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1.  Urinary output and fractional excretion of sodium and urea as indicators of transient versus intrinsic acute kidney injury during early sepsis 
Critical Care  2013;17(5):R234.
Introduction
The pathophysiology of acute kidney injury (AKI) in sepsis is ill defined. We investigated parameters associated with low glomerular filtration, and their predictive value to discriminate transient from intrinsic septic AKI.
Methods
In 107 sepsis patients, AKI was defined by the Risk, Injury, Failure, Loss of Kidney Function, End-stage renal disease (RIFLE) urinary output or serum creatinine criterion, or both. Transient AKI (TAKI) versus intrinsic AKI was defined as RIFLE R, I, or F on the first day evolving to no AKI or not, respectively, over the following 5 days. Fractional excretion of sodium (FENa), urea (FEUrea), and NGAL (FENGAL) at admission (d0t0), 4 (d0t4), and 24 hours (d1) was determined.
Results
Including versus not including the urinary-output criterion of RIFLE increased AKI from 43% to 64.5%. Median uNGAL levels and FENGAL were lower in no AKI versus transient AKI when AKI was defined based on creatinine (P = 0.002 and P = 0.04, respectively), but not when based on urinary output (P = 0.9 and P = 0.49, respectively). FENa < 1% and FEUrea <35% was present in 77.3% and 63.2% of patients. Urinary NGAL was higher (P < 0.001) in those with high versus low fractional sodium excretion, but this was only in patients with transient or intrinsic AKI (P < 0.001 in subgroups), and not in patients without AKI. The negative predictive value for either intrinsic AKI or not restoring diuresis in patients with FENa > 0.36% and FEUrea > 31.5% was 92% and 94.5% respectively.
Conclusions
A low FENa and FEUrea is highly prevalent in the first hours of sepsis. In sepsis, oliguria is an earlier sign of impending AKI than increase in serum creatinine. A combination of a high FENa and a low FEUrea is associated with intrinsic AKI, whereas a combined high FENa and FEUrea is strongly predictive of transient AKI.
doi:10.1186/cc13057
PMCID: PMC4057160  PMID: 24119730
2.  Diagnostic accuracy of early urinary index changes in differentiating transient from persistent acute kidney injury in critically ill patients: multicenter cohort study 
Critical Care  2013;17(2):R56.
Introduction
Urinary indices have limited effectiveness in separating transient acute kidney injury (AKI) from persistent AKI in ICU patients. Their time-course may vary with the mechanism of AKI. The primary objective of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic value of changes over time of the usual urinary indices in separating transient AKI from persistent AKI.
Methods
An observational prospective multicenter study was performed in six ICUs involving 244 consecutive patients, including 97 without AKI, 54 with transient AKI, and 93 with persistent AKI. Urinary sodium, urea and creatinine were measured at ICU admission (H0) and on 6-hour urine samples during the first 24 ICU hours (H6, H12, H18, and H24). Transient AKI was defined as AKI with a cause for renal hypoperfusion and reversal within 3 days.
Results
Significant increases from H0 to H24 were noted in fractional excretion of urea (median, 31% (22 to 41%) and 39% (29 to 48%) at H24, P < 0.0001), urinary urea/plasma urea ratio (15 (7 to 28) and 20 (9 to 40), P < 0.0001), and urinary creatinine/plasma creatinine ratio (50 (24 to 101) and 57 (29 to 104), P = 0.01). Fractional excretion of sodium did not change significantly during the first 24 hours in the ICU (P = 0.13). Neither urinary index values at ICU admission nor changes in urinary indices between H0 and H24 performed sufficiently well to recommend their use in clinical setting (area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve ≤0.65).
Conclusion
Although urinary indices at H24 performed slightly better than those at H0 in differentiating transient AKI from persistent AKI, they remain insufficiently reliable to be clinically relevant.
doi:10.1186/cc12582
PMCID: PMC3733426  PMID: 23531299
3.  Prophylactic Perioperative Sodium Bicarbonate to Prevent Acute Kidney Injury Following Open Heart Surgery: A Multicenter Double-Blinded Randomized Controlled Trial 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(4):e1001426.
In a double-blinded randomized controlled trial, Anja Haase-Fielitz and colleagues find that an infusion of sodium bicarbonate during open heart surgery did not reduce the risk for acute kidney injury, compared with saline control.
Background
Preliminary evidence suggests a nephroprotective effect of urinary alkalinization in patients at risk of acute kidney injury. In this study, we tested whether prophylactic bicarbonate-based infusion reduces the incidence of acute kidney injury and tubular damage in patients undergoing open heart surgery.
Methods and Findings
In a multicenter, double-blinded (patients, clinical and research personnel), randomized controlled trial we enrolled 350 adult patients undergoing open heart surgery with the use of cardiopulmonary bypass. At induction of anesthesia, patients received either 24 hours of intravenous infusion of sodium bicarbonate (5.1 mmol/kg) or sodium chloride (5.1 mmol/kg). The primary endpoint was the proportion of patients developing acute kidney injury. Secondary endpoints included the magnitude of acute tubular damage as measured by urinary neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL), initiation of acute renal replacement therapy, and mortality. The study was stopped early under recommendation of the Data Safety and Monitoring Committee because interim analysis suggested likely lack of efficacy and possible harm. Groups were non-significantly different at baseline except that a greater proportion of patients in the sodium bicarbonate group (66/174 [38%]) presented with preoperative chronic kidney disease compared to control (44/176 [25%]; p = 0.009). Sodium bicarbonate increased urinary pH (from 6.0 to 7.5, p<0.001). More patients receiving bicarbonate (83/174 [47.7%]) developed acute kidney injury compared with control patients (64/176 [36.4%], odds ratio [OR] 1.60 [95% CI 1.04–2.45]; unadjusted p = 0.032). After multivariable adjustment, a non-significant unfavorable group difference affecting patients receiving sodium bicarbonate was found for the primary endpoint (OR 1.45 [0.90–2.33], p = 0.120]). A greater postoperative increase in urinary NGAL in patients receiving bicarbonate infusion was observed compared to control patients (p = 0.011). The incidence of postoperative renal replacement therapy was similar but hospital mortality was increased in patients receiving sodium bicarbonate compared with control (11/174 [6.3%] versus 3/176 [1.7%], OR 3.89 [1.07–14.2], p = 0.031).
Conclusions
Urinary alkalinization using sodium bicarbonate infusion was not found to reduce the incidence of acute kidney injury or attenuate tubular damage following open heart surgery; however, it was associated with a possible increase in mortality. On the basis of these findings we do not recommend the prophylactic use of sodium bicarbonate infusion to reduce the risk of acute kidney injury. Discontinuation of growing implementation of this therapy in this setting seems to be justified.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00672334
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Open heart surgery is a type of cardiac surgery that is used to treat patients with severe heart disease, where the patient's chest is cut open and surgery is performed on the internal structures of the heart. During open heart surgery, surgeons may use a technique called cardiopulmonary bypass to temporarily take over the function of the heart and lungs. This type of surgery may be used to prevent heart attack or heart failure in patients with conditions such as angina, atherosclerosis, congenital heart disease, or valvular heart disease. There are a number of complications associated with open heart surgery and one of these is the rapid loss of kidney function, known as acute kidney injury (AKI), and formerly known as acute renal failure. Symptoms of AKI can be variable, with diagnosis of AKI based on laboratory findings (such as elevated blood urea nitrogen and creatinine), or clinical signs such as inability of the kidneys to produce sufficient amounts of urine. Globally, more than 10 million people are affected by AKI each year. AKI occurs in about one quarter of patients undergoing cardiac surgery and is associated with longer stays in the hospital and an increased risk of death. Treatment of AKI includes administration of intravenous fluids, diuretics, and, in severe cases, patients may require kidney dialysis.
