What is the real impact of acute kidney injury?

BMC Nephrol. 2014 Jun 21;15:95. doi: 10.1186/1471-2369-15-95.


Background: Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a common clinical problem. Studies have documented the incidence of AKI in a variety of populations but to date we do not believe the real incidence of AKI has been accurately documented in a district general hospital setting.The aim here was to describe the detected incidence of AKI in a typical general hospital setting in an unselected population, and describe associated short and long-term outcomes.

Methods: A retrospective observational database study from secondary care in East Kent (adult catchment population of 582,300). All adult patients (18 years or over) admitted between 1st February 2009 and 31st July 2009, were included. Patients receiving chronic renal replacement therapy (RRT), maternity and day case admissions were excluded. AKI was defined by the acute kidney injury network (AKIN) criteria. A time dependent risk analysis with logistic regression and Cox regression was used for the analysis of in-hospital mortality and survival.

Results: The incidence of AKI in the 6 month period was 15,325 pmp/yr (adults) (69% AKIN1, 18% AKIN2 and 13% AKIN3). In-hospital mortality, length of stay and ITU utilisation all increased with severity of AKI. Patients with AKI had an increase in care on discharge and an increase in hospital readmission within 30 days.

Conclusions: This data comes closer to the real incidence and outcomes of AKI managed in-hospital than any study published in the literature to date. Fifteen percent of all admissions sustained an episode of AKI with increased subsequent short and long term morbidity and mortality, even in those with AKIN1. This confers an increased burden and cost to the healthcare economy, which can now be quantified. These results will furnish a baseline for quality improvement projects aimed at early identification, improved management, and where possible prevention, of AKI.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury / diagnosis
  • Acute Kidney Injury / mortality*
  • Acute Kidney Injury / therapy*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Critical Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Impact Assessment*
  • Hospital Mortality*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Sickness Impact Profile*
  • Survival Rate
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology
  • Young Adult