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1.  Comparison of two strategies for initiating renal replacement therapy in the intensive care unit: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial (AKIKI) 
Trials  2015;16:170.
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.
Trial registration NCT01932190.
PMCID: PMC4407416  PMID: 25902813
Acute kidney injury; Critical care; Renal replacement therapy; Treatment outcome
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
PMCID: PMC3733426  PMID: 23531299
3.  Diagnostic performance of fractional excretion of urea in the evaluation of critically ill patients with acute kidney injury: a multicenter cohort study 
Critical Care  2011;15(4):R178.
Several factors, including diuretic use and sepsis, interfere with the fractional excretion of sodium, which is used to distinguish transient from persistent acute kidney injury (AKI). These factors do not affect the fractional excretion of urea (FeUrea). However, there are conflicting data on the diagnostic accuracy of FeUrea.
We conducted an observational, prospective, multicenter study at three ICUs in university hospitals. Unselected patients, except those with obstructive AKI, were admitted to the participating ICUs during a six-month period. Transient AKI was defined as AKI caused by renal hypoperfusion and reversal within three days. The results are reported as medians (interquartile ranges).
A total of 203 patients were included. According to our definitions, 67 had no AKI, 54 had transient AKI and 82 had persistent AKI. FeUrea was 39% (28 to 40) in the no-AKI group, 41% (29 to 54) in the transient AKI group and 32% (22 to 51) in the persistent AKI group (P = 0.12). FeUrea was of little help in distinguishing transient AKI from persistent AKI, with the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve being 0.59 (95% confidence interval, 0.49 to 0.70; P = 0.06). Sensitivity was 63% and specificity was 54% with a cutoff of 35%. In the subgroup of patients receiving diuretics, the results were similar.
FeUrea may be of little help in distinguishing transient AKI from persistent AKI in critically ill patients, including those receiving diuretic therapy. Additional studies are needed to evaluate alternative markers or strategies to differentiate transient from persistent AKI.
PMCID: PMC3387621  PMID: 21794161
acute kidney failure; ICU; fractional excretion of sodium; acute tubular necrosis; diuretics; sensitivity and specificity

Results 1-3 (3)