Why Was This Study Done?
The mechanism for why AKI occurs during cardiac surgery is complex and thought to involve multiple factors relating to blood circulation, the immune system, and toxins released by the kidneys. In addition to treating AKI after it occurs, it is important to identify patients who are at risk for developing AKI prior to cardiac surgery and then apply techniques to prevent AKI during cardiac surgery. A number of interventions have been tested for preventing AKI during cardiac surgery, but there is currently no strong evidence for a standard way to prevent AKI. One intervention that has potential for preventing AKI is the administration of sodium bicarbonate during cardiac surgery. Sodium bicarbonate causes alkalinization of the urine, and it is thought that this could reduce the effect of toxins in the kidneys. A previous pilot study showed promising effects for sodium bicarbonate to reduce the likelihood of AKI. In a follow-up to this pilot study, here the researchers have performed an international randomized controlled trial to test whether administration of sodium bicarbonate compared to sodium chloride (saline) during cardiac surgery can prevent AKI.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
350 patients undergoing open heart surgery with at least one risk factor for developing AKI were recruited across four sites in different countries (Germany, Canada, Ireland, and Australia). These patients were randomly assigned to receive either sodium bicarbonate (treatment) or saline control solution, given as a continuous infusion into the blood stream for 24 hours during surgery. Neither the researchers nor the patients were aware of which patients were assigned to the treatment group. The researchers measured the occurrence of AKI within the first 5 days after surgery and they found that a greater proportion of those patients receiving sodium bicarbonate developed AKI, as compared to those patients receiving saline control. On the basis of these findings the study was terminated before planned recruitment was completed. A key issue with this study is that a greater proportion of the patients in the sodium bicarbonate group had chronic kidney disease prior to open heart surgery. After adjusting for this difference in the statistical analysis, the researchers observed that the difference between the groups was not significant—that is, it could have happened by chance. The authors also observed that a significantly greater proportion of patients receiving sodium bicarbonate died in the hospital after surgery compared to patients receiving saline control.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that giving an infusion of sodium bicarbonate to induce alkalinization of the urine during open heart surgery is not a useful treatment for preventing AKI. Furthermore, this treatment may even increase the likelihood of death. The researchers do not recommend the use of sodium bicarbonate infusion to reduce the risk of AKI after open heart surgery and stress the need for discontinuation of this therapy. Key limitations of this research study are the early termination of the study and the greater proportion of patients with chronic kidney disease prior to surgery.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001426.
The Renal Association, a professional association for kidney doctors and researchers, provides information about acute kidney injury
The International Society for Nephrology and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations provide information about preventing acute kidney injury around the world and jointly initiated World Kidney Day
MedlinePlus has information on open heart surgery
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001426
PMCID: PMC3627643  PMID: 23610561
4.  Volume Management in the Critically Ill Patient with Acute Kidney Injury 
Acute kidney injury (AKI) frequently occurs in the setting of critical illness and its management poses a challenge for the intensivist. Optimal management of volume status is critical in the setting of AKI in the ICU patient. The use of urine sodium, the fractional excretion of sodium (FeNa), and the fractional excretion of urea (FeUrea) are common clinical tools used to help guide fluid management especially further volume expansion but should be used in the context of the patient's overall clinical scenario as they are not completely sensitive or specific for the finding of volume depletion and can be misleading. In the case of oliguric or anuric AKI, diuretics are often utilized to increase the urine output although current evidence suggests that they are best reserved for the treatment of volume overload and hyperkalemia in patients who are likely to respond to them. Management of volume overload in ICU patients with AKI is especially important as volume overload has several negative effects on organ function and overall morbidity and mortality.
doi:10.1155/2013/792830
PMCID: PMC3580895  PMID: 23476757
5.  Long-Term Survival and Dialysis Dependency Following Acute Kidney Injury in Intensive Care: Extended Follow-up of a Randomized Controlled Trial 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(2):e1001601.
Martin Gallagher and colleagues examine the long-term outcomes of renal replacement therapy (RRT) dosing in patients with acute kidney injury randomized to normal vs. augmented RRT.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
The incidence of acute kidney injury (AKI) is increasing globally and it is much more common than end-stage kidney disease. AKI is associated with high mortality and cost of hospitalisation. Studies of treatments to reduce this high mortality have used differing renal replacement therapy (RRT) modalities and have not shown improvement in the short term. The reported long-term outcomes of AKI are variable and the effect of differing RRT modalities upon them is not clear. We used the prolonged follow-up of a large clinical trial to prospectively examine the long-term outcomes and effect of RRT dosing in patients with AKI.
Methods and Findings
We extended the follow-up of participants in the Randomised Evaluation of Normal vs. Augmented Levels of RRT (RENAL) study from 90 days to 4 years after randomization. Primary and secondary outcomes were mortality and requirement for maintenance dialysis, respectively, assessed in 1,464 (97%) patients at a median of 43.9 months (interquartile range [IQR] 30.0–48.6 months) post randomization. A total of 468/743 (63%) and 444/721 (62%) patients died in the lower and higher intensity groups, respectively (risk ratio [RR] 1.04, 95% CI 0.96–1.12, p = 0.49). Amongst survivors to day 90, 21 of 411 (5.1%) and 23 of 399 (5.8%) in the respective groups were treated with maintenance dialysis (RR 1.12, 95% CI 0.63–2.00, p = 0.69). The prevalence of albuminuria among survivors was 40% and 44%, respectively (p = 0.48). Quality of life was not different between the two treatment groups. The generalizability of these findings to other populations with AKI requires further exploration.
Conclusions
Patients with AKI requiring RRT in intensive care have high long-term mortality but few require maintenance dialysis. Long-term survivors have a heavy burden of proteinuria. Increased intensity of RRT does not reduce mortality or subsequent treatment with dialysis.
Trial registration
www.ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00221013
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Throughout life, the kidneys perform the essential task of filtering waste products (from the normal breakdown of tissues and from food) and excess water from the blood to make urine. Chronic kidney disease (caused, for example, by diabetes) gradually destroys the kidneys' filtration units (the nephrons), eventually leading to life-threatening end-stage kidney disease. However, the kidneys can also stop working suddenly because of injury, infection, or poisoning. Acute kidney injury (AKI) is much more common than end-stage kidney disease and its incidence is increasing worldwide. In the US, for example, the number of hospitalizations that included an AKI diagnosis rose from 4,000 in 1996 to 23,000 in 2008. Moreover, nearly half of patients with AKI will die shortly after the condition develops. Symptoms of AKI include changes in urination, swollen feet and ankles, and tiredness. Treatments for AKI aim to prevent fluid and waste build up in the body and treat the underlying cause (e.g., severe infection or dehydration) while allowing the kidneys time to recover. In some patients, it is sufficient to limit the fluid intake and to reduce waste build-up by eating a diet that is low in protein, salt, and potassium. Other patients need renal replacement therapy (RRT), life-supporting treatments such as hemodialysis and hemofiltration, two processes that clean the blood by filtering it outside the body.
Why Was This Study Done?
