Background: Acute kidney injury (AKI) in hospitalized patients is associated with poor outcomes; however, it is unclear how relationships between AKI and clinical outcomes vary with baseline kidney function.
Study design: Population-based cohort.
Setting & participants: Adults in Alberta, Canada, who were hospitalized between January 1, 2003, and December 31, 2006, with at least 1 serum creatinine measurement during hospitalization and 1 outpatient creatinine measurement within 6 months preceding admission.
Predictor: Baseline kidney function, defined as mean estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) of all outpatient creatinine measurements within 6 months before the index hospitalization, and AKI, defined using consensus criteria.
Outcomes: Death during the index hospitalization and death or end-stage renal disease (ESRD) after hospitalization.
Results: AKI occurred in 18.3% of the 43,008 hospitalized patients in the cohort. Risk of AKI increased with decreasing eGFR (8.9% with eGFR ≥60 mL/min/1.73 m(2) vs 68.9% with eGFR <30 mL/min/1.73 m(2)). In multivariable Cox models, AKI of any severity was associated with death during the index hospitalization across all levels of eGFR, with an HR of 2.99 (95% CI, 2.59-3.44) in patients who had the least severe AKI across all eGFR strata up to an HR of 10.62 (95% CI, 8.78-12.82) in patients with baseline eGFR >60 mL/min/1.73 m(2) and the most severe AKI. The risk of death or ESRD decreased after discharge, with the highest risk of ESRD after AKI noted in patients with eGFR <30 mL/min/1.73 m(2) (17.0% in the AKI group vs 5.6% in the non-AKI group; P < 0.01).
Limitations: The study cohort is restricted to patients who had outpatient serum creatinine values available.
Conclusions: AKI of any severity increases the risk of death both during hospitalization and after discharge. Although the risk of developing ESRD after AKI is greatest in patients with baseline eGFR <30 mL/min/1.73 m(2), this is exceeded by the risk of death.
Copyright © 2011 National Kidney Foundation, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.