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BACKGROUND/AIMS: Acute kidney injury (AKI) following cardiac surgery is a complication associated with high rates of morbidity and mortality. We compared staging systems for the diagnosis of AKI after cardiac surgery, and assessed pre-operative factors predictive of post-operative AKI.
METHODS: Clinical data, surgical risk scores, procedure and clinical outcome were obtained on all 4,651 patients undergoing cardiac surgery to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh between April 2006 and March 2011, of whom 4,572 had sufficient measurements of creatinine before and after surgery to permit inclusion and analysis. The presence of AKI was assessed using the AKIN and RIFLE criteria.
RESULTS: By AKIN criteria, 12.4% of the studied population developed AKI versus 6.5% by RIFLE criteria. Any post-operation AKI was associated with increased mortality from 2.2 to 13.5% (relative risk 7.0, p < 0.001), and increased inpatient stay from a median of 7 (IQR 4) to 9 (IQR 11) days (p < 0.05). Patients identified by AKIN, but not RIFLE, had a mean peak creatinine rise of 34% from baseline and had a significantly lower mortality compared to RIFLE-'Risk' AKI (mortality 6.1 vs. 9.7%; p < 0.05). Pre-operative creatinine, diabetes, NYHA Class IV dyspnoea and EuroSCORE-1 (a surgical risk score) all predicted subsequent AKI on multivariate analysis. EuroSCORE-1 outperformed any single demographic factor in predicting post-operative AKI risk, equating to an 8% increase in relative risk for each additional point.
CONCLUSION: AKI after cardiac surgery is associated with delayed discharge and high mortality rates. The AKIN and RIFLE criteria identify patients at a range of AKI severity levels suitable for trial recruitment. The utility of EuroSCORE as a risk stratification tool to identify high AKI-risk subjects for prospective intervention merits further study.