Association between the triglyceride glucose (TyG) index and the risk of acute kidney injury in critically ill patients with heart failure: analysis of the MIMIC-IV database

Cardiovasc Diabetol. 2023 Aug 31;22(1):232. doi: 10.1186/s12933-023-01971-9.


Background: Insulin resistance (IR) can be effectively assessed using the dependable surrogate biomarker triglyceride-glucose (TyG) index. In various critical care contexts, like contrast-induced acute kidney injury (AKI), an elevated TyG index has demonstrated a robust correlation with the incidence of AKI. Nonetheless, the potential of the TyG index to predict AKI in critically ill patients with heart failure (HF) remains uncertain.

Methods: A cohort of participants was non-consecutively selected from the Medical Information Mart for Intensive Care IV (MIMIC-IV) database and divided into quartiles based on their TyG index values. The incidence of AKI was the primary outcome. The secondary endpoint was in-hospital mortality within both the whole study population and the subset of AKI patients. The use of the renal replacement therapy (RRT) which represented the progression of AKI severity was also included as a secondary endpoint representing renal outcome. A restricted cubic splines model and Cox proportional hazards models were utilized to evaluate the association of TyG index with the risk of AKI in patients with HF in a critical condition. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis was employed to estimate primary and secondary endpoint disparities across groups differentiated by their TyG index.

Results: This study included a total of 1,393 patients, with 59% being male. The incidence of AKI was 82.8%. Cox proportional hazards analyses revealed a significant association between TyG index and the incidence of AKI in critically ill patients with HF. The restricted cubic splines model illustrated the linear relationship between higher TyG index and increased risk of AKI in this specific patient population. Furthermore, the Kaplan-Meier survival analyses unveiled statistically significant differences in the use of RRT across the subset of AKI patients based on the quartiles of the TyG index.

Conclusions: The results highlight the TyG index as a robust and independent predictor of the incidence of AKI and poor renal outcome in patients with HF in a critical condition. However, further confirmation of causality necessitates larger prospective studies.

Keywords: Acute kidney injury; Heart failure; Insulin resistance; MIMIC-IV database; Triglyceride-glucose index.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury* / diagnosis
  • Acute Kidney Injury* / epidemiology
  • Acute Kidney Injury* / therapy
  • Critical Care
  • Critical Illness
  • Female
  • Glucose
  • Heart Failure* / diagnosis
  • Heart Failure* / epidemiology
  • Heart Failure* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies


  • Glucose