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Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2016 Jun;31(6):922-9. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfw052. Epub 2016 Apr 7.

KDIGO-based acute kidney injury criteria operate differently in hospitals and the community-findings from a large population cohort.

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Institute of Applied Health Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK.
Renal Unit, NHS Grampian, Aberdeen, UK.
Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK.



Early recognition of acute kidney injury (AKI) is important. It frequently develops first in the community. KDIGO-based AKI e-alert criteria may help clinicians recognize AKI in hospitals, but their suitability for application in the community is unknown.


In a large renal cohort (n = 50 835) in one UK health authority, we applied the NHS England AKI 'e-alert' criteria to identify and follow three AKI groups: hospital-acquired AKI (HA-AKI), community-acquired AKI admitted to hospital within 7 days (CAA-AKI) and community-acquired AKI not admitted within 7 days (CANA-AKI). We assessed how AKI criteria operated in each group, based on prior blood tests (number and time lag). We compared 30-day, 1- and 5-year mortality, 90-day renal recovery and chronic renal replacement therapy (RRT).


In total, 4550 patients met AKI e-alert criteria, 61.1% (2779/4550) with HA-AKI, 22.9% (1042/4550) with CAA-AKI and 16.0% (729/4550) with CANA-AKI. The median number of days since last blood test differed between groups (1, 52 and 69 days, respectively). Thirty-day mortality was similar for HA-AKI and CAA-AKI, but significantly lower for CANA-AKI (24.2, 20.2 and 2.6%, respectively). Five-year mortality was high in all groups, but followed a similar pattern (67.1, 64.7 and 46.2%). Differences in 5-year mortality among those not admitted could be explained by adjusting for comorbidities and restricting to 30-day survivors (hazard ratio 0.91, 95% confidence interval 0.80-1.04, versus hospital AKI). Those with CANA-AKI (versus CAA-AKI) had greater non-recovery at 90 days (11.8 versus 3.5%, P < 0.001) and chronic RRT at 5 years (3.7 versus 1.2%, P < 0.001).


KDIGO-based AKI criteria operate differently in hospitals and in the community. Some patients may not require immediate admission but are at substantial risk of a poor long-term outcome.


acute kidney injury; delivery of health care; epidemiology; primary health care; survival analysis

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