Epidemiology of surgery associated acute kidney injury (EPIS-AKI): a prospective international observational multi-center clinical study

Alexander Zarbock, Raphael Weiss, Felix Albert, Kristen Rutledge, John A. Kellum, Rinaldo Bellomo, Evgeny Grigoryev, Angel M. Candela-Toha, Z. Aslı Demir, Vincent Legros, Peter Rosenberger, Patricia Galán Menéndez, Mercedes Garcia Alvarez, Ke Peng, Maxime Léger, Wegdan Khalel, Mukadder Orhan-Sungur, Melanie Meersch, on behalf of the The EPIS-AKI Investigators

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The incidence, patient features, risk factors and outcomes of surgery-associated postoperative acute kidney injury (PO-AKI) across different countries and health care systems is unclear. Methods: We conducted an international prospective, observational, multi-center study in 30 countries in patients undergoing major surgery (> 2-h duration and postoperative intensive care unit (ICU) or high dependency unit admission). The primary endpoint was the occurrence of PO-AKI within 72 h of surgery defined by the Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) criteria. Secondary endpoints included PO-AKI severity and duration, use of renal replacement therapy (RRT), mortality, and ICU and hospital length of stay. Results: We studied 10,568 patients and 1945 (18.4%) developed PO-AKI (1236 (63.5%) KDIGO stage 1500 (25.7%) KDIGO stage 2209 (10.7%) KDIGO stage 3). In 33.8% PO-AKI was persistent, and 170/1945 (8.7%) of patients with PO-AKI received RRT in the ICU. Patients with PO-AKI had greater ICU (6.3% vs. 0.7%) and hospital (8.6% vs. 1.4%) mortality, and longer ICU (median 2 (Q1-Q3, 1–3) days vs. 3 (Q1-Q3, 1–6) days) and hospital length of stay (median 14 (Q1-Q3, 9–24) days vs. 10 (Q1-Q3, 7–17) days). Risk factors for PO-AKI included older age, comorbidities (hypertension, diabetes, chronic kidney disease), type, duration and urgency of surgery as well as intraoperative vasopressors, and aminoglycosides administration. Conclusion: In a comprehensive multinational study, approximately one in five patients develop PO-AKI after major surgery. Increasing severity of PO-AKI is associated with a progressive increase in adverse outcomes. Our findings indicate that PO-AKI represents a significant burden for health care worldwide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1441–1455
Number of pages15
JournalIntensive Care Medicine
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • Acute kidney injury
  • Epidemiology
  • Mortality
  • Perioperative
  • Postoperative

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