Acute kidney injury in trauma patients admitted to the ICU: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Intensive Care Med. 2019 Apr;45(4):407-419. doi: 10.1007/s00134-019-05535-y. Epub 2019 Feb 6.


Purpose: To perform a systematic review and meta-analysis of acute kidney injury (AKI) in trauma patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU).

Methods: We conducted a systematic literature search of studies on AKI according to RIFLE, AKIN, or KDIGO criteria in trauma patients admitted to the ICU (PROSPERO CRD42017060420). We searched PubMed, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, UpToDate, and NICE through 3 December 2018. Data were collected on incidence of AKI, risk factors, renal replacement therapy (RRT), renal recovery, length of stay (LOS), and mortality. Pooled analyses with random effects models yielded mean differences, OR, and RR, with 95% CI.

Results: Twenty-four observational studies comprising 25,182 patients were included. Study quality (Newcastle-Ottawa scale) was moderate. Study heterogeneity was substantial. Incidence of post-traumatic AKI in the ICU was 24% (20-29), of which 13% (10-16) mild, 5% (3-7) moderate, and 4% (3-6) severe AKI. Risk factors for AKI were African American descent, high age, chronic hypertension, diabetes mellitus, high Injury Severity Score, abdominal injury, shock, low Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score, high APACHE II score, and sepsis. AKI patients had 6.0 (4.0-7.9) days longer ICU LOS and increased risk of death [RR 3.4 (2.1-5.7)] compared to non-AKI patients. In patients with AKI, RRT was used in 10% (6-15). Renal recovery occurred in 96% (78-100) of patients.

Conclusions: AKI occurred in 24% of trauma patients admitted to the ICU, with an RRT use among these of 10%. Presence of AKI was associated with increased LOS and mortality, but renal recovery in AKI survivors was good.

Keywords: Acute kidney injury; Critical illness; Mortality; Risk factors; Systematic review; Wounds and injuries.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury / etiology*
  • Acute Kidney Injury / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Hypotension / complications
  • Hypotension / physiopathology
  • Inflammation / complications
  • Inflammation / physiopathology
  • Intensive Care Units / organization & administration
  • Length of Stay
  • Rhabdomyolysis / complications
  • Rhabdomyolysis / physiopathology
  • Risk Factors
  • Wounds and Injuries / complications*
  • Wounds and Injuries / physiopathology