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Saudi J Kidney Dis Transpl. 2019 May-Jun;30(3):678-685. doi: 10.4103/1319-2442.261344.

Epidemiology, diagnosis, and etiology of acute kidney injury in the elderly: A retrospective analysis.

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Department of hemodialysis, Military Hospital of Tunis, Tunis, Tunisia.
Department of Internal Medicine, Military Hospital of Tunis, Tunis, Tunisia.


The increased incidence of the acute kidney injury (AKI) in the elderly is becoming a disturbing reality in our days, mainly with the aging of the general population, and the predisposition of old persons to chronic diseases, drug toxicity, and infections. The aim of this study was to investigate the epidemiological, clinical, and biological features and to assess variant etiologies and outcomes of AKI in the elderly. Data were collected from the medical records of patients older than 65 years age having AKI admitted in the Internal Medicine Department of the Military Hospital of Tunis from January 2006 to June 2014. One hundred and seventeen cases were included in the study. The median age was 74.2 years. Male:female ratio was 1.6. Hypertension and diabetes were the most frequently found comorbidities seen in 69.2% and 48.7% of patients, respectively. The percentage of patients having acute-on-chronic renal failure was 13.7%. The AKI was manifested by nausea or vomiting in 33.3% of cases. One patient had hematemesis. The other symptoms were dyspnea in 14.5% of cases, uremic encephalopathy in 6.8% of cases, and oligoanuria in 16.2% of cases. The AKI was discovered fortuitously in 31.6% of cases and was diagnosed early within the 48 h after admission in 94% of cases and after this delay, in 6% of cases. It was ranked Acute Kidney Injury Network 1, 2, or 3, respectively, in 29.9%, 24.8%, and 45.3% of cases. Organic etiologies were observed more frequently (53.8%) followed by functional etiologies (37.6%) and then by obstructive ones (8.5%). Hemodialysis was performed for 9.4% of the patients. Of all the patients, 70.1% had favorable outcome, 49.6% of patients recovered totally. There was aggravation of the AKI in 29.9% of cases. Death occurred in eight cases (6.8%). The epidemiological, clinical, biological, and etiological profile of AKI in the elderly emphasizes the effect of aging of the human being on determining the pathology.

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