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Nephron. 2017;137(4):297-301. doi: 10.1159/000475607. Epub 2017 Jun 9.

The Economic Consequences of Acute Kidney Injury.

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Division of Nephrology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, CA, USA.


Acute kidney injury (AKI) is an increasingly common condition associated with poor health outcomes. Combined with its rising incidence, AKI has emerged as a major public health concern with high human and financial costs. In England, the estimated inpatient costs related to AKI consume 1% of the National Health Service budget. In the United States, AKI is associated with an increase in hospitalization costs that range from $5.4 to $24.0 billion. The most expensive patients are those with AKI of sufficient severity to require dialysis, where cost increases relative to patients without AKI range from $11,016 to $42,077 per hospitalization. Even with these high costs, significant hospital-level variation still exists in the cost of AKI care. In this article, we review the economic consequences of AKI for both the general and critically ill AKI population. Our primary objective is to shed light on an opportunity for hospitals and policymakers to develop new care processes for patients with AKI that have the potential to yield substantial cost savings. By exposing the high rates of death and disability experienced by affected patients and the immense financial burden attributable to AKI, we also hope to motivate scientists and entrepreneurs to pursue a variety of innovative therapeutic strategies to combat AKI in the near term.


Acute kidney injury; Costs; Economics; Hospital care

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