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1.  Inter-hospital transfers and outcomes of critically ill patients with severe acute kidney injury: a multicenter cohort study 
Critical Care  2014;18(5):513.
Patients with severe acute kidney injury (AKI) who are hospitalized at centers that do not provide renal replacement therapy (RRT) are frequently subjected to inter-hospital transfer for the provision of RRT. It is unclear whether such transfers are associated with worse patient outcomes as compared with the receipt of initial care in a center that provides RRT. This study examined the relationship between inter-hospital transfer and 30-day mortality among critically ill patients with AKI who received RRT.
We conducted a retrospective cohort study of all critically ill patients who commenced RRT for AKI at two academic hospitals in Toronto, Canada. The exposure of interest was inter-hospital transfer for the administration of RRT. We evaluated the relationship between transfer status and 30-day mortality (primary outcome) and RRT dependence at 30 days following RRT initiation (secondary outcome), by using multivariate logistic regression with adjustment for patient demographics, clinical factors, biochemical indices, and severity of illness.
Of 370 patients who underwent RRT for AKI, 82 (22.2%) were transferred for this purpose from another hospital. Compared with non-transferred patients who started RRT, transferred patients were younger (61 ± 15 versus 65 ± 15 years, P = 0.03) and had a higher serum creatinine concentration at RRT initiation (474 ± 295 versus 365 ± 169 μmol/L, P = 0.002). Inter-hospital transfer was not associated with mortality (adjusted odds ratio 0.61, 95% confidence interval 0.33 to 1.12) or RRT-dependence (adjusted odds ratio 1.64, 95% confidence interval 0.70 to 3.81) at 30 days.
Within the limitations of this observational study and the potential for residual confounding, inter-hospital transfer of critically ill patients with AKI was not associated with a higher risk of death or dialysis dependence 30 days after the initiation of acute RRT.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13054-014-0513-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4189586  PMID: 25228166
2.  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
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.
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 NCT00221013
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
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
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
PMCID: PMC3921111  PMID: 24523666
3.  Timing of renal replacement therapy initiation by AKIN classification system 
Critical Care  2013;17(2):R62.
Previous studies using Acute Kidney Injury Network (AKIN)/RIFLE criteria to classify early initiation of renal replacement therapy (RRT) have defined it as the therapy started in less severe AKIN/RIFLE stages. Generally, these studies failed in demonstrating measurable benefits.
We compared RRT initiation in critically ill patients and defined early or late RRT in reference to timing after stage 3 AKIN was met: patients beginning RRT within 24 hours after acute kidney injury (AKI) stage 3 were considered early starters. AKIN criteria were evaluated by both urine output (UO) and serum creatinine (sCr) and patients with acute-on-chronic kidney disease were excluded. A propensity score methodology was used to control variables.
A total of 358 critically ill patients were submitted to RRT. Only 150 patients with pure AKI at stage 3 were analyzed. Mortality was lower in the early RRT group (51.5 vs. 77.9%, P = 0.001). After achieving balance between the groups using a propensity score, there was a significant 30.5 (95% confidence interval [CI] 14.4 to 45.2%, P = 0.002) relative decrease of mortality in the early RRT group. Moreover, patients on the early RRT group had lower duration of mechanical ventilation, time on RRT and a trend to lower intensive care unit (ICU) length of stay.
For the first time, AKIN was used with UO criterion to evaluate early and late RRT. Using a time-based approach could be a better parameter to access the association between RRT initiation and outcomes in patients with AKI.
PMCID: PMC4057476  PMID: 23548002
4.  A comparison of early versus late initiation of renal replacement therapy in critically ill patients with acute kidney injury: a systematic review and meta-analysis 
Critical Care  2011;15(1):R72.
Our aim was to investigate the impact of early versus late initiation of renal replacement therapy (RRT) on clinical outcomes in critically ill patients with acute kidney injury (AKI).
Systematic review and meta-analysis were used in this study. PUBMED, EMBASE, SCOPUS, Web of Science and Cochrane Central Registry of Controlled Clinical Trials, and other sources were searched in July 2010. Eligible studies selected were cohort and randomised trials that assessed timing of initiation of RRT in critically ill adults with AKI.
We identified 15 unique studies (2 randomised, 4 prospective cohort, 9 retrospective cohort) out of 1,494 citations. The overall methodological quality was low. Early, compared with late therapy, was associated with a significant improvement in 28-day mortality (odds ratio (OR) 0.45; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.28 to 0.72). There was significant heterogeneity among the 15 pooled studies (I2 = 78%). In subgroup analyses, stratifying by patient population (surgical, n = 8 vs. mixed, n = 7) or study design (prospective, n = 10 vs. retrospective, n = 5), there was no impact on the overall summary estimate for mortality. Meta-regression controlling for illness severity (Acute Physiology And Chronic Health Evaluation II (APACHE II)), baseline creatinine and urea did not impact the overall summary estimate for mortality. Of studies reporting secondary outcomes, five studies (out of seven) reported greater renal recovery, seven (out of eight) studies showed decreased duration of RRT and five (out of six) studies showed decreased ICU length of stay in the early, compared with late, RRT group. Early RRT did not; however, significantly affect the odds of dialysis dependence beyond hospitalization (OR 0.62 0.34 to 1.13, I2 = 69.6%).
Earlier institution of RRT in critically ill patients with AKI may have a beneficial impact on survival. However, this conclusion is based on heterogeneous studies of variable quality and only two randomised trials. In the absence of new evidence from suitably-designed randomised trials, a definitive treatment recommendation cannot be made.
PMCID: PMC3222005  PMID: 21352532
5.  Impact of timing of renal replacement therapy initiation on outcome of septic acute kidney injury 
Critical Care  2011;15(3):R134.
