There is currently no validated strategy for the timing of renal replacement therapy (RRT) for acute kidney injury (AKI) in the intensive care unit (ICU) when short-term life-threatening metabolic abnormalities are absent. No adequately powered prospective randomized study has addressed this issue to date. As a result, significant practice heterogeneity exists and may expose patients to either unnecessary hazardous procedures or undue delay in RRT.
This is a multicenter, prospective, randomized, open-label parallel-group clinical trial that compares the effect of two RRT initiation strategies on overall survival of critically ill patients receiving intravenous catecholamines or invasive mechanical ventilation and presenting with AKI classification stage 3 (KDIGO 2012). In the ‘early’ strategy, RRT is initiated immediately. In the ‘delayed’ strategy, clinical and metabolic conditions are closely monitored and RRT is initiated only when one or more events (severity criteria) occur, including: oliguria or anuria for more than 72 hours after randomization, serum urea concentration >40 mmol/l, serum potassium concentration >6 mmol/l, serum potassium concentration >5.5 mmol/l persisting despite medical treatment, arterial blood pH <7.15 in a context of pure metabolic acidosis (PaCO2 < 35 mmHg) or in a context of mixed acidosis with a PaCO2 ≥ 50 mmHg without possibility of increasing alveolar ventilation, acute pulmonary edema due to fluid overload despite diuretic therapy leading to severe hypoxemia requiring oxygen flow rate >5 l/min to maintain SpO2 > 95% or FiO2 > 50% under invasive or noninvasive mechanical ventilation.
The primary outcome measure is overall survival, measured from randomization (D0) until death, regardless of the cause. The minimum follow-up duration for each patient will be 60 days. Two interim analyses are planned, blinded to group allocation. It is expected that there will be 620 subjects in all.
The AKIKI study will be one of the very few large randomized controlled trials evaluating mortality according to the timing of RRT in critically ill patients with AKI classification stage 3 (KDIGO 2012). Results should help clinicians decide when to initiate RRT.