What are mortality rates of acute kidney injury (AKI)?

Updated: Dec 24, 2020
  • Author: Biruh T Workeneh, MD, PhD, FASN; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
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If AKI is defined by a sudden increment of serum creatinine of 0.5-1 mg/dL and is associated with a mild to moderate rise in creatinine, the prognosis tends to be worse. (Increments of 0.3 mg/dL in serum creatinine, especially at lower ranges of serum creatinine, have important prognostic significance).

The inhospital mortality rate for AKI is 40-50%. The mortality rate for ICU patients with AKI is higher (>50% in most studies), particularly when AKI is severe enough to require dialysis treatment. [23] ICU patients with sepsis-associated AKI have significantly higher mortality rates than do nonseptic AKI patients. [24]

In addition, the pooled estimate for general ICU patients with AKI shows a stepwise increase in relative risk for death through the risk, injury, and failure classifications of the RIFLE criteria in AKI patients versus non-AKI patients. [25] This reflects the fact that the high mortality rate in patients with AKI who require dialysis may not be related to the dialysis procedure or accompanying comorbidities and that AKI is an independent indicator of mortality. The survival rate is nearly 0% among patients with AKI who have an Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II (APACHE II) score higher than 40. In patients with APACHE II scores of 10-19, the survival rate is 40%.

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