Acute kidney injury risk assessment at the hospital front door: what is the best measure of risk?

Clin Kidney J. 2015 Dec;8(6):673-80. doi: 10.1093/ckj/sfv080. Epub 2015 Aug 30.


Background: We examined the prevalence of acute kidney injury (AKI) risk factors in the emergency medical unit, generated a modified risk assessment tool and tested its ability to predict AKI.

Methods: A total of 1196 patients admitted to medical admission units were assessed for patient-associated AKI risk factors. Subsequently, 898 patients were assessed for a limited number of fixed risk factors with the addition of hypotension and sepsis. This was correlated to AKI episodes.

Results: In the first cohort, the prevalence of AKI risk factors was 2.1 ± 2.0 per patient, with a positive relationship between age and the number of risk factors and a higher number of risk factors in patients ≥65 years. In the second cohort, 12.3% presented with or developed AKI. Patients with AKI were older and had a higher number of AKI risk factors. In the AKI cohort, 72% of the patients had two or more AKI risk factors compared with 43% of the cohort with no AKI. When age ≥65 years was added as an independent risk factor, 84% of those with AKI had two or more AKI risk factors compared with 55% of those with no AKI. Receiver operating characteristic analysis suggests that the use of common patient-associated known AKI risk factors performs no better than age alone as a predictor of AKI.

Conclusions: Detailed assessment of well-established patient-associated AKI risk factors may not facilitate clinicians to apportion risk. This suggests that additional work is required to develop a more sensitive validated AKI-predictive tool that would be useful in this clinical setting.

Keywords: AKI; acute tubular necrosis; chronic renal failure; chronic renal insufficiency; epidemiology.