October 31, 2019

Acute kidney injury recovery time impacts future risk

Interventions that impact the timing of recovery following acute injury may improve future outcomes for patients.

Acute kidney injury (AKI) — a sudden loss in kidney function that often occurs in hospitalized patients — puts survivors at increased risk for future chronic kidney and cardiovascular disease. As the number of AKI survivors grows, identifying patients most likely to experience these outcomes is key to helping reduce these risks.

Edward Siew, MD, MSCI, and colleagues examined if the timing of recovery of kidney function after AKI influenced the risk for future loss of kidney function. Their study, reported in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases, included 47,903 adult U.S. veterans hospitalized with moderate to severe AKI and used serum creatinine levels to assess kidney function.

Patients who took longer to recover kidney function (5-10, 11-30, 31-90 days) had a higher risk for losing kidney function in the future than those recovering earlier (1-4 days). These findings suggest that delayed recovery may increase the risk for poor outcomes and that understanding the causes may lead to potential treatment strategies.

This research was supported by the Veterans Health Administration and the Vanderbilt Center for Kidney Disease.