Sepsis is the leading cause of acute kidney injury (AKI) in critical patients. The optimal timing of initiating renal replacement therapy (RRT) in septic AKI patients remains controversial. The objective of this study is to determine the impact of early or late initiation of RRT, as defined using the simplified RIFLE (risk, injury, failure, loss of kidney function, and end-stage renal failure) classification (sRIFLE), on hospital mortality among septic AKI patients.
Patient with sepsis and AKI requiring RRT in surgical intensive care units were enrolled between January 2002 and October 2009. The patients were divided into early (sRIFLE-0 or -Risk) or late (sRIFLE-Injury or -Failure) initiation of RRT by sRIFLE criteria. Cox proportional hazard ratios for in hospital mortality were determined to assess the impact of timing of RRT.
Among the 370 patients, 192 (51.9%) underwent early RRT and 259 (70.0%) died during hospitalization. The mortality rate in early and late RRT groups were 70.8% and 69.7% respectively (P > 0.05). Early dialysis did not relate to hospital mortality by Cox proportional hazard model (P > 0.05). Patients with heart failure, male gender, higher admission creatinine, and operation were more likely to be in the late RRT group. Cox proportional hazard model, after adjustment with propensity score including all patients based on the probability of late RRT, showed early dialysis was not related to hospital mortality. Further model matched patients by 1:1 fashion according to each patient's propensity to late RRT showed no differences in hospital mortality according to head-to-head comparison of demographic data (P > 0.05).
Use of sRIFLE classification as a marker poorly predicted the benefits of early or late RRT in the context of septic AKI. In the future, more physiologically meaningful markers with which to determine the optimal timing of RRT initiation should be identified.
PMCID: PMC3219003  PMID: 21645350
6.  Renal replacement therapy in Latin American end-stage renal disease 
Clinical Kidney Journal  2014;7(4):431-436.
The Latin American Dialysis and Renal Transplant Registry (RLADTR) was founded in 1991; it collects data from 20 countries which are members of Sociedad Latinoamericana de Nefrología e Hipertension. This paper presents the results corresponding to the year 2010. This study is an annual survey requesting data on incident and prevalent patients undergoing renal replacement treatment (RRT) in all modalities: hemodialysis (HD), peritoneal dialysis (PD) and living with a functioning graft (LFG), etc. Prevalence and incidence were compared with previous years. The type of renal replacement therapy was analyzed, with special emphasis on PD and transplant (Tx). These variables were correlated with the gross national income (GNI) and the life expectancy at birth. Twenty countries participed in the surveys, covering 99% of the Latin American. The prevalence of end stage renal disease (ESRD) under RRT in Latin America (LA) increased from 119 patients per million population (pmp) in 1991 to 660 pmp in 2010 (HD 413 pmp, PD 135 pmp and LFG 111 pmp). HD proportionally increased more than PD, and Tx HD continues to be the treatment of choice in the region (75%). The kidney Tx rate increased from 3.7 pmp in 1987 to 6.9 pmp in 1991 and to 19.1 in 2010. The total number of Tx's in 2010 was 10 397, with 58% deceased donors. The total RRT prevalence correlated positively with GNI (r2 0.86; P < 0.05) and life expectancy at birth (r2 0.58; P < 0.05). The HD prevalence and the kidney Tx rate correlated significantly with the same indexes, whereas the PD rate showed no correlation with these variables. A tendency to rate stabilization/little growth was reported in the most regional countries. As in previous reports, the global incidence rate correlated significantly only with GNI (r2 0.63; P < 0.05). Diabetes remained the leading cause of ESRD. The most frequent causes of death were cardiovascular (45%) and infections (22%). Neoplasms accounted for 10% of the causes of death. The prevalence of RRT continues to increase, particularly in countries with 100% public health or insurance coverage for RRT, where it approaches rates comparable to those displayed by developed countries with a better GNI. The incidence also continues to increase in both countries that have not yet extended its coverage to 100% of the population as well as in those that have an adequate program for timely detection and treatment of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and its associated risk factors. PD is still an underutilized strategy for RRT in the region. Even though renal Tx is feasible, its growth rate is still not as fast as it should be in order to compensate for the increased prevalence of patients on waiting lists. Diagnostic and prevention programs for hypertension and diabetes, appropriate policies promoting the expansion of PD and organ procurement as well as transplantation as cost-effective forms of RRT are needed in the region. Regional cooperation among Latin American countries, allowing the more developed to guide and train others in starting registries and CKD programs, may be one of the key initiatives to address this deficit.
PMCID: PMC4208784  PMID: 25349696
peritoneal dialysis; hemodialysis; kidney transplantation; chronic renal failure; Latin America
7.  Late initiation of renal replacement therapy is associated with worse outcomes in acute kidney injury after major abdominal surgery 
Critical Care  2009;13(5):R171.
Abdominal surgery is probably associated with more likelihood to cause acute kidney injury (AKI). The aim of this study was to evaluate whether early or late start of renal replacement therapy (RRT) defined by simplified RIFLE (sRIFLE) classification in AKI patients after major abdominal surgery will affect outcome.
A multicenter prospective observational study based on the NSARF (National Taiwan University Surgical ICU Associated Renal Failure) Study Group database. 98 patients (41 female, mean age 66.4 ± 13.9 years) who underwent acute RRT according to local indications for post-major abdominal surgery AKI between 1 January, 2002 and 31 December, 2005 were enrolled The demographic data, comorbid diseases, types of surgery and RRT, as well as the indications for RRT were documented. The patients were divided into early dialysis (sRIFLE-0 or Risk) and late dialysis (LD, sRIFLE -Injury or Failure) groups. Then we measured and recorded patients' outcome including in-hospital mortality and RRT wean-off until 30 June, 2006.
The in-hospital mortality was compared as endpoint. Fifty-seven patients (58.2%) died during hospitalization. LD (hazard ratio (HR) 1.846; P = 0.027), old age (HR 2.090; P = 0.010), cardiac failure (HR 4.620; P < 0.001), pre-RRT SOFA score (HR 1.152; P < 0.001) were independent indicators for in-hospital mortality.
