Withholding and withdrawing renal support in acute kidney injury

Semin Dial. Mar-Apr 2011;24(2):208-14. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-139X.2011.00832.x.


Management of critically ill patients with acute kidney injury (AKI) is mainly limited to supportive therapy, with dialysis as one of the main components. Whether or not to offer dialysis and when to withdraw dialysis is a one of the many choices physicians face in daily clinical practice. Withholding or withdrawing renal replacement therapy is a complex decision and depends on many interacting factors, which are unique for each patient and their families and for the care team. An evidence-based guideline with nine specific recommendations for managing patients has been available however is infrequently employed to help clinical decision making. In this review, we discuss the important issues affecting decisions to withhold or withdraw dialysis in AKI patients and provide an approach for making these decisions for patient management.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury / mortality
  • Acute Kidney Injury / therapy*
  • Advance Directives
  • Algorithms
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Critical Illness
  • Decision Making
  • Humans
  • Prognosis
  • Quality of Life
  • Renal Dialysis
  • Renal Replacement Therapy* / economics
  • Withholding Treatment*