Inflammation as a predictor of acute kidney injury and mediator of higher mortality after acute kidney injury in non-cardiac surgery

Sci Rep. 2019 Dec 30;9(1):20260. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-56615-4.


This retrospective cohort study examined the roles of inflammation in acute kidney injury (AKI). Serum albumin and C-reactive protein (CRP) were used as markers of inflammation. Adults who underwent non-cardiac surgery from 2007 to 2011 were included. Exclusion criteria were urological surgery, obstetric surgery, missing data, and pre-operative dialysis. Subjects were followed until the end of 2015 or loss to follow-up. Associations between pre-operative albumin or CRP and post-operative AKI or association between AKI and mortality were examined by logistic or Cox regression, respectively. Mediation analyses were performed using albumin and CRP as mediators. Among 4,538 subjects, 272 developed AKI. Pre-operative albumin was independently associated with AKI (odds ratio [95% confidence interval (CI)]: 0.63 [0.48-0.83]). During a median follow-up of 4.5 years, 649 died. AKI was significantly associated with mortality (hazard ratio [HR] [95% CI]: 1.58 [1.22-2.04]). Further adjustment for pre-operative albumin and CRP attenuated the association (HR [95% CI]: 1.28 [0.99-1.67]). The proportions explained by mediating effects of lnCRP and albumin were 29.3% and 39.2% and mediation effects were statistically significant. In conclusion, inflammation is a predictor of AKI and a mediator of mortality after AKI. Interventions targeting inflammation might improve outcomes of AKI.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury / blood
  • Acute Kidney Injury / mortality*
  • Acute Kidney Injury / pathology
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / blood
  • Inflammation / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / blood
  • Postoperative Complications / mortality
  • Postoperative Complications / pathology
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Serum Albumin / analysis
  • Survival Rate


  • Biomarkers
  • Serum Albumin
  • C-Reactive Protein