The findings of this study support earlier initiation of acute RRT, and also underscore the importance of predicting prognoses of major abdominal surgical patients with AKI by using RIFLE classification.
PMCID: PMC2784403  PMID: 19878554
8.  Reduction in hospital-wide mortality after implementation of a rapidresponse team: a long-term cohort study 
Critical Care  2011;15(6):R269.
Rapid response teams (RRTs) have been shown to reduce cardiopulmonary arrests outside the intensive care unit (ICU). Yet the utility of RRTs remains in question, as most large studies have failed to demonstrate a significant reduction in hospital-wide mortality after RRT implementation.
A cohort design with historical controls was used to determine the effect on hospital-wide mortality of an RRT in which clinical judgment, in addition to vital-signs criteria, was widely promoted as a key trigger for activation. All nonprisoner patients admitted to a tertiary referral public teaching hospital from 2003 through 2008 were included. In total, 77, 021 admissions before RRT implementation (2003 through 2005) and 79, 013 admissions after RRT implementation (2006 through 2008) were evaluated. The a priori primary outcome was unadjusted hospital-wide mortality. A Poisson regression model was then used to adjust for hospital-wide mortality trends over time. Secondary outcomes defined a priori were unadjusted out-of-ICU mortality and out-of-ICU cardiopulmonary-arrest codes.
In total, 855 inpatient RRTs (10.8 per 1, 000 hospital-wide discharges) were activated during the 3-year postintervention period. Forty-seven percent of RRTs were activated for reasons of clinical judgment. Hospital-wide mortality decreased from 15.50 to 13.74 deaths per 1, 000 discharges after RRT implementation (relative risk, 0.887; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.817 to 0.963; P = 0.004). After adjusting for inpatient mortality trends over time, the reduction in hospital-wide mortality remained statistically significant (relative risk, 0.825; 95% CI, 0.694 to 0.981; P = 0.029). Out-of-ICU mortality decreased from 7.08 to 4.61 deaths per 1, 000 discharges (relative risk, 0.651; 95% CI, 0.570 to 0.743; P < 0.001). Out-of-ICU cardiopulmonary-arrest codes decreased from 3.28 to 1.62 codes per 1, 000 discharges (relative risk, 0.493; 95% CI, 0.399 to 0.610; P < 0.001).
Implementation of an RRT in which clinical judgment, in addition to vital-signs criteria, was widely cited as a rationale for activation, was associated with a significant reduction in hospital-wide mortality, out-of-ICU mortality, and out-of-ICU cardiopulmonary-arrest codes. The frequent use of clinical judgment as a criterion for RRT activation was associated with high RRT utilization.
PMCID: PMC3388666  PMID: 22085785
9.  Impact of renal dysfunction on weaning from prolonged mechanical ventilation 
Critical Care  1998;1(3):101-104.
In the intensive care unit (ICU) setting, the combination of mechanical ventilation and renal replacement therapy (RRT) has been associated with prolonged length of hospital stay, high cost of care and poor outcome. We gathered outcome data on patients who had severe renal dysfunction on transfer to our regional weaning center (RWC) for attempted weaning from prolonged mechanical ventilation (PMV). We screened the admission laboratory values of 1077 patients transferred to our RWC over an 8-year period. We reviewed the medical records of patients with serum creatinine > 2.5 mg/dl.
Sixty-three patients met screening criteria and 40 patients were on RRT at the time of transfer. Eighteen patients had begun chronic RRT at least 2 months prior to admission to the transferring hospital for their current illness. Twenty-two patients had RRT initiated at the transferring hospital. Ten patients had RRT initiated at the RWC; eight patients had improvement or resolution of azotemia at our facility. RRT was withheld at patient/family request in five patients with progressive renal failure. None of the 50 patients who received RRT recovered renal function during treatment at our RWC. Intermittent hemodialysis was the standard RRT at the RWC. Duration of mechanical ventilation prior to transfer to the RWC was 49.7 ± 33.5 days (mean ± SD).
Outcome of weaning attempts in the 63 patients was as follows: 13% weaned, 3% failed to wean and 84% died. These outcomes were significantly worse (P<0.001) than those in the 1014 patients whose admission serum creatinine was ≤ 2.5 mg/dl (58% weaned, 15% failed to wean, 27% died). The five patients in whom RRT was withheld were predominantly in progressive multisystem organ failure, and were unlikely to have survived regardless of RRT. From the study cohort, only one of the 10 patients discharged alive returned home, in contrast to 42% of the control group. No patient with severe renal dysfunction survived to 1 year post-discharge, compared to a 1-year survival of 38% in the control group (P = 0.029). Only four of the 10 patients survived more than 1 month, with the longest survival being 122 days.
Patients who require PMV and RRT have a very poor prognosis. The small number of patients with renal insufficiency not requiring RRT had a more favorable hospital outcome and mortality, but long-term survival remained poor.
PMCID: PMC28994  PMID: 11056702
hemodialysis; patient outcome; prolonged mechanical ventilation; renal failure; renal replacement therapy; respiratory failure; ventilator weaning
10.  Survival prognosis after the start of a renal replacement therapy in the Netherlands: a retrospective cohort study 
BMC Nephrology  2013;14:258.
There is no single model available to predict the long term survival for patients starting renal replacement therapy (RRT). The available models either predict survival on dialysis until transplantation, survival on the transplant waiting list, or survival after transplantation. The aim of this study was to develop a model that includes dialysis survival and survival after an eventual transplantation.
