Little is known regarding the impact of acute kidney injury (AKI) on renal transplant outcome. Our aim was to define the incidence and outcome of AKI in renal transplant patients using data collected from a national AKI electronic alert system METHODS: The study represents a prospective national cohort study collecting data on 1224 renal transplants recipients with a functioning renal transplant, between April 2015 and March 2019.
Four hundred forty patients experienced at least one episode of AKI giving an incidence rate of 35.4%. Sixty-four point seven% of episodes were AKI stage 1, 7.3% AKI stage 2 and 28% AKI stage 3. Only 6.2% of episodes occurred in the context of rejection. Forty-three point five% of AKI episodes were associated with sepsis. AKI was associated with pre-existing renal dysfunction, and a primary renal diagnosis of diabetic nephropathy. AKI was more prevalent in recipients from a donor after cardiac death (26.4% vs. 21.4%, p < 0.05) compared to the non-AKI cohort. Following AKI, 30-day mortality was 19.8% and overall mortality was 34.8%, compared to 8.4% in the non AKI cohort (RR 4.06, 95% CI 3.1-5.3, p < 0.001). Graft survival (GS), and death censored graft survival (DCGS) censored at 4 years, in the AKI cohort were significantly lower than in the non AKI group (p < 0.0001 for GS and DCGS).
The study provides a detailed characterisation of AKI in renal transplant recipients highlighting its significant negative impact on patient and graft survival.