Background: Despite improved resuscitation strategies, acute kidney injury (AKI) remains an important cause of morbidity and high resource use among severely injured patients. Thus, we conducted a comprehensive evaluation of the epidemiology and outcomes of early AKI among severely injured patients as well as its impact on the development of postinjury multiple organ failure (MOF).
Methods: We queried our 17-year database of high-risk postinjury patients (Injury Severity Score >15, age >15 years, survival >48 hours, and no isolated head injury). MOF and AKI (creatinine >1.8 mg/dL) were defined by the Denver MOF score. Patients with documented preexisting renal, hepatic, cardiac, or pulmonary disease (120, 5%) were excluded, leaving 2157 for analysis.
Results: Early (day 2) AKI was evident in 2.13% of the patients and associated with a 78% MOF incidence and 27% mortality. Both rates were higher than those associated with early heart, lung, or liver failure.
Conclusion: Early AKI is a harbinger of adverse outcome postinjury, outperforming hepatic, cardiac, or pulmonary dysfunction as a predictor of MOF and death. Prevention of early AKI and a better understanding of organ crosstalk may help reduce AKI-associated morbidity, mortality, and obligatory costs of this complication.
Level of evidence: I, prognostic study.