From the Dutch renal replacement registry, patients of 16 years of age or older were included if they started RRT between 1995 and 2005, still underwent RRT at baseline (90 days after the start of RRT) and were not registered at a non-renal organ transplant waiting list (N = 13868). A prediction model of 10-year patient survival after baseline was developed through multivariate Cox regression analysis, in one half of the research group. Age at start, sex, primary renal disease (PRD) and therapy at baseline were included as possible predictors. A sensitivity analysis has been performed to determine whether listing on the transplant waiting list should be added. The predictive performance of the model was internally validated. Calibration and discrimination were computed in the other half of the research group. Another sensitivity analysis was to assess whether the outcomes differed if the model was developed and tested in two geographical regions, which were less similar than the original development and validation group. No external validation has been performed.
Survival probabilities were influenced by age, sex, PRD and therapy at baseline (p < 0.001). The calibration and discrimination both showed very reasonable results for the prediction model (C-index = 0.720 and calibration slope for the prognostic index = 1.025, for the 10 year survival). Adding registration on the waiting list for renal transplantation as a predictor did not improve the discriminative power of the model and was therefore not included in the model.
With the presented prediction model, it is possible to give a reasonably accurate estimation on the survival chances of patients who start with RRT, using a limited set of easily available data.
PMCID: PMC4225578  PMID: 24256551
11.  Association of blood pressure with decline in renal function and time until the start of renal replacement therapy in pre-dialysis patients: a cohort study 
BMC Nephrology  2011;12:38.
To investigate whether high blood pressure accelerates renal function decline in patients with advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD), we studied the association of systolic (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) with decline in renal function and time until the start of renal replacement therapy (RRT) in patients with CKD stages IV-V on pre-dialysis care.
In the PREPARE-1 cohort 547 incident pre-dialysis patients, referred as part of the usual care to outpatient clinics of eight Dutch hospitals, were included between 1999 and 2001 and followed until the start of RRT, mortality, or end of follow-up (January 1st 2008). Main outcomes were rate of decline in renal function, estimated as the slope of available eGFR measurements, and time until the start of RRT.
A total of 508 patients, 57% men and median (IQR) age of 63 (50-73) years, were available for analyses. Mean (SD) decline in renal function was 0.35 (0.75) ml/min/1.73 m2/month. Every 10 mmHg increase in SBP or DBP resulted in an accelerated decline in renal function (adjusted additional decline 0.04 (0.02;0.07) and 0.05 (0.00;0.11) ml/min/1.73 m2/month respectively) and an earlier start of RRT (adjusted HR 1.09 (1.04;1.14) and 1.16 (1.05;1.28) respectively). Furthermore, patients with SBP and DBP above the BP target goal of < 130/80 mmHg experienced a faster decline in renal function (adjusted additional decline 0.31 (0.08;0.53) ml/min/1.73 m2/month) and an earlier start of RRT (adjusted HR 2.08 (1.25;3.44)), compared to patients who achieved the target goal (11%). Comparing the decline in renal function and risk of starting RRT between patients with only SBP above the target (≥ 130 mmHg) and patients with both SBP and DBP below the target (< 130/80 mmHg), showed that the results were almost similar as compared to patients with both SBP and DBP above the target (adjusted additional decline 0.31 (0.04;0.58) ml/min/1.73 m2/month and adjusted HR 2.24 (1.26;3.97)). Therefore, it seems that especially having SBP above the target is harmful.
In pre-dialysis patients with CKD stages IV-V, having blood pressure (especially SBP) above the target goal for CKD patients (< 130/80 mmHg) was associated with a faster decline in renal function and a later start of RRT.
PMCID: PMC3171298  PMID: 21835038
blood pressure; chronic kidney disease stages IV-V; estimated glomerular filtration rate; pre-dialysis care; renal replacement therapy
12.  The effect of gender, age, and geographical location on the incidence and prevalence of renal replacement therapy in Wales 
BMC Nephrology  2007;8:1.
This study used a cross sectional survey to examine the effect of gender, age, and geographical location on the population prevalence of renal replacement therapy (RRT) provision in Wales.
Physicians in renal centres in Wales and in adjacent areas of England were asked to undertake a census of patients on renal replacement therapy on 30 June 2004 using an agreed protocol. Data were collated and analysed in anonymous form.
2434 patients were on RRT in Wales at the census date. Median age of patients on RRT was 56 years, peritoneal dialysis 58 years, haemodialysis 66 years and transplantation 50 years. The three treatment modalities had significantly different age-specific peak prevalence rates and distributions. RRT age-specific prevalence rates peaked at around 70 years (1790 pmp), transplantation at around 60 years (924 pmp), haemodialysis at around 80 years (1080 pmp) and peritoneal dialysis did not have a clear peak prevalence rate. Age-specific incidence of RRT peaked at a rate of 488 pmp at 79 years, as did incidence rates for haemodialysis, which peaked at the same age. Age had less effect on the initiation of peritoneal dialysis, which had a broad plateau between the early fifties and late seventies. Kidney transplantation rates were highest in the early fifties but were markedly absent in old age.
Differences in the provision of RRT are evident, particularly in the very elderly, where the gender difference for haemodialysis is particularly marked. The study illustrates that grouping patients over 75 years into a single age-band may mask significant diversity within this age group. Significant numbers of very elderly patients who are currently not receiving RRT may wish to receive RRT as the elderly population increases, and as technology improves survival and quality of life on RRT.
The study suggests that if technologies that are more effective were developed, and which had a lower impact on quality of life, there might be up to a 17% increase in demand for RRT in those aged over 75 years; around 90% of this increased demand would be for haemodialysis.
PMCID: PMC1781434  PMID: 17217542
13.  Fluid balance, intradialytic hypotension, and outcomes in critically ill patients undergoing renal replacement therapy: a cohort study 
Critical Care  2014;18(6):624.
In this cohort study, we explored the relationship between fluid balance, intradialytic hypotension and outcomes in critically ill patients with acute kidney injury (AKI) who received renal replacement therapy (RRT).
