Augmented renal clearance in the ICU: results of a multicenter observational study of renal function in critically ill patients with normal plasma creatinine concentrations*

Crit Care Med. 2014 Mar;42(3):520-7. doi: 10.1097/CCM.0000000000000029.


Objective: To describe the prevalence and natural history of augmented renal clearance in a cohort of recently admitted critically ill patients with normal plasma creatinine concentrations.

Design: Multicenter, prospective, observational study.

Setting: Four, tertiary-level, university-affiliated, ICUs in Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Portugal.

Patients: Study participants had to have an expected ICU length of stay more than 24 hours, no evidence of absolute renal impairment (admission plasma creatinine < 120 µmol/L), and no history of prior renal replacement therapy or chronic kidney disease. Convenience sampling was used at each participating site.

Interventions: Eight-hour urinary creatinine clearances were collected daily, as the primary method of measuring renal function. Augmented renal clearance was defined by a creatinine clearance more than or equal to 130 mL/min/1.73 m. Additional demographic, physiological, therapeutic, and outcome data were recorded prospectively.

Measurements and main results: Nine hundred thirty-two patients were admitted to the participating ICUs over the study period, and 281 of which were recruited into the study, contributing 1,660 individual creatinine clearance measures. The mean age (95% CI) was 54.4 years (52.5-56.4 yr), Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II score was 16 (15.2-16.7), and ICU mortality was 8.5%. Overall, 65.1% manifested augmented renal clearance on at least one occasion during the first seven study days; the majority (74%) of whom did so on more than or equal to 50% of their creatinine clearance measures. Using a mixed-effects model, the presence of augmented renal clearance on study day 1 strongly predicted (p = 0.019) sustained elevation of creatinine clearance in these patients over the first week in ICU.

Conclusions: Augmented renal clearance appears to be a common finding in this patient group, with sustained elevation of creatinine clearance throughout the first week in ICU. Future studies should focus on the implications for accurate dosing of renally eliminated pharmaceuticals in patients with augmented renal clearance, in addition to the potential impact on individual clinical outcomes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury / diagnosis*
  • Acute Kidney Injury / mortality
  • Acute Kidney Injury / prevention & control
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Australia
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Creatinine / blood*
  • Critical Illness / mortality
  • Critical Illness / therapy
  • Female
  • Hong Kong
  • Hospital Mortality / trends*
  • Hospitals, University
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units*
  • Kidney Function Tests
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / methods
  • Portugal
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reference Values
  • Risk Assessment
  • Singapore
  • Statistics, Nonparametric


  • Creatinine