The long-term outcomes of AKI (specifically, death and chronic kidney disease) and the effects of different RRT modalities on these outcomes are unclear. A recent controlled trial that randomly assigned patients with AKI who were managed in intensive care units (ICUs) to receive two different intensities of continuous hemodiafiltration (a combination of hemodialysis and hemofiltration) found no difference in all-cause mortality (death) at 90 days. Here, the researchers extend the follow-up of this trial (the Randomized Evaluation of Normal vs. Augmented Levels of renal replacement therapy [RENAL] study) to investigate longer-term mortality, the variables that predict mortality, treatment with long-term dialysis (an indicator of chronic kidney disease), and functional outcomes in patients with AKI treated with different intensities of continuous RRT.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
For the Prolonged Outcomes Study of RENAL (POST-RENAL), the researchers extended the follow-up of the RENAL participants up to 4 years. Over an average follow-up of 43.9 months, 63% of patients in the lower intensity treatment group died compared to 62% of patients in the higher intensity group. Overall, a third of patients who survived to 90 days died during the extended follow-up. Among the survivors to day 90, 5.1% and 5.8% of patients in the lower and higher intensity groups, respectively, were treated with maintenance dialysis during the extended follow-up. Among survivors who consented to analysis, 40% and 44% of patients in the lower and higher intensity groups, respectively, had albuminuria (protein in the urine, an indicator of kidney damage). Patients in both groups had a similar quality life (determined through telephone interviews). Finally, increasing age, APACHE III score (a scoring system that predicts the survival of patients in ICU), and serum creatinine level (an indicator of kidney function) at randomization were all predictors of long-term mortality.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that patients with AKI in ICUs who require RRT have a high long-term mortality. They show that few survivors require maintenance dialysis for chronic kidney disease but that there is a substantial rate of albuminuria among survivors despite relative preservation of kidney function. The findings also suggest that the intensity of RRT has no significant effect on mortality or the need for dialysis. Because these findings were obtained in a randomized controlled trial, they may not be generalizable to other patient populations. Moreover, although data on mortality and maintenance dialysis were available for all the trial participants, clinical and biochemical outcomes were only available for some participants and may not be representative of all the participants. Despite these study limitations, these findings suggest that survivors of AKI may be at a high risk of death or of developing chronic kidney disease. Survivors of AKI are, therefore, at high risk of further illness and long-term albuminuria reduction strategies may offer a therapeutic intervention for this group of patients.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001601.
The US National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse provides information about the kidneys and about all aspects of kidney disease and its treatment; the US National Kidney Disease Education Program provides resources to help improve the understanding, detection, and management of kidney disease (in English and Spanish)
The Mayo Clinic provides information for patients about acute kidney injury
Wikipedia has a page on acute kidney injury (note that Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit; available in several languages)
The not-for-profit UK National Kidney Federation provides support and information for patients with kidney disease and for their carers, including a link to a video about acute kidney injury
World Kidney Day, a joint initiative between the International Society of Nephrology and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations (IFKF), aims to raise awareness about kidneys and kidney disease; its website provides information about acute kidney injury
The MedlinePlus Encyclopedia has a pages about acute kidney failure and about renal dialysis
The UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recently published new guidelines on the treatment of acute kidney injury; a clinical practice guideline for acute kidney injury produced by KDIGO (a not-for-profit organization that aims to improve the care and outcomes of kidney disease patients worldwide through the development and implementation of global clinical practice guidelines) is available; the Acute Kidney Injury app provides a fast and simple way to explore guidelines on the diagnosis, prevention, and management of AKI
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001601
PMCID: PMC3921111  PMID: 24523666
6.  Association between systemic hemodynamics and septic acute kidney injury in critically ill patients: a retrospective observational study 
Critical Care  2013;17(6):R278.
Introduction
The role of systemic hemodynamics in the pathogenesis of septic acute kidney injury (AKI) has received little attention. The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between systemic hemodynamics and new or persistent of AKI in severe sepsis.
Methods
A retrospective study between 2006 and 2010 was performed in a surgical ICU in a teaching hospital. AKI was defined as development (new AKI) or persistent AKI during the five days following admission based on the Acute Kidney Injury Network (AKIN) criteria. We studied the association between the following hemodynamic targets within 24 hours of admission and AKI: central venous pressure (CVP), cardiac output (CO), mean arterial pressure (MAP), diastolic arterial pressure (DAP), central venous oxygen saturation (ScvO2) or mixed venous oxygen saturation (SvO2).
Results
This study included 137 ICU septic patients. Of these, 69 had new or persistent AKI. AKI patients had a higher Simplified Acute Physiology Score (SAPS II) (57 (46 to 67) vs. 45 (33 to 52), P < 0.001) and higher mortality (38% vs. 15%, P = 0.003) than those with no AKI or improving AKI. MAP, ScvO2 and CO were not significantly different between groups. Patients with AKI had lower DAP and higher CVP (P = 0.0003). The CVP value was associated with the risk of developing new or persistent AKI even after adjustment for fluid balance and positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) level (OR = 1.22 (1.08 to 1.39), P = 0.002). A linear relationship between CVP and the risk of new or persistent AKI was observed.
Conclusions
We observed no association between most systemic hemodynamic parameters and AKI in septic patients. Association between elevated CVP and AKI suggests a role of venous congestion in the development of AKI. The paradigm that targeting high CVP may reduce occurrence of AKI should probably be revised. Furthermore, DAP should be considered as a potential important hemodynamic target for the kidney.
doi:10.1186/cc13133
PMCID: PMC4056656  PMID: 24289206
7.  Urine neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin is an early marker of acute kidney injury in critically ill children: a prospective cohort study 
Critical Care  2007;11(4):R84.
Introduction
Serum creatinine is a late marker of acute kidney injury (AKI). Urine neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (uNGAL) is an early marker of AKI, where the timing of kidney injury is known. It is unknown whether uNGAL predicts AKI in the general critical care setting. We assessed the ability of uNGAL to predict AKI development and severity in critically ill children.
Methods
This was a prospective cohort study of critically ill children. Children aged between 1 month and 21 years who were mechanically ventilated and had a bladder catheter inserted were eligible. Patients with end-stage renal disease or who had just undergone kidney transplantation were excluded. Patients were enrolled within 24 to 48 hours of initiation of mechanical ventilation. Clinical data and serum creatinine were collected daily for up to 14 days from enrollment, and urine was collected once daily for up to 4 days for uNGAL measurement. AKI was graded using pRIFLE (pediatric modified Risk, Injury, Failure, Loss, End Stage Kidney Disease) criteria. Day 0 was defined as the day on which the AKI initially occurred, and pRIFLEmax was defined as the worst pRIFLE AKI grade recorded during the study period. The χ2 test was used to compare associations between categorical variables. Mann-Whitney and Kruskal-Wallis tests were used to compare continuous variables between groups. Diagnostic characteristics were evaluated by calculating sensitivity and specificity, and constructing receiver operating characteristic curves.
Results
A total of 140 patients (54% boys, mean ± standard deviation Pediatric Risk of Mortality II score 15.0 ± 8.0, 23% sepsis) were included. Mean and peak uNGAL concentrations increased with worsening pRIFLEmax status (P < 0.05). uNGAL concentrations rose (at least sixfold higher than in controls) in AKI, 2 days before and after a 50% or greater rise in serum creatinine, without change in control uNGAL. The parameter uNGAL was a good diagnostic marker for AKI development (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve [AUC] 0.78, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.62 to 0.95) and persistent AKI for 48 hours or longer (AUC 0.79, 95% CI 0.61 to 0.98), but not for AKI severity, when it was recorded after a rise in serum creatinine had occurred (AUC 0.63, 95% CI 0.44 to 0.82).
Conclusion
We found uNGAL to be a useful early AKI marker that predicted development of severe AKI in a heterogeneous group of patients with unknown timing of kidney injury.
doi:10.1186/cc6089
PMCID: PMC2206519  PMID: 17678545
8.  One-year mortality among Danish intensive care patients with acute kidney injury: a cohort study 
Critical Care  2012;16(4):R124.
Introduction
There are few studies on long-term mortality among intensive care unit (ICU) patients with acute kidney injury (AKI). We assessed the prevalence of AKI at ICU admission, its impact on mortality during one year of follow-up, and whether the influence of AKI varied in subgroups of ICU patients.