We analysed prospectively collected registry data on patients older than 16 years who received RRT for at least two days in an intensive care unit at two university-affiliated hospitals. We used multivariable logistic regression to determine the relationship between mean daily fluid balance and intradialytic hypotension, both over seven days following RRT initiation, and the outcomes of hospital mortality and RRT dependence in survivors.
In total, 492 patients were included (299 male (60.8%), mean (standard deviation (SD)) age 62.9 (16.3) years); 251 (51.0%) died in hospital. Independent risk factors for mortality were mean daily fluid balance (odds ratio (OR) 1.36 per 1000 mL positive (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.18 to 1.57), intradialytic hypotension (OR 1.14 per 10% increase in days with intradialytic hypotension (95% CI 1.06 to 1.23)), age (OR 1.15 per five-year increase (95% CI 1.07 to 1.25)), maximum sequential organ failure assessment score on days 1 to 7 (OR 1.21 (95% CI 1.13 to 1.29)), and Charlson comorbidity index (OR 1.28 (95% CI 1.14 to 1.44)); higher baseline creatinine (OR 0.98 per 10 μmol/L (95% CI 0.97 to 0.996)) was associated with lower risk of death. Of 241 hospital survivors, 61 (25.3%) were RRT dependent at discharge. The only independent risk factor for RRT dependence was pre-existing heart failure (OR 3.13 (95% CI 1.46 to 6.74)). Neither mean daily fluid balance nor intradialytic hypotension was associated with RRT dependence in survivors. Associations between these exposures and mortality were similar in sensitivity analyses accounting for immortal time bias and dichotomising mean daily fluid balance as positive or negative. In the subgroup of patients with data on pre-RRT fluid balance, fluid overload at RRT initiation did not modify the association of mean daily fluid balance with mortality.
In this cohort of patients with AKI requiring RRT, a more positive mean daily fluid balance and intradialytic hypotension were associated with hospital mortality but not with RRT dependence at hospital discharge in survivors.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13054-014-0624-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4255668  PMID: 25407408
14.  Variation in the use of renal replacement therapy in patients with septic shock: a substudy of the prospective multicenter observational FINNAKI study 
Critical Care  2014;18(1):R26.
Indications for renal replacement therapy (RRT) have not been generally standardized and vary among intensive care units (ICUs). We aimed to assess the proportion, indications, and modality of RRT, as well as the association between the proportion of RRT use and 90-day mortality in patients with septic shock in Finnish adult ICUs.
We identified patients with septic shock from the prospective observational multicenter FINNAKI study conducted between 1 September 2011 and 1 February 2012. We divided the ICUs into high-RRT and low-RRT ICUs according to the median of the proportion of RRT-treated patients with septic shock. Differences in indications, and modality of RRT between ICU groups were assessed. Finally, we performed an adjusted logistic regression analysis to evaluate the possible association of the ICU group (high vs. low-RRT) with 90-day mortality.
Of the 726 patients with septic shock, 131 (18.0%, 95% CI 15.2 to 20.9%) were treated with RRT. The proportion of RRT-treated patients varied from 3% up to 36% (median 19%) among ICUs. High-RRT ICUs included nine ICUs (354 patients) and low-RRT ICUs eight ICUs (372 patients). In the high-RRT ICUs patients with septic shock were older (P = 0.04), had more cardiovascular (P <0.001) and renal failures (P = 0.003) on the first day in the ICU, were more often mechanically ventilated, and received higher maximum doses of norepinephrine (0.25 μg/kg/min vs. 0.18 μg/kg/min, P <0.001) than in the low-RRT ICUs. No significant differences in indications for or modality of RRT existed between the ICU groups. The crude 90-day mortality rate for patients with septic shock was 36.2% (95% CI 31.1 to 41.3%) in the high-RRT ICUs compared to 33.9% (95% CI 29.0 to 38.8%) in the low-RRT ICUs, P = 0.5. In an adjusted logistic regression analysis the ICU group (high-RRT or low-RRT ICUs) was not associated with 90-day mortality.
Patients with septic shock in ICUs with a high proportion of RRT had more severe organ dysfunctions and received more organ-supportive treatments. Importantly, the ICU group (high-RRT or low-RRT group) was not associated with 90-day mortality.
PMCID: PMC4056326  PMID: 24499547
15.  Fluid overload is associated with an increased risk for 90-day mortality in critically ill patients with renal replacement therapy: data from the prospective FINNAKI study 
Critical Care  2012;16(5):R197.
Positive fluid balance has been associated with an increased risk for mortality in critically ill patients with acute kidney injury with or without renal replacement therapy (RRT). Data on fluid accumulation prior to RRT initiation and mortality are limited. We aimed to study the association between fluid accumulation at RRT initiation and 90-day mortality.
We conducted a prospective, multicenter, observational cohort study in 17 Finnish intensive care units (ICUs) during a five-month period. We collected data on patient characteristics, RRT timing, and parameters at RRT initiation. We studied the association of parameters at RRT initiation, including fluid overload (defined as cumulative fluid accumulation > 10% of baseline weight) with 90-day mortality.
We included 296 RRT-treated critically ill patients. Of 283 patients with complete data on fluid balance, 76 (26.9%) patients had fluid overload. The median (interquartile range) time from ICU admission to RRT initiation was 14 (3.3 to 41.5) hours. The 90-day mortality rate of the whole cohort was 116 of 296 (39.2%; 95% confidence interval 38.6 to 39.8%). The crude 90-day mortality of patients with or without fluid overload was 45 of 76 (59.2%) vs. 65 of 207 (31.4%), P < 0.001. In logistic regression, fluid overload was associated with an increased risk for 90-day mortality (odds ratio 2.6) after adjusting for disease severity, time of RRT initiation, initial RRT modality, and sepsis. Of the 168 survivors with data on RRT use at 90 days, 34 (18.9%, 95% CI 13.2 to 24.6%) were still dependent on RRT.
