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Crit Care. 2012 Dec 19;16(6):R237. doi: 10.1186/cc11906.

Timing of dialysis initiation in AKI in ICU: international survey.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Initiating dialysis in acute kidney injury (AKI) in an intensive care unit (ICU) remains a subjective clinical decision. We examined factors and practice patterns that influence early initiation of dialysis in ICU patients with acute kidney injury.

METHODS:

An online survey presented nephrologists (international) with three case scenarios with unstated predicted mortality rates of < 10%, 10 - 30% and > 30%. For each case the respondents were asked 4 questions about influences on the decision whether or not to initiate dialysis within 24 hours: Q1, likelihood of initiating dialysis; Q2, threshold of BUN levels (< 50, 50 - 75, 76 - 100, > 100 mg/dl) considered relevant to this decision; Q3, magnitude of creatinine elevation (two to three-fold increase; greater than threefold increase; absolute level > 5 mg/dl regardless of change) considered relevant; Q4, a rank order of the influence of five parameters (BUN level, change of creatinine from baseline, oxygen saturation, potassium level, and urine output), 1 being the most influential and 5 being the least influential.

RESULTS:

One hundred seventy-two nephrologists (73% in practice for > 5 years; 70% from the U.S.A.) responded to the survey. The proportion of subjects likely to initiate early dialysis increased (76% to 94%), as did the predicted mortality (p < 0.001). The proportion of subjects considering early dialysis at a BUN level ≤ 75 increased from 17% to 30 to 40% as the predicted mortality of the cases increased (p < 0.0001). The proportion of subjects choosing absolute creatinine level to be more influential than relative increment, went from 60% to 54% to 43% as predicted mortality increased (p < 0.0001). Rank-order analysis indicated that influence of oxygen saturation and potassium level on dialysis decision showed a significant change with severity of illness, but BUN level and creatinine elevation remained less influential, and did not change with severity.

CONCLUSIONS:

Severely ill patients were more likely to be subjected to early dialysis initiation, but its utility is not clear. Rank-order analysis indicates dialysis initiation is still influenced by "imminent" indications rather than a "proactive" decision based on the severity of AKI or azotemia.

PMID:
23254325
PMCID:
PMC3672626
DOI:
10.1186/cc11906
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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