Methods
We identified all adults admitted to any ICU in Northern Denmark (approximately 1.15 million inhabitants) from 2005 through 2010 using population-based medical registries. AKI was defined at ICU admission based on the risk, injury, failure, loss of kidney function, and end-stage kidney disease (RIFLE) classification, using plasma creatinine changes. We included four severity levels: AKI-risk, AKI-injury, AKI-failure, and without AKI. We estimated cumulative mortality by the Kaplan-Meier method and hazard ratios (HRs) using a Cox model adjusted for potential confounders. We computed estimates for all ICU patients and for subgroups with different comorbidity levels, chronic kidney disease status, surgical status, primary hospital diagnosis, and treatment with mechanical ventilation or with inotropes/vasopressors.
Results
We identified 30,762 ICU patients, of which 4,793 (15.6%) had AKI at ICU admission. Thirty-day mortality was 35.5% for the AKI-risk group, 44.2% for the AKI-injury group, and 41.0% for the AKI-failure group, compared with 12.8% for patients without AKI. The corresponding adjusted HRs were 1.96 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.80-2.13), 2.60 (95% CI 2.38 to 2.85) and 2.41 (95% CI 2.21 to 2.64), compared to patients without AKI. Among patients surviving 30 days (n = 25,539), 31- to 365 day mortality was 20.5% for the AKI-risk group, 23.8% for the AKI-injury group, and 23.2% for the AKI-failure group, compared with 10.7% for patients without AKI, corresponding to adjusted HRs of 1.33 (95% CI 1.17 to 1.51), 1.60 (95% CI 1.37 to1.87), and 1.64 (95% CI 1.42 to 1.90), respectively. The association between AKI and 30-day mortality was evident in subgroups of the ICU population, with associations persisting in most subgroups during the 31- to 365-day follow-up period, although to a lesser extent than for the 30-day period.
Conclusions
AKI at ICU admission is an important prognostic factor for mortality throughout the subsequent year.
doi:10.1186/cc11420
PMCID: PMC3580703  PMID: 22789072
9.  Physicochemical analysis of blood and urine in the course of acute kidney injury in critically ill patients: a prospective, observational study 
BMC Anesthesiology  2013;13:31.
Background
Sequential physicochemical alterations in blood and urine in the course of acute kidney injury (AKI) development have not been previously described. We aimed to describe these alterations in parallel to traditional renal and acid–base parameters.
Methods
One hundred and sixty eight consecutive critically ill patients with no previous kidney disease, who had an indwelling urinary catheter at ICU admission and who remained with the catheter for at least two days without dialysis were included. A sample of blood and spot urine were collected simultaneously, once daily, until catheter removal or dialysis requirement. Traditional acid–base and renal parameters were sequentially evaluated in parallel to blood and urinary physicochemical parameters. Patients were classified during this period as having or not AKI and, for patients with AKI, duration (transient or persistent) and severity (creatinine-based AKIN stage) were evaluated.
Results
One hundred and thirteen patients (67.3%) had AKI: 92 at ICU admission and 21 during the observation period. AKI development was characterized in blood by increased values of phosphate and unmeasured anions (SIG), decreased albumin, and in urine by decreased values of sodium (NaU), chloride (ClU) as well as high urinary strong ion difference (SIDu). These alterations began to occur before AKI diagnosis, and they reverted in transient AKI but remained in persistent AKI. NaU, ClU and albumin decreased, and phosphate, SIG and SIDu increased with AKI severity progression. NaU and ClU values increased again when AKIN stage 3 was reached.
Conclusions
Simultaneous physicochemical analysis of blood and urine revealed standardized alterations that characterize AKI development in critically ill patients. These alterations paralleled AKI duration and severity. Future studies should consider including sequential evaluation of urine biochemistry as part of the armamentarium for AKI diagnosis and management.
doi:10.1186/1471-2253-13-31
PMCID: PMC3851869  PMID: 24112801
Urine biochemistry; Urine electrolytes; Physicochemical analysis; Stewart approach; Acute kidney injury; Strong ion gap; Strong ion difference; Critically ill patients
10.  Post Cardiac Surgery Acute Kidney Injury: A Woebegone Status Rejuvenated by the Novel Biomarkers 
Nephro-urology Monthly  2014;6(4):e19598.
Background:
Acute kidney injury (AKI) is common after cardiac surgery, the incidence varying between 7.7% and 28.1%. It significantly increases morbidity and mortality. Creatinine considerably delays the diagnosis with its own attended demerits. Novel urinary biomarkers are emerging which help in rapid diagnosis thus reducing the morbidity and mortality. Biomarkers of our study were neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) and Interleukin-18 (IL-18).
Objectives:
To find out the incidence of AKI in post-cardiac surgery patients in our hospital, the ability of the two biomarkers in early diagnosis in predicting the severity of AKI based on RIFLE’s criteria and their ability to discriminate pre-renal from intrinsic AKI.
Patients and Methods:
One-hundred patients who underwent cardiac surgery were selected. Midstream urine samples were collected at 3 time intervals (baseline before surgery, 24 hours and 7 days after surgery). Biomarkers were measured by ELISA using BIORAD processors. Fractional excretion of sodium and urea were used to discriminate pre-renal from intrinsic AKI.
Results:
Out of 100 patients, 31 had AKI, 11 being pre-renal and 20 intrinsic AKI. Four patients required renal replacement therapy (12.9% among AKI cases and 4% in the overall study cohort). Four among 31 expired in intensive care unit. Identifiable risk factors for AKI included insulin requiring diabetes mellitus, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, increased cardio-pulmonary bypass time, combined valvular surgery and coronary artery bypass grafting, employment of intra-aortic balloon counter pulsation, left main coronary artery occlusion and an ejection fraction of < 40%. NGAL was extremely sensitive (area under curve-0.96) in detecting intrinsic AKI at 24 hours followed by IL-18 ratio with an area under curve of 0.89. Creatinine at 24 hours was able to detect only 31.6% of intrinsic AKI. None of the pre-renal cases showed rise in the urinary biomarker levels. Patients with higher stages of AKI had higher levels of both biomarkers than those at lower stages.
Conclusions:
NGAL and IL-18 obviated the disadvantages of creatinine. They were efficient in early detection of AKI, in differentiating pre-renal from intrinsic AKI and in predicting the severity of AKI reliably in post-cardiac surgery patients.
doi:10.5812/numonthly.19598
PMCID: PMC4109123  PMID: 25068144
Acute Kidney Injury; NGAL Protein; Interleukin-18
11.  Early acute kidney injury and sepsis: a multicentre evaluation 
Critical Care  2008;12(2):R47.
Introduction
We conducted a study to evaluate the incidence, risk factors and outcomes associated with early acute kidney injury (AKI) in sepsis.
Methods
The study was a retrospective interrogation of prospectively collected data from the Australian New Zealand Intensive Care Society Adult Patient Database. Data were collected from 57 intensive care units (ICUs) across Australia. In total, 120,123 patients admitted to ICU for more than 24 hours from 1 January 2000 to 31 December 2005 were included in the analysis. The main outcome measures were clinical and laboratory data and outcomes.
