Intraoperative hypotension during liver transplant surgery is associated with postoperative acute kidney injury: a historical cohort study

BMC Anesthesiol. 2021 Jan 11;21(1):12. doi: 10.1186/s12871-020-01228-y.


Background: Acute kidney injury (AKI) occurs frequently after liver transplant surgery and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. While the impact of intraoperative hypotension (IOH) on postoperative AKI has been well demonstrated in patients undergoing a wide variety of non-cardiac surgeries, it remains poorly studied in liver transplant surgery. We tested the hypothesis that IOH is associated with AKI following liver transplant surgery.

Methods: This historical cohort study included all patients who underwent liver transplant surgery between 2014 and 2019 except those with a preoperative creatinine > 1.5 mg/dl and/or who had combined transplantation surgery. IOH was defined as any mean arterial pressure (MAP) < 65 mmHg and was classified according to the percentage of case time during which the MAP was < 65 mmHg into three groups, based on the interquartile range of the study cohort: "short" (Quartile 1, < 8.6% of case time), "intermediate" (Quartiles 2-3, 8.6-39.5%) and "long" (Quartile 4, > 39.5%) duration. AKI stages were classified according to a "modified" "Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes" (KDIGO) criteria. Logistic regression modelling was conducted to assess the association between IOH and postoperative AKI. The model was run both as a univariate and with multiple perioperative covariates to test for robustness to confounders.

Results: Of the 205 patients who met our inclusion criteria, 117 (57.1%) developed AKI. Fifty-two (25%), 102 (50%) and 51 (25%) patients had short, intermediate and long duration of IOH respectively. In multivariate analysis, IOH was independently associated with an increased risk of AKI (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 1.05; 95%CI 1.02-1.09; P < 0.001). Compared to "short duration" of IOH, "intermediate duration" was associated with a 10-fold increased risk of developing AKI (OR 9.7; 95%CI 4.1-22.7; P < 0.001). "Long duration" was associated with an even greater risk of AKI compared to "short duration" (OR 34.6; 95%CI 11.5-108.6; P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Intraoperative hypotension is independently associated with the development of AKI after liver transplant surgery. The longer the MAP is < 65 mmHg, the higher the risk the patient will develop AKI in the immediate postoperative period, and the greater the likely severity. Anesthesiologists and surgeons must therefore make every effort to avoid IOH during surgery.

Keywords: Acute kidney disease; Chronic kidney disease; Hemodynamic; Intraoperative; Postoperative complications; Renal failure; Transplant.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury / etiology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypotension / complications*
  • Hypotension / physiopathology*
  • Intraoperative Complications / physiopathology*
  • Liver Transplantation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology*
  • Risk Factors