Patients with fluid overload at RRT initiation had twice as high crude 90-day mortality compared to those without. Fluid overload was associated with increased risk for 90-day mortality even after adjustments.
PMCID: PMC3682299  PMID: 23075459
16.  The effect of continuous versus intermittent renal replacement therapy on the outcome of critically ill patients with acute renal failure (CONVINT): a prospective randomized controlled trial 
Critical Care  2014;18(1):R11.
Acute renal failure (ARF) requiring renal replacement therapy (RRT) occurs frequently in ICU patients and significantly affects mortality rates. Previously, few large clinical trials investigated the impact of RRT modalities on patient outcomes. Here we investigated the effect of two major RRT strategies (intermittent hemodialysis (IHD) and continuous veno-venous hemofiltration (CVVH)) on mortality and renal-related outcome measures.
This single-center prospective randomized controlled trial (“CONVINT”) included 252 critically ill patients (159 male; mean age, 61.5 ± 13.9 years; Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) II score, 28.6 ± 8.8) with dialysis-dependent ARF treated in the ICUs of a tertiary care academic center. Patients were randomized to receive either daily IHD or CVVH. The primary outcome measure was survival at 14 days after the end of RRT. Secondary outcome measures included 30-day-, intensive care unit-, and intrahospital mortality, as well as course of disease severity/biomarkers and need for organ-support therapy.
At baseline, no differences in disease severity, distributions of age and gender, or suspected reasons for acute renal failure were observed. Survival rates at 14 days after RRT were 39.5% (IHD) versus 43.9% (CVVH) (odds ratio (OR), 0.84; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.49 to 1.41; P = 0.50). 14-day-, 30-day, and all-cause intrahospital mortality rates were not different between the two groups (all P > 0.5). No differences were observed in days on RRT, vasopressor days, days on ventilator, or ICU-/intrahospital length of stay.
In a monocentric RCT, we observed no statistically significant differences between the investigated treatment modalities regarding mortality, renal-related outcome measures, or survival at 14 days after RRT. Our findings add to mounting data demonstrating that intermittent and continuous RRTs may be considered equivalent approaches for critically ill patients with dialysis-dependent acute renal failure.
Trial registration
PMCID: PMC4056033  PMID: 24405734
17.  Population-based incidence, mortality and quality of life in critically ill patients treated with renal replacement therapy: a nationwide retrospective cohort study in finnish intensive care units 
Critical Care  2012;16(1):R13.
Acute kidney injury (AKI) increases mortality and morbidity of critically ill patients. Mortality of patients treated with renal replacement therapy (RRT) is high. We aimed to evaluate the nationwide incidence of RRT-treated AKI in Finland, hospital and six-month mortality, and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of these patients.
We performed a retrospective cohort study including all general intensive care unit (ICU) admissions in Finland in 2007 through 2008. We identified patients who had received RRT due to AKI (RRT patients) and compared these patients to ICU patients who were not treated with RRT (non-RRT patients). The HRQoL was assessed by the EQ-5D index and visual analogue scale (VAS).
We analysed the final cohort of 24,904 patients, of whom 1,686 received RRT due to AKI. The incidence of RRT-treated AKI was 6.8% (95% confidence interval (CI) 6.5 to 7.1%) among ≥ 15-year-old general ICU patients, which corresponds to a yearly population-based incidence of 19.2 per 100,000 (95% CI 17.9 to 20.5/100,000). According to RIFLE (Risk, Injury, Failure) classification 26.6% (95% CI 26.0 to 27.2%) of patients had AKI (RIFLE R-F). Hospital and six-month mortality of RRT patients were 35.0% and 49.4%. At six-months, RRT patients perceived their health as good as non-RRT patients by VAS.
The population-based incidence of AKI treated with RRT was 19.2 per 100,000 in Finland and 6.8% of all general ICU patients. The hospital and six-month mortality rates were lower than previously reported for ICU-treated RRT patients.
PMCID: PMC3396249  PMID: 22264319
18.  A positive fluid balance is associated with a worse outcome in patients with acute renal failure 
Critical Care  2008;12(3):R74.
Despite significant improvements in intensive care medicine, the prognosis of acute renal failure (ARF) remains poor, with mortality ranging from 40% to 65%. The aim of the present observational study was to analyze the influence of patient characteristics and fluid balance on the outcome of ARF in intensive care unit (ICU) patients.
The data were extracted from the Sepsis Occurrence in Acutely Ill Patients (SOAP) study, a multicenter observational cohort study to which 198 ICUs from 24 European countries contributed. All adult patients admitted to a participating ICU between 1 and 15 May 2002, except those admitted for uncomplicated postoperative surveillance, were eligible for the study. For the purposes of this substudy, patients were divided into two groups according to whether they had ARF. The groups were compared with respect to patient characteristics, fluid balance, and outcome.
Of the 3,147 patients included in the SOAP study, 1,120 (36%) had ARF at some point during their ICU stay. Sixty-day mortality rates were 36% in patients with ARF and 16% in patients without ARF (P < 0.01). Oliguric patients and patients treated with renal replacement therapy (RRT) had higher 60-day mortality rates than patients without oliguria or the need for RRT (41% versus 33% and 52% versus 32%, respectively; P < 0.01). Independent risk factors for 60-day mortality in the patients with ARF were age, Simplified Acute Physiology Score II (SAPS II), heart failure, liver cirrhosis, medical admission, mean fluid balance, and need for mechanical ventilation. Among patients treated with RRT, length of stay and mortality were lower when RRT was started early in the course of the ICU stay.
In this large European multicenter study, a positive fluid balance was an important factor associated with increased 60-day mortality. Outcome among patients treated with RRT was better when RRT was started early in the course of the ICU stay.
PMCID: PMC2481469  PMID: 18533029
19.  Survival during Renal Replacement Therapy among African Americans Infected with HIV Type 1 in Urban Baltimore, Maryland 
African Americans with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection and kidney disease are at increased risk of end-stage renal disease requiring renal replacement therapy (RRT), particularly in urban areas with high rates of poverty and injection drug use. It is unknown how the widespread use of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has affected survival during RRT in this vulnerable population.