Results
Of 120,123 patients admitted, 33,375 had a sepsis-related diagnosis (27.8%). Among septic patients, 14,039 (42.1%) had concomitant AKI (septic AKI). Sepsis accounted for 32.4% of all patients with AKI. For septic AKI stratified by RIFLE (risk of renal failure, injury to the kidney, failure of kidney function, loss of kidney function and end-stage kidney disease) category, 38.5% of patients belonged to the risk category, 38.8% to the injury category and 22.7% to the failure category. Septic AKI patients had greater acuity of illness (P < 0.0001), lower blood pressure (P < 0.0001), higher heart rates (P < 0.0001), worse pulmonary function measures by arterial oxygen tension/fraction of inspired oxygen ratio (P < 0.0001), greater acidaemia (P < 0.0001) and higher white cell counts (P < 0.0001) compared with patients with nonseptic AKI. Septic AKI was also associated with greater severity of AKI (RIFLE category injury or failure) compared with nonseptic AKI. Septic AKI was associated with a significantly higher crude and co-variate adjusted mortality in the ICU (19.8% versus 13.4%; odds ratio 1.60, 95% confidence interval 1.5 to 1.7; P < 0.001) and in hospital (29.7% versus 21.6%; odds ratio 1.53, 95% confidence interval 1.46 to 1.60; P < 0.001) compared with nonseptic AKI. Septic AKI was associated with higher ICU and hospital mortality across all strata of RIFLE categories. Septic AKI patients had longer durations of stay in both ICU and hospital across all strata of RIFLE categories.
Conclusion
Septic AKI is common during the first 24 hours after ICU admission. Patients with septic AKI are generally sicker, with a higher burden of illness, and have greater abnormalities in acute physiology compared with patients with nonseptic AKI. Moreover, septic AKI is independently associated with higher odds of death and longer duration of hospitalization.
doi:10.1186/cc6863
PMCID: PMC2447598  PMID: 18402655
12.  Urine biochemistry in septic and non-septic acute kidney injury: a prospective observational study✩,✩✩ 
Journal of critical care  2012;28(4):371-378.
Purpose
Determine whether there are unique patterns to the urine biochemistry profile in septic compared with non-septic acute kidney injury (AKI) and whether urinary biochemistry predicts worsening AKI, need for renal replacement therapy and mortality.
Materials and Methods
Prospective cohort study of critically ill patients with septic and non-septic AKI, defined by the RIFLE (Risk, Injury, Failure, Loss, End-Stage) criteria. Urine biochemistry parameters were compared between septic and non-septic AKI and were correlated with neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL), worsening AKI, renal replacement therapy (RRT), and mortality.
Results
Eighty-three patients were enrolled, 43 (51.8%) with sepsis. RIFLE class was not different between groups (P = .43). Urine sodium (UNa) <20 mmol/L, fractional excretion of sodium (FeNa) <1%, and fractional excretion of urea (FeU) < 35% were observed in 25.3%, 57.8%, and 33.7%, respectively. Septic AKI had lower UNa compared with non-septic AKI (P = .04). There were no differences in FeNa or FeU between groups. Urine NGAL was higher for FeNa≥1% compared to FeNa<1% (177.4 ng/mL [31.9-956.5] vs 48.0 ng/mL [21.1-232.4], P = .04). FeNa showed low correlation with urine NGAL (P = .05) and plasma NGAL (P = .14). There was poor correlation between FeU and urine NGAL (P = .70) or plasma NGAL (P = .41). UNa, FeNa, and FeU showed poor discrimination for worsening AKI, RRT and mortality.
Conclusion
Urine biochemical profiles do not discriminate septic and non-septic AKI. UNa, FeNa, and FeU do not reliably predict biomarker release, worsening AKI, RRT or mortality. These data imply limited utility for these measures in clinical practice in critically ill patients with AKI.
doi:10.1016/j.jcrc.2012.10.007
PMCID: PMC4145696  PMID: 23159144
Acute kidney injury; Fractional excretion of sodium; Fractional excretion of urea; Neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin; Sepsis; Renal replacement therapy
13.  Acute kidney injury in critical ill patients affected by influenza A (H1N1) virus infection 
Critical Care  2011;15(1):R66.
Introduction
Little information exists about the impact of acute kidney injury (AKI) in critically ill patients with the pandemic 2009 influenza A (H1N1) virus infection.
Methods
We conducted a prospective, observational, multicenter study in 148 Spanish intensive care units (ICUs). Patients with chronic renal failure were excluded. AKI was defined according to Acute Kidney Injury Network (AKIN) criteria.
Results
A total of 661 patients were analyzed. One hundred eighteen (17.7%) patients developed AKI; of these, 37 (31.4%) of the patients with AKI were classified as AKI I, 15 (12.7%) were classified as AKI II and 66 (55.9%) were classified as AKI III, among the latter of whom 50 (75.7%) required continuous renal replacement therapy. Patients with AKI had a higher Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II score (19.2 ± 8.3 versus 12.6 ± 5.9; P < 0.001), a higher Sequential Organ Failure Assessment score (8.7 ± 4.2 versus 4.8 ± 2.9; P < 0.001), more need for mechanical ventilation (MV) (87.3% versus 56.2%; P < 0.01, odds ratio (OR) 5.3, 95% confidence interval (CI) 3.0 to 9.4), a greater incidence of shock (75.4% versus 38.3%; P < 0.01, OR 4.9, 95% CI, 3.1 to 7.7), a greater incidence of multiorgan dysfunction syndrome (92.4% versus 54.7%; P < 0.01, OR 10.0, 95% CI, 4.9 to 20.21) and a greater incidence of coinfection (23.7% versus 14.4%; P < 0.01, OR 1.8, 95% CI, 1.1 to 3.0). In survivors, patients with AKI remained on MV longer and ICU and hospital length of stay were longer than in patients without AKI. The overall mortality was 18.8% and was significantly higher for AKI patients (44.1% versus 13.3%; P < 0.01, OR 5.1, 95% CI, 3.3 to 7.9). Logistic regression analysis was performed with AKIN criteria, and it demonstrated that among patients with AKI, only AKI III was independently associated with higher ICU mortality (P < 0.001, OR 4.81, 95% CI 2.17 to 10.62).
Conclusions
In our cohort of patients with H1N1 virus infection, only those cases in the AKI III category were independently associated with mortality.
doi:10.1186/cc10046
PMCID: PMC3221999  PMID: 21342489
14.  Hemodynamic variables and progression of acute kidney injury in critically ill patients with severe sepsis: data from the prospective observational FINNAKI study 
Critical Care  2013;17(6):R295.
Introduction
Knowledge of the association of hemodynamics with progression of septic acute kidney injury (AKI) is limited. However, some recent data suggest that mean arterial pressure (MAP) exceeding current guidelines (60–65 mmHg) may be needed to prevent AKI. We hypothesized that higher MAP during the first 24 hours in the intensive care unit (ICU), would be associated with a lower risk of progression of AKI in patients with severe sepsis.
Methods
We identified 423 patients with severe sepsis and electronically recorded continuous hemodynamic data in the prospective observational FINNAKI study. The primary endpoint was progression of AKI within the first 5 days of ICU admission defined as new onset or worsening of AKI by the Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) criteria. We evaluated the association of hemodynamic variables with this endpoint. We included 53724 10-minute medians of MAP in the analysis. We analysed the ability of time-adjusted MAP to predict progression of AKI by receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis.
Results
Of 423 patients, 153 (36.2%) had progression of AKI. Patients with progression of AKI had significantly lower time-adjusted MAP, 74.4 mmHg [68.3-80.8], than those without progression, 78.6 mmHg [72.9-85.4], P < 0.001. A cut-off value of 73 mmHg for time-adjusted MAP best predicted the progression of AKI. Chronic kidney disease, higher lactate, higher dose of furosemide, use of dobutamine and time-adjusted MAP below 73 mmHg were independent predictors of progression of AKI.
Conclusions
The findings of this large prospective multicenter observational study suggest that hypotensive episodes (MAP under 73 mmHg) are associated with progression of AKI in critically ill patients with severe sepsis.
doi:10.1186/cc13161
PMCID: PMC4056430  PMID: 24330815
15.  Evaluation of urinary tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-2 in acute kidney injury: a prospective observational study 
Critical Care  2014;18(6):716.
