Clinical factors associated with initiation of renal replacement therapy in critically ill patients with acute kidney injury-a prospective multicenter observational study

Sean M Bagshaw, Ron Wald, Jim Barton, Karen E A Burns, Jan O Friedrich, Andrew A House, Matthew T James, Adeera Levin, Louise Moist, Neesh Pannu, Daniel E Stollery, Michael W Walsh
Journal of Critical Care 2012, 27 (3): 268-75

PURPOSE: Our objective was to describe the current practice for initiation of RRT in this population. There is uncertainty regarding the optimal time to initiate renal replacement therapy (RRT) in critically ill patients with acute kidney injury (AKI).

METHODS: Prospective study of patients receiving RRT in 6 intensive care units (ICUs) at 3 hospitals from July 2007 to August 2008. We characterized factors associated with start of RRT and evaluated their relationship with mortality.

RESULTS: We included 234 patients. RRT was initiated 1 day (0-4) after ICU admission (median [interquartile range]). Median creatinine was 331 μmol/L (225-446 μmol/L), urea 22.9 mmol/L (13.9-32.9 mmol/L), and RIFLE-Failure in 76.9%. Of traditional indications, Pao(2)/Fio(2) < 200 (54.5%) and oliguria (32.9%) were most common. ICU and hospital mortality were 45.3% and 51.9%, respectively. In adjusted analysis, mortality at RRT initiation was associated with creatinine <332 μmol/L (odds ratio [OR] 2.8; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.5-5.4), change in urea from admission >8.9 mmol/L (OR 1.8; 95% CI, 1.0-3.4), urine output <82 mL/24 hours (OR 3.0; 95% CI, 1.4-6.5), fluid balance >3.0 L/24 hours (OR 2.3; 95% CI, 1.2-4.5), percentage of fluid overload >5% (OR 2.3; 95% CI, 1.2-4.7), 3 or more failing organs (OR 4.5; 95% CI, 1.2-4.2), Sequential Organ Failure Assessment score >14 (OR 2.3; 95% CI, 1.3-4.3), and start 4 days or more after admission (OR 4.3; 95% CI, 1.9-9.5). Mortality was higher as factors accumulated.

CONCLUSION: In ICU patients requiring RRT, there was marked variation in factors that influence start of RRT. RRT initiation with fewer clinical triggers was associated with lower mortality. Timing of RRT may modify survival but requires appraisal in a randomized trial.


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