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Avoiding in-hospital acute kidney injury is a new imperative



The PrevAKI findings validate the concept of AKI ‘golden hours’ during which time potentially reversible early kidney injury detectable via renal biomarkers is occurring prior to the abrupt decline in kidney function measured by change in serum creatinine. “The problem with using change in creatinine to define AKI is the delay in diagnosis, which makes AKI more difficult to treat,” he explained.

The renal biomarkers utilized in PrevAKI were insulin-like growth factor binding protein-7 (IGFBP7) and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-2 (TIMP-2), as incorporated in the commercially available urinary NephroCheck test, which was administered to study participants 4 hours after cardiopulmonary bypass. A test result of 0.3 or more identified a group at high risk for AKI for randomization to the KDIGO bundle or usual care. The KDIGO bundle consists of discontinuation of nephrotoxic agents when feasible, early optimization of fluid status, and maintenance of perfusion pressure.

Patients known to be at increased risk for in-hospital AKI include the elderly, those with diabetes, patients with heart failure or other conditions prone to volume contraction or overload, those undergoing major surgery, individuals with chronic kidney disease, and patients with sepsis.

Dr. Szerlip singled out as particularly nephrotoxic several drugs widely used in hospitalized patients, including the combination of vancomycin plus piperacillin-tazobactam, which in a recent metaanalysis was found to have a number needed to harm of 11 in terms of AKI in comparison to vancomycin monotherapy or vancomycin in combination with cefepime or carbapenem (Crit Care Med. 2018 Jan;46[1]:12-20). He was also critical of the American Society of Anesthesiologists practice parameter recommending that in-hospital pain management plans for surgical patients include continuous regimens of NSAIDs or COX-2 inhibitors as a means of combating the ongoing opioid epidemic.

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