Acute kidney injury is surprisingly common and a powerful predictor of mortality in surgical sepsis.

Laura E. White, Heitham T. Hassoun, Azra Bihorac, Laura J. Moore, R. Matt Sailors, Bruce A. McKinley, Alicia Valdivia, Frederick A. Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a common and often catastrophic complication in hospitalized patients; however, the impact of AKI in surgical sepsis remains unknown. We used Risk, Injury, Failure, Loss, End stage (RIFLE) consensus criteria to define the incidence of AKI in surgical sepsis and characterize the impact of AKI on patient morbidity and mortality. Our prospective, institutional review board-approved sepsis research database was retrospectively queried for the incidence of AKI by RIFLE criteria, excluding those with chronic kidney disease. Patients were grouped into sepsis, severe sepsis, and septic shock by refined consensus criteria. Data including demographics, baseline biomarkers of organ dysfunction, and outcomes were compared by Student's t test and χ test. Multivariable regression analysis was performed for the effect of AKI on mortality adjusting for age, sex, African-American race, elective surgery, Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II score, septic shock versus severe sepsis, and sepsis source. During the 36-month study period ending on December 2010, 246 patients treated for surgical sepsis were evaluated. AKI occurred in 67% of all patients, and 59%, 60%, and 88% of patients had sepsis, surgical sepsis, and septic shock, respectively. AKI was associated with Hispanic ethnicity, several baseline biomarkers of organ dysfunction, and a greater severity of illness. Patients with AKI had fewer ventilator-free and intensive care unit-free days and a decreased likelihood of discharge to home. Morbidity and mortality increased with severity of AKI, and AKI of any severity was found to be a strong predictor of hospital mortality (odds ratio, 10.59; 95% confidence interval, 1.28-87.35; p = 0.03) in surgical sepsis. AKI frequently complicates surgical sepsis, and serves as a powerful predictor of hospital mortality in severe sepsis and septic shock. Prognostic and epidemiologic study, level III.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)432-438
Number of pages7
JournalThe journal of trauma and acute care surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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