Introduction
Tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-2 (TIMP-2) is an emerging acute kidney injury (AKI) biomarker. We evaluated the performance of urinary TIMP-2 in an adult mixed ICU by comparison with other biomarkers that reflect several different pathways of AKI.
Methods
In this study, we prospectively enrolled 98 adult critically ill patients who had been admitted to the adult mixed ICU. Urinary TIMP-2 and N-acetyl-β-d-glucosaminidase (NAG) and plasma neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and erythropoietin (EPO) were measured on ICU admission. We evaluated these biomarkers’ capability of detecting AKI and its severity as determined by using the Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcomes serum creatinine criteria, as well as its capacity to predict in-hospital mortality. The impact of sepsis, the leading cause of AKI in ICUs, was also evaluated.
Results
We found AKI in 42 patients (42.9%). All biomarkers were significantly higher in AKI than in non-AKI. In total, 27 patients (27.6%) developed severe AKI. Urinary TIMP-2 was able to distinguish severe AKI from non-severe AKI with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC-ROC) of 0.80 (95% confidence interval, 0.66 to 0.90). A total of 41 cases (41.8%) were complicated with sepsis. Although plasma NGAL and IL-6 were increased by sepsis, urinary TIMP-2 and NAG were increased not by sepsis, but by the presence of severe AKI. Plasma EPO was increased only by septic AKI. In-hospital mortality was 15.3% in this cohort. Urinary TIMP-2 and NAG, and plasma NGAL, were significantly higher in non-survivors than in survivors, although plasma IL-6 and EPO were not. Among the biomarkers, only urinary TIMP-2 was able to predict in-hospital mortality significantly better than serum creatinine.
Conclusion
Urinary TIMP-2 can detect severe AKI with performance equivalent to plasma NGAL and urinary NAG, with an AUC-ROC value higher than 0.80. Furthermore, urinary TIMP-2 was associated with mortality. Sepsis appeared to have only a limited impact on urinary TIMP-2, in contrast to plasma NGAL.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13054-014-0716-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s13054-014-0716-5
PMCID: PMC4300076  PMID: 25524453
16.  Fluid balance and urine volume are independent predictors of mortality in acute kidney injury 
Critical Care  2013;17(1):R14.
Introduction
In ICUs, both fluid overload and oliguria are common complications associated with increased mortality among critically ill patients, particularly in acute kidney injury (AKI). Although fluid overload is an expected complication of oliguria, it remains unclear whether their effects on mortality are independent of each other. The aim of this study is to evaluate the impact of both fluid balance and urine volume on outcomes and determine whether they behave as independent predictors of mortality in adult ICU patients with AKI.
Methods
We performed a secondary analysis of data from a multicenter, prospective cohort study in 10 Italian ICUs. AKI was defined by renal sequential organ failure assessment (SOFA) score (creatinine >3.5 mg/dL or urine output (UO) <500 mL/d). Oliguria was defined as a UO <500 mL/d. Mean fluid balance (MFB) and mean urine volume (MUV) were calculated as the arithmetic mean of all daily values. Use of diuretics was noted daily. To assess the impact of MFB and MUV on mortality of AKI patients, multivariate analysis was performed by Cox regression.
Results
Of the 601 included patients, 132 had AKI during their ICU stay and the mortality in this group was 50%. Non-surviving AKI patients had higher MFB (1.31 ± 1.24 versus 0.17 ± 0.72 L/day; P <0.001) and lower MUV (1.28 ± 0.90 versus 2.35 ± 0.98 L/day; P <0.001) as compared to survivors. In the multivariate analysis, MFB (adjusted hazard ratio (HR) 1.67 per L/day, 95%CI 1.33 to 2.09; <0.001) and MUV (adjusted HR 0.47 per L/day, 95%CI 0.33 to 0.67; <0.001) remained independent risk factors for 28-day mortality after adjustment for age, gender, diabetes, hypertension, diuretic use, non-renal SOFA and sepsis. Diuretic use was associated with better survival in this population (adjusted HR 0.25, 95%CI 0.12 to 0.52; <0.001).
Conclusions
In this multicenter ICU study, a higher fluid balance and a lower urine volume were both important factors associated with 28-day mortality of AKI patients.
doi:10.1186/cc12484
PMCID: PMC4057508  PMID: 23347825
17.  Plasma and urine neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin in the diagnosis of new onset acute kidney injury in critically ill patients 
Critical Care  2014;18(4):R137.
Introduction
Neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) has been demonstrated to be a useful early diagnostic biomarker of acute kidney injury (AKI) where the timing of the insult is certain. However, NGAL is not well validated in adult critical care practice because of indeterminate timing of injury. Therefore, we sought to establish the predictive ability of both urine and plasma NGAL to detect AKI in ICU patients.
Method
This prospective observational study was performed in a busy large district general hospital mixed surgical-medical ICU in Reading, UK. Consecutive adult admissions to the ICU, with absence of chronic kidney disease, renal transplant or AKI as defined by RIFLE criteria were included. Blood and urine specimens were collected at admission and every 24 hours until 72 hours and tested for NGAL. The purpose of the study was to assess whether urinary NGAL (uNGAL) or plasma NGAL (pNGAL) can predict the occurrence of AKI at an earlier point of time than the conventional markers, that is creatinine and urine output as is used in RIFLE criteria.
Results
Over a 12-month period, 194 patients were enrolled. In total, 59 (30.4%) patients developed AKI. The admission pNGAL and uNGAL were significantly higher in the patients who developed AKI compared to the non-AKI patients (436 ng/mL (240, 797) versus 168 ng/mL (121.3, 274.3) P <0.001 and 342 ng/mL (61.5, 1,280) versus 34.5 ng/mL (11.5, 107.75) P <0.001 respectively). Hospital mortality was higher in the AKI group (17% versus 4%). Plasma NGAL performed fairly on admission (AUROC 0.77) and thereafter performance improved at 24 and 48 hours (AUROC 0.88 and 0.87) following ICU admission. Urine NGAL had a fair predictive value on admission (AUROC 0.79) and at 24 hours (AUROC 0.78) and was good at 48 hours (AUROC 0.82).
Conclusions
In critically ill patients without pre-existing kidney disease, both pNGAL and uNGAL measured at admission can predict AKI (defined by RIFLE criteria) occurrence up to 72 hours post-ICU admission and their performance (AUROC) was fair. The accuracy of NGAL appeared to improve slightly as patients progressed through their ICU stay. Serial measurements of NGAL (both pNGAL and uNGAL) may be of added value in an ICU setting to predict the occurrence of AKI.
doi:10.1186/cc13958
PMCID: PMC4226989  PMID: 24985156
18.  A comparison of RIFLE with and without urine output criteria for acute kidney injury in critically ill patients 
Critical Care  2012;16(5):R200.
Introduction
The Risk, Injury, Failure, Loss, and End-Stage Renal Disease (RIFLE) is a consensus-based classification system for diagnosing acute kidney insufficiency (AKI), based on serum creatinine (SCr) and urine output criteria (RIFLESCr+UO). The urine output criteria, however, are frequently discarded and many studies in the literature applied only the SCr criteria (RIFLESCr). We diagnosed AKI using both RIFLE methods and compared the effects on time to AKI diagnosis, AKI incidence and AKI severity.
Methods
This was a prospective observational cohort study during four months in adult critically ill patients admitted to the ICU for at least 48 hours. During the first week patients were scored daily for AKI according to RIFLESCr+UO and RIFLESCr. We assessed urine output hourly and fluid balance daily. The baseline SCr was estimated if a recent pre-ICU admission SCr was unknown. Based on the two RIFLE methods for each patient we determined time to AKI diagnosis (AKI-0) and maximum RIFLE grade.
