Acute kidney injury is common in critically ill patients, many of whom receive renal-replacement therapy. However, the most effective timing for the initiation of such therapy remains uncertain.
We conducted a multinational, randomized, controlled trial involving critically ill patients with severe acute kidney injury. Patients were randomly assigned to receive an accelerated strategy of renal-replacement therapy (in which therapy was initiated within 12 hours after the patient had met eligibility criteria) or a standard strategy (in which renal-replacement therapy was discouraged unless conventional indications developed or acute kidney injury persisted for >72 hours). The primary outcome was death from any cause at 90 days.
Of the 3019 patients who had undergone randomization, 2927 (97.0%) were included in the modified intention-to-treat analysis (1465 in the accelerated-strategy group and 1462 in the standard-strategy group). Of these patients, renal-replacement therapy was performed in 1418 (96.8%) in the accelerated-strategy group and in 903 (61.8%) in the standard-strategy group. At 90 days, death had occurred in 643 patients (43.9%) in the accelerated-strategy group and in 639 (43.7%) in the standard-strategy group (relative risk, 1.00; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.93 to 1.09; P=0.92). Among survivors