African American patients infected with HIV-1 who required RRT were identified from 2 cohorts that included 4509 Africans Americans infected with HIV-1 who were recruited during the period 1988–2004 in Baltimore, Maryland. Survival after initiation of RRT was compared for those who initiated treatment in the pre-HAART and the HAART eras using Kaplan-Meier curves. Cox proportional hazards regression analysis was used to adjust for potential confounders.
RRT was initiated in 162 patients (3.6%) during 10.6 years of follow-up (119 during the HAART era). Compared with patients who started RRT in the pre-HAART era, those in the HAART era were older (P< .001) and more likely to have CD4 cell counts of ≥200 cells/mm3 (P = .01). A total of 126 patients (78%) died during follow-up; among those who initiated RRT during the HAART era, 87 deaths occurred (73%). Median survival time in the pre-HAART era was 22.4 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 9.3–30.7); during the HAART era, it was 19.9 months (95% CI, 14.7–26.5; P = .94). In the multiple Cox regression model, factors independently associated with increased mortality included age (hazard ratio [HR], 1.30; 95% CI, 1.06–1.60; P = .01), lower serum albumin level (HR, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.57–0.91; P< .007), lower CD4 cell count (HR, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.82–0.99; P< .03), and the lack of HAART (HR, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.33–0.82; P = .005).
Older age, lower serum albumin level, lower CD4 cell count, and the lack of HAART are independent predictors of poor survival among African Americans infected with HIV-1 undergoing RRT in a resource-limited urban area. RRT survival was similar in the pre-HAART and HAART eras, likely reflecting inadequate HIV treatment in this population.
PMCID: PMC4096866  PMID: 18190325
20.  Acute Kidney Injury Increases Mortality After Lung Transplantation 
The Annals of thoracic surgery  2012;94(1):185-192.
Acute kidney injury requiring renal replacement therapy (RRT) is associated with increased mortality after cardiac surgery. Studies examining the impact of RRT after lung transplantation (LTx) are limited. We evaluated risk factors and outcomes associated with RRT after LTx.
We retrospectively reviewed all LTx recipients in the United Network for Organ Sharing database. Preoperative renal function was stratified by glomerular filtration rate (GFR) as determined by the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease formula (strata: ≥90, 60 to 90, and <60 mL · min−1 · 1.73m−2). Primary outcomes were 30-day, 1-year, and 5-year survival and need for post-LTx RRT. Risk adjusted multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression examined mortality. A multivariable logistic regression model evaluated risk factors for RRT.
From 2001 to 2011, 12,108 patients underwent LTx. After LTx, 655 patients (5.51%) required RRT. Patients requiring post-LTx RRT had decreased survival at 30 days (96.7% versus 76.0%, p < 0.001), 1 year (85.5% versus 35.8%, p < 0.001), and 5 years (56.4% versus 20.0%, p < 0.001). These differences persisted on multivariable analysis at 30 days (hazard ratio [HR] 7.98 [6.16 to 10.33], p < 0.001), 1 year (HR 7.93 [6.84 to 9.19], p < 0.001), and 5 years (HR 5.39 [4.75 to 6.11], p < 0.001). Preoperative kidney function was an important predictor of post-LTx RRT for a GFR of 60 to 90 (odds ratio 1.42 [1.16 to 1.75], p = 0.001) and a GFR less than 60 (odds ratio 2.68 [2.07 to 3.46], p < 0.001]. High center volume was protective.
In the largest study to evaluate acute kidney injury after LTx, the incidence of RRT is 5.51%. The need for post-LTx RRT dramatically increases both short- and long-term mortality. Several variables, including preoperative renal function, are predictors of post-LTx RRT and could be used to identify transplant candidates at risk for acute kidney injury.
PMCID: PMC3601658  PMID: 22325467
21.  Renal replacement therapy is an independent risk factor for mortality in critically ill patients with acute kidney injury 
Critical Care  2010;14(6):R221.
Outcome studies in patients with acute kidney injury (AKI) have focused on differences between modalities of renal replacement therapy (RRT). The outcome of conservative treatment, however, has never been compared with RRT.
Nine Belgian intensive care units (ICUs) included all adult patients consecutively admitted with serum creatinine >2 mg/dl. Included treatment options were conservative treatment and intermittent or continuous RRT. Disease severity was determined using the Stuivenberg Hospital Acute Renal Failure (SHARF) score. Outcome parameters studied were mortality, hospital length of stay and renal recovery at hospital discharge.
Out of 1,303 included patients, 650 required RRT (58% intermittent, 42% continuous RRT). Overall results showed a higher mortality (43% versus 58%) as well as a longer ICU and hospital stay in RRT patients compared to conservative treatment. Using the SHARF score for adjustment of disease severity, an increased risk of death for RRT compared to conservative treatment of RR = 1.75 (95% CI: 1.4 to 2.3) was found. Additional correction for other severity parameters (Acute Physiology And Chronic Health Evaluation II (APACHE II), Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA)), age, type of AKI and clinical conditions confirmed the higher mortality in the RRT group.
The SHARF study showed that the higher mortality expected in AKI patients receiving RRT versus conservative treatment can not only be explained by a higher disease severity in the RRT group, even after multiple corrections. A more critical approach to the need for RRT in AKI patients seems to be warranted.
