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Semin Dial. 2019 May;32(3):205-209. doi: 10.1111/sdi.12773. Epub 2019 Jan 28.

When to stop renal replacement therapy in anticipation of renal recovery in AKI: The need for consensus guidelines.

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Division of Renal Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.


There is wide variation in clinical practice regarding timing of discontinuation of renal replacement therapy (RRT) in patients with acute kidney injury (AKI). Prolonged, unnecessary RRT treatment can contribute to length of stay, overall hospital costs, and risk of complications associated with RRT. In addition, prolonged RRT can paradoxically lengthen the time for which the patient remains dialysis-dependent. Well-designed, randomized clinical trials have utilized varied discontinuation criteria specifically related to urine output and creatinine clearance, which impedes the comparison of outcomes from such studies. Other observational studies have attempted to assess the sensitivity and specificity of various criteria for discontinuation of RRT. Whether diuretics influence renal recovery has not been fully elucidated as well. In this article, we propose a starting framework for RRT discontinuation criteria to guide clinicians and clinical researchers. We emphasize the importance of frequent clinical assessment while considering discontinuation of RRT for AKI patients with a creatinine clearance >15 mL/min on a timed urine collection and/or a urine output >400 mL/24 h without diuretics, or >2000 mL/24 h with diuretics. We also discuss newer biomarkers, methods of GFR estimation, and imaging techniques that may play a greater role in the future. Clinical trials objectively comparing the success of RRT discontinuation criteria will be required to provide high-quality evidence for our proposed guidelines.


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