Results
We studied 260 patients. A pre-ICU admission SCr was available in 101 (39%) patients. The two RIFLE methods resulted in statistically significantly different outcomes for incidence of AKI, diagnosis of AKI for individual patients, distribution of AKI-0 and distribution of the maximum RIFLE grade. Discarding the RIFLE urine criteria for AKI diagnosis significantly underestimated the presence and grade of AKI on admission and during the first ICU week (P < 0,001) and significantly delayed the diagnosis of AKI (P < 0.001). Based on RIFLESCr 45 patients had no AKI on admission but subsequently developed AKI. In 24 of these patients (53%) AKI would have been diagnosed at least one day earlier if the RIFLE urine criteria had been applied. Mortality rate in the AKI population was 38% based on RIFLESCr and 24% based on RIFLESCr+UO (P = 0.02).
Conclusions
The use of RIFLE without the urine criteria significantly underscores the incidence and grade of AKI, significantly delays the diagnosis of AKI and is associated with higher mortality.
doi:10.1186/cc11808
PMCID: PMC3682302  PMID: 23078781
19.  Duration of acute kidney injury and mortality in critically ill patients: a retrospective observational study 
BMC Nephrology  2013;14:133.
Background
The addition of relevant parameters to acute kidney injury (AKI) criteria might allow better prediction of patient mortality than AKI criteria alone. Here, we evaluated whether inclusion of AKI duration could address this issue.
Methods
AKI was defined according to the Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) guidelines in 2,143 critically ill patients, within 15 days of patient admission. AKI cases were categorized according to tertiles of AKI duration: 1st tertile, 1–2 days; 2nd tertile, 3–5 days; and 3rd tertile, ≥6 days. The hazard ratios (HRs) for overall survival rates in three groups were calculated after adjustment for multiple covariates compared with ICU patients without AKI as the reference group. The predictive ability for mortality was assessed by calculating the area under the curve (AUC) of the receiver operating characteristic curve.
Results
AKI increased the HRs for overall mortality, and the mortality rate increased with AKI duration: the adjusted HRs were 1.99 (1st tertile), 2.67 (2nd tertile), and 2.85 (3rd tertile) compared with the non-AKI group (all Ps < 0.001). The AUC of the ROC curve for overall mortality based on the AKI duration groups (0.716) was higher than the AUC of AKI staging using the KDIGO guidelines (0.696) (P = 0.001). When considering KDIGO stage and AKI duration together, the AUC (0.717) was also significantly higher than that using the KDIGO stage alone (P < 0.001).
Conclusions
AKI duration is an additional parameter for the prediction of mortality in critically ill patients. The inclusion of AKI duration could be considered as a refinement of the AKI criteria.
doi:10.1186/1471-2369-14-133
PMCID: PMC3697999  PMID: 23802916
Acute kidney injury; Acute renal failure; Duration; Mortality; Survival
20.  Time of injury affects urinary biomarker predictive values for acute kidney injury in critically ill, non-septic patients 
BMC Nephrology  2013;14:273.
Background
The predictive value of acute kidney injury (AKI) urinary biomarkers may depend on the time interval following tubular injury, thereby explaining in part the heterogeneous performance of these markers that has been reported in the literature. We studied the influence of timing on the predictive values of tubular proteins, measured before the rise of serum creatinine (SCr) in critically ill, non-septic patients.
Methods
Seven hundred adult critically ill patients were prospectively included for urine measurements at four time-points prior to the rise in serum creatinine (T = 0, -16, -20 and -24 h). Patients with sepsis and or AKI at ICU entry were excluded. The urinary excretion of the proteins, neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) and kidney injury molecule-1 (KIM-1), which are up-regulated in the distal and proximal tubules, respectively, were measured as well as the constitutive cytoplasmatic enzymes, π- and α-glutathione-S-transferase (GST), which are released by the distal and proximal tubules, respectively.
Results
Five hundred and forty-three subjects were eligible for further analyses; however, 49 developed AKI in the first 48 h. Both NGAL (P = 0.001 at T = -24 vs. non-AKI patients) and KIM-1 (P < 0.0001 at T = 0 vs. non-AKI patients) concentrations gradually increased until AKI diagnosis, whereas π- and α-GST peaked at T = -24 before AKI (P = 0.006 and P = 0.002, respectively vs. non-AKI patients) and showed a rapid decline afterwards. The predictive values at T = -24 prior to AKI were modest for π- and α-GST, whereas NGAL sufficiently predicted AKI at T = -24 and its predictive power improved as the time interval to AKI presentation decreased (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve; AUC = 0.79, P < 0.0001). KIM-1 was a good discriminator at T = 0 only (AUC = 0.73, P < 0.0001).
Conclusions
NGAL, KIM-1, pi- and alpha-GST displayed unique and mutually incomparable time dependent characteristics during the development of non-sepsis related AKI. Therefore, the time-relationship between the biomarker measurements and the injurious event influences the individual test results.
doi:10.1186/1471-2369-14-273
PMCID: PMC3878913  PMID: 24321290
Urinary biomarkers; AKI; NGAL; KIM-1; Pi-GST and alpha GST
21.  Epidemiology of acute kidney injury in Hungarian intensive care units: a multicenter, prospective, observational study 
BMC Nephrology  2011;12:43.
Background
Despite the substantial progress in the quality of critical care, the incidence and mortality of acute kidney injury (AKI) continues to rise during hospital admissions. We conducted a national, multicenter, prospective, epidemiological survey to evaluate the importance of AKI in intensive care units (ICUs) in Hungary. The objectives of this study were to determine the incidence of AKI in ICU patients; to characterize the differences in aetiology, illness severity and clinical practice; and to determine the influencing factors of the development of AKI and the patients' outcomes.
Methods
We analysed the demographic, morbidity, treatment modality and outcome data of patients (n = 459) admitted to ICUs between October 1st, 2009 and November 30th, 2009 using a prospectively filled in electronic survey form in 7 representative ICUs.
Results
The major reason for ICU admission was surgical in 64.3% of patients and medical in the remaining 35.7%. One-hundred-twelve patients (24.4%) had AKI. By AKIN criteria 11.5% had Stage 1, 5.4% had Stage 2 and 7.4% had Stage 3. In 44.0% of patients, AKI was associated with septic shock. Vasopressor treatment, SAPS II score, serum creatinine on ICU admission and sepsis were the independent risk factors for development of any stage of AKI. Among the Stage 3 patients (34) 50% received renal replacement therapy. The overall utilization of intermittent renal replacement therapy was high (64.8%). The overall in-hospital mortality rate of AKI was 49% (55/112). The ICU mortality rate was 39.3% (44/112). The independent risk factors for ICU mortality were age, mechanical ventilation, SOFA score and AKI Stage 3.
Conclusions
For the first time we have established the incidence of AKI using the AKIN criteria in Hungarian ICUs. Results of the present study confirm that AKI has a high incidence and is associated with high ICU and in-hospital mortality.
doi:10.1186/1471-2369-12-43
PMCID: PMC3182967  PMID: 21910914
22.  Some biomarkers of acute kidney injury are increased in pre-renal acute injury 
Kidney International  2012;81(12):1254-1262.
