Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2008;23:2235-2241

Severe acute kidney injury (AKI) is associated with significant long-term mortality, German investigators conclude.

Helmut Schiffl, MD, and Rainald Fischer, MD, of the University of Munich, conducted a 60-month prospective observational study of 226 patients who survived severe AKI that required renal replacement therapy. No patient had pre-existing renal disease.

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Of the 226 patients, 57% had complete recovery of renal function and 43% had partial recovery. During the first year after hospital discharge, 18% of the survivors died. During the second year, 4% died. During the third to fifth year, 2% died per year. At five years, 25% of the patients were still alive, and 86% of them had normal renal function.

“This prospective observational study indicates that severe AKI is not only a determinant of excess in-hospital case fatalities of critically ill patients, but it also carries significant implications for long-term mortality,” the authors wrote.