Automated Continuous Acute Kidney Injury Prediction and Surveillance: A Random Forest Model

Mayo Clin Proc. 2019 May;94(5):783-792. doi: 10.1016/j.mayocp.2019.02.009.


Objective: To develop and validate a prediction model of acute kidney injury (AKI) of any severity that could be used for AKI surveillance and management to improve clinical outcomes.

Patients and methods: This retrospective cohort study was conducted in medical, surgical, and mixed intensive care units (ICUs) at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, including adult (≥18 years of age) ICU-unique patients admitted between October 1, 2004, and April 30, 2011. Our primary objective was prediction of AKI using extant clinical data following ICU admission. We used random forest classification to provide continuous AKI risk score.

Results: We included 4572 and 1958 patients in the training and validation mutually exclusive cohorts, respectively. Acute kidney injury occurred in 1355 patients (30%) in the training cohort and 580 (30%) in the validation cohort. We incorporated known AKI risk factors and routinely measured vital characteristics and laboratory results. The model was run throughout ICU admission every 15 minutes and achieved an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.88 on validation. It was 92% sensitive and 68% specific and detected 30% of AKI cases at least 6 hours before the criterion standard time (AKI stages 1-3). For discrimination of AKI stages 2 to 3, the model had 91% sensitivity, 71% specificity, and 53% detection of AKI cases at least 6 hours before AKI onset.

Conclusion: We developed and validated an AKI prediction model using random forest for continuous monitoring of ICU patients. This model could be used to identify high-risk patients for preventive measures or identifying patients of prospective interventional trials.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury / classification
  • Acute Kidney Injury / diagnosis*
  • Adult
  • Area Under Curve
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Creatinine / blood
  • Decision Trees
  • Early Diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Models, Statistical
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • ROC Curve
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors


  • Creatinine