acute kidney injury after cardiac surgery, despite the decrease in glomerular filtration and tubular workload. This was caused by a combination of renal vasoconstriction and tubular sodium resorption at a high oxygen demand.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury / diagnosis*
  • Acute Kidney Injury / etiology
  • Acute Kidney Injury / metabolism*
  • Acute Kidney Injury / therapy
  • Aged
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures / adverse effects*
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate / physiology*
  • Hemodynamics / physiology
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / methods
  • Oxygen / metabolism*
  • Oxygen Consumption*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Renal Circulation / physiology*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Vascular Resistance / physiology


  • Oxygen