Risk Prediction Models for Acute Kidney Injury in Critically Ill Patients: Opus in Progressu

Nephron. 2018;140(2):99-104. doi: 10.1159/000490119. Epub 2018 May 31.


Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a complex systemic syndrome associated with high morbidity and mortality. Among critically ill patients admitted to intensive care units (ICUs), the incidence of AKI is as high as 50% and is associated with dismal outcomes. Thus, the development and validation of clinical risk prediction tools that accurately identify patients at high risk for AKI in the ICU is of paramount importance. We provide a comprehensive review of 3 clinical risk prediction tools that have been developed for incident AKI occurring in the first few hours or days following admission to the ICU. We found substantial heterogeneity among the clinical variables that were examined and included as significant predictors of AKI in the final models. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curves was ∼0.8 for all 3 models, indicating satisfactory model performance, though positive predictive values ranged from only 23 to 38%. Hence, further research is needed to develop more accurate and reproducible clinical risk prediction tools. Strategies for improved assessment of AKI susceptibility in the ICU include the incorporation of dynamic (time-varying) clinical parameters, as well as biomarker, functional, imaging, and genomic data.

Keywords: Acute Kidney Injury; Critical Illness; Intensive care unit; Risk Prediction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury / diagnosis*
  • Critical Care
  • Critical Illness*
  • Humans
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Risk Assessment / methods*