Pre-renal acute kidney injury (AKI) is assumed to represent a physiological response to underperfusion. Its diagnosis is retrospective after a transient rise in plasma creatinine, usually associated with evidence of altered tubular transport, particularly that of sodium. In order to test whether pre-renal AKI is reversible because injury is less severe than that of sustained AKI, we measured urinary biomarkers of injury (cystatin C, neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL), γ-glutamyl transpeptidase, IL-18, and kidney injury molecule-1 (KIM-1)) at 0, 12, and 24 h following ICU admission. A total of 529 patients were stratified into groups having no AKI, AKI with recovery by 24 h, recovery by 48 h, or the composite of AKI greater than 48 h or dialysis. Pre-renal AKI was identified in 61 patients as acute injury with recovery within 48 h and a fractional sodium excretion <1%. Biomarker concentrations significantly and progressively increased with the duration of AKI. After restricting the AKI recovery within the 48 h cohort to pre-renal AKI, this increase remained significant. The median concentration of KIM-1, cystatin C, and IL-18 were significantly greater in pre-renal AKI compared with no-AKI, while NGAL and γ-glutamyl transpeptidase concentrations were not significant. The median concentration of at least one biomarker was increased in all but three patients with pre-renal AKI. Thus, the reason why some but not all biomarkers were increased requires further study. The results suggest that pre-renal AKI represents a milder form of injury.
doi:10.1038/ki.2012.23
PMCID: PMC3365288  PMID: 22418979
acute kidney injury; acute renal failure; creatinine
23.  Correlation between the AKI classification and outcome 
Critical Care  2008;12(6):R144.
Introduction
The Acute Kidney Injury Network proposed a new classification for acute kidney injury (AKI) distinguishing between three stages. We applied the criteria to a large intensive care unit (ICU) population and evaluated the impact of AKI in the context of other risk factors.
Methods
Using the Riyadh Intensive Care Program database, we applied the AKI classification to 22,303 adult patients admitted to 22 ICUs in the UK and Germany between 1989 and 1999, who stayed in the ICU for 24 hours or longer and did not have end-stage dialysis dependent renal failure.
Results
Of the patients, 7898 (35.4%) fulfilled the criteria for AKI (19.1% had AKI I 3.8% had AKI II and 12.5% had AKI III). Mortality in the ICU was 10.7% in patients with no AKI, 20.1% in AKI I, 25.9% in AKI II and 49.6% in AKI III. Multivariate analysis confirmed that AKI III, but not AKI I and AKI II, were independently associated with ICU mortality (odds ratio (OR) = 2.27). Other independent risk factors for ICU mortality were age (OR = 1.03), sequential organ failure assessment (SOFA) score on admission to the ICU (OR = 1.11), pre-existing end-stage chronic health (OR = 1.65), emergency surgery (OR = 2.33), mechanical ventilation (OR = 2.83), maximum number of failed organ systems (OR = 2.80) and non-surgical admission (OR = 3.57). Cardiac surgery, AKI I and renal replacement therapy were associated with a reduced risk of dying in the ICU. AKI II was not an independent risk factor for ICU mortality. Without renal replacement therapy as a criterion, 21% of patients classified as AKI III would have been classified as AKI II or AKI I. Renal replacement therapy as a criterion for AKI III may inadvertently diminish the predictive power of the classification.
Conclusions
The proposed AKI classification correlated with ICU outcome but only AKI III was an independent risk factor for ICU mortality. The use of renal replacement therapy as a criterion for AKI III may have a confounding effect on the predictive power of the classification system as a whole.
doi:10.1186/cc7123
PMCID: PMC2646305  PMID: 19019254
24.  Repulsive guidance cue semaphorin 3A in urine predicts the progression of acute kidney injury in adult patients from a mixed intensive care unit 
Backgrounds
Predicting the development of acute kidney injury (AKI) in the critical care setting is challenging. Although several biomarkers showed somewhat satisfactory performance for detecting established AKI even in a heterogeneous disease-oriented population, identification of new biomarkers that predict the development of AKI accurately is urgently required.
Methods
A single-center prospective observational cohort study was undertaken to evaluate for the first time the reliability of the newly identified biomarker semaphorin 3A for AKI diagnosis in heterogeneous intensive care unit populations. In addition to five urinary biomarkers of L-type fatty acid-binding protein (L-FABP), neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL), IL-18, albumin and N-acetyl-β-d-glucosaminidase (NAG), urinary semaphorin 3A was measured at intensive care unit (ICU) admission.
Results and conclusion
Three hundred thirty-nine critically ill adult patients were recruited for this study. Among them, 131 patients (39%) were diagnosed with AKI by the RIFLE criteria and 66 patients were diagnosed as AKI at post-ICU admission (later-onset AKI). Eighty-four AKI patients showed worsening severity during 1 week observation (AKI progression). Although L-FABP, NGAL and IL-18 showed significantly higher area under the curve (AUC)-receiver operating characteristic (ROC) values than semaphorin 3A in detecting established AKI, semaphorin 3A was able to detect later-onset AKI and AKI progression with similar AUC-ROC values compared with the other five biomarkers [AUC-ROC (95% CI) for established AKI 0.64 (0.56–0.71), later-onset AKI 0.71 (0.64–0.78), AKI progression 0.71 (0.64–0.77)]. Urinary semaphorin 3A was not increased in non-progressive established AKI, while the other biomarkers were elevated regardless of further progression. Finally, sepsis did not have any impact on semaphorin 3A while the other urinary biomarkers were increased with sepsis. Semaphorin 3A is a new biomarker of AKI which may have a distinct predictive use for AKI progression when compared with other AKI biomarkers.
doi:10.1093/ndt/gft414
PMCID: PMC3888311  PMID: 24166457
acute kidney injury; AKI progression; biomarker; mixed ICU; semaphorin 3A
25.  Oliguria as predictive biomarker of acute kidney injury in critically ill patients 
Critical Care  2011;15(4):R172.
Introduction
During critical illness, oliguria is often used as a biomarker of acute kidney injury (AKI). However, its relationship with the subsequent development of AKI has not been prospectively evaluated.
Methods
We documented urine output and daily serum creatinine concentration in patients admitted for more than 24 hours in seven intensive care units (ICUs) from six countries over a period of two to four weeks. Oliguria was defined by a urine output < 0.5 ml/kg/hr. Data were collected until the occurrence of creatinine-defined AKI (AKI-Cr), designated by RIFLE-Injury class or greater using creatinine criteria (RIFLE-I[Cr]), or until ICU discharge. Episodes of oliguria were classified by longest duration of consecutive oliguria during each day were correlated with new AKI-Cr the next day, examining cut-offs for oliguria of greater than 1,2,3,4,5,6, or 12 hr duration,
Results
We studied 239 patients during 723 days. Overall, 32 patients had AKI on ICU admission, while in 23, AKI-Cr developed in ICU. Oliguria of greater than one hour was significantly associated with AKI-Cr the next day. On receiver-operator characteristic area under the curve (ROCAUC) analysis, oliguria showed fair predictive ability for AKI-Cr (ROCAUC = 0.75; CI:0.64-0.85). The presence of 4 hrs or more oliguria provided the best discrimination (sensitivity 52% (0.31-0.73%), specificity 86% (0.84-0.89%), positive likelihood ratio 3.8 (2.2-5.6), P < 0.0001) with negative predictive value of 98% (0.97-0.99). Oliguria preceding AKI-Cr was more likely to be associated with lower blood pressure, higher heart rate and use of vasopressors or inotropes and was more likely to prompt clinical intervention. However, only 30 of 487 individual episodes of oliguria preceded the new occurrence of AKI-Cr the next day.
Conclusions
Oliguria was significantly associated with the occurrence of new AKI-Cr, however oliguria occurred frequently compared to the small number of patients (~10%) developing AKI-Cr in the ICU, so that most episodes of oliguria were not followed by renal injury. Consequently, the occurrence of short periods (1-6 hr) of oliguria lacked utility in discriminating patients with incipient AKI-Cr (positive likelihood ratios of 2-4, with > 10 considered indicative of a useful screening test). However, oliguria accompanied by hemodynamic compromise or increasing vasopressor dose may represent a clinically useful trigger for other early biomarkers of renal injury.
doi:10.1186/cc10318
PMCID: PMC3387614  PMID: 21771324
Oliguria; Kidney Failure; Acute; Critical Illness; creatinine; urine; biomarkers

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