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J Neurosurg Spine. 2014 May;20(5):505-11. doi: 10.3171/2014.2.SPINE13596. Epub 2014 Mar 21.

Incidence and risk factors for acute kidney injury after spine surgery using the RIFLE classification.

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Department of Anesthesiology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia.



Earlier definitions of acute renal failure are not sensitive in identifying milder forms of acute kidney injury (AKI). The authors hypothesized that by applying the RIFLE criteria for acute renal failure (Risk of renal dysfunction, Injury to the kidney, Failure of kidney function, Loss of kidney function, and End-stage kidney disease) to thoracic and lumbar spine surgery, there would be a higher incidence of AKI. They also developed a model to predict the postoperative glomerular filtration rate (GFR).


A hospital data repository was used to identify patients undergoing thoracic and/or lumbar spine surgery over a 5-year period (2006-2011). The lowest GFR in the first week after surgery was used to identify and categorize kidney injury if present. Risk factors were identified and a model was developed to predict postoperative GFR based on the defined risk factors.


A total of 726 patients were identified over the study period. The incidence of AKI was 3.9% (n = 28) based on the RIFLE classification with 23 patients in the risk category and 5 in the injury category. No patient was classified into the failure category or required renal replacement therapy. The baseline GFR in the non-AKI and AKI groups was 80 and 79.8 ml/min, respectively. After univariate analysis, only hypertension was associated with postoperative AKI (p = 0.02). A model was developed to predict the postoperative GFR. This model accounted for 64.4% of the variation in the postoperative GFRs (r(2) = 0.644).


The incidence of AKI in spine surgery is higher than previously reported, with all of the patients classified into either the risk or injury RIFLE categories. Because these categories have previously been shown to be associated with poor long-term outcomes, early recognition, management, and follow-up of these patients is important.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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