PMCID: PMC3219996  PMID: 21122146
22.  Caring for Patients with CRF: Rewards and Benefits 
Patients with CRF usually progress through different stages before they reach ESRD and require special medical, social and psychological care and support during the pre-ESRD and following renal replacement therapy (RRT). Early referral of patients with CRF has the advantage of receiving adequate management and regular followup, with significant reduction in cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, attending an education program, prepared psychologically, participate in the decision of type of RRT, preemptive kidney transplantation, early creation of dialysis access, and adequate training in selected modality of RRT. During the early stages of commencement of RRT, psychological support and social care with rehabilitation program are mandatory. The degree of involvement and interaction must be individualized according to the needs of patient and type of RRT. A multidisciplinary team is crucial for implementation of a variety of strategies to help staff intervene more effectively in meeting the care needs of CRF patients.
PMCID: PMC3097050  PMID: 21603104
23.  U-Curve Association between Timing of Renal Replacement Therapy Initiation and In-Hospital Mortality in Postoperative Acute Kidney Injury 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(8):e42952.
Postoperative acute kidney injury (AKI) is associated with poor outcomes in surgical patients. This study aims to evaluate whether the timing of renal replacement therapy (RRT) initiation affects the in-hospital mortality of patients with postoperative AKI.
This multicenter retrospective observational study, which was conducted in the intensive care units (ICUs) in a tertiary hospital (National Taiwan University Hospital) and its branch hospitals in Taiwan between January, 2002, and April, 2009, included adult patients with postoperative AKI who underwent RRT for predefined indications. The demographic data, comorbid diseases, types of surgery and RRT, and the indications for RRT were documented. Patients were categorized according to the period of time between the ICU admission and RRT initiation as the early (EG, ≦1 day), intermediate (IG, 2–3 days), and late (LG, ≧4 days) groups. The in-hospital mortality rate censored at 180 day was defined as the endpoint.
Six hundred forty-eight patients (418 men, mean age 63.0±15.9 years) were enrolled, and 379 patients (58.5%) died during the hospitalization. Both the estimated probability of death and the in-hospital mortality rates of the three groups represented U-curves. According to the Cox proportional hazard method, LG (hazard ratio, 1.527; 95% confidence interval, 1.152–2.024; P = 0.003, compared with IG group), age (1.014; 1.006–1.021), diabetes (1.279; 1.022–1.601; P = 0.031), cirrhosis (2.147; 1.421–3.242), extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support (1.811; 1.391–2.359), initial neurological dysfunction (1.448; 1.107–1.894; P = 0.007), pre-RRT mean arterial pressure (0.988; 0.981–0.995), inotropic equivalent (1.006; 1.001–1.012; P = 0.013), APACHE II scores (1.055; 1.037–1.073), and sepsis (1.939; 1.536–2.449) were independent predictors of the in-hospital mortality (All P<0.001 except otherwise stated).
The current study found a U-curve association between the timing of the RRT initiation after the ICU admission and patients’ in-hospital mortalities, and alerts physicians of certain factors affecting the outcome after the RRT initiation.
PMCID: PMC3429468  PMID: 22952623
24.  Active collaboration with primary care providers increases specialist referral in chronic renal disease 
BMC Nephrology  2004;5:16.
Late referral to specialist nephrological care is associated with increased morbidity, mortality, and cost. Consequently, nephrologists' associations recommend early referral. The recommendations' effectiveness remains questionable: 22–51% of referrals need renal replacement therapy (RRT) within 3–4 months. This may be due to these recommendations addressing the specialist, rather than the primary care providers (PCP).
The potential of specialist intervention aiming at slowing progression of chronic renal failure was introduced individually to some 250 local PCPs, and referral strategies were discussed. To overcome the PCPs' most often expressed fears, every referred patient was asked to report back to his PCP immediately after the initial specialist examination, and new medications were prescribed directly, and thus allotted to the nephrologist's budget.
In retrospective analysis, the stage of renal disease in patients referred within three months before the introductory round (group A, n = 18), was compared to referrals two years later (group B, n = 50).
Relative number of patients remained stable (28%) for mild/ moderate chronic kidney disease (MMCKD), while there was a noticeable shift from patients referred severe chronic kidney disease (SCKD) (group A: 44%, group B: 20%) to patients referred in moderate chronic kidney disease (MCKD) (group A: 28%, group B: 52%).
Individually addressing PCPs' ignorance and concerns noticeably decreased late referral. This stresses the importance of enhancing the PCPs' problem awareness and knowledge of available resources in order to ensure timely specialist referral.
PMCID: PMC529261  PMID: 15498108
25.  Incremental Peritoneal Dialysis Favourably Compares with Hemodialysis as a Bridge to Renal Transplantation 
Background. The value of incremental peritoneal dialysis (PD) as a bridge to renal transplantation (Tx) has not been specifically addressed. Methods. All consecutive Stage 5 CKD patients with at least 1 year predialysis followup, starting incremental PD or HD under our care and subsequently receiving their first renal Tx were included in this observational cohort study. Age, gender, BMI, underlying nephropathy, residual renal function (RRF) loss rate before dialysis and RRF at RRT start, comorbidity, RRT schedules and adequacy measures, dialysis-related morbidity, Tx waiting time, RRF at Tx, incidence of delayed graft function (DGF), in-hospital stay for Tx, serum creatinine at discharge and one year later were collected and compared between patients on incremental PD or HD before Tx. Results. Seventeen patients on incremental PD and 24 on HD received their first renal Tx during the study period. Age, underlying nephropathy, RRF loss rate in predialysis, RRF at the start of RRT and comorbidity did not differ significantly. While on dialysis, patients on PD had significantly lower epoetin requirements, serum phosphate, calciumxphosphate product and better RRF preservation. Delayed graft function (DGF) occurred in 12 patients (29%), 1 on incremental PD and 11 on HD. Serum creatinine at discharge and 1 year later was significantly higher in patients who had been on HD. Conclusions. In patients receiving their first renal Tx, previous incremental PD was associated with low morbidity, excellent preservation of RRF, easier attainment of adequacy targets and significantly better immediate and 1-year graft function than those observed in otherwise well-matched patients previously treated with HD.
PMCID: PMC3173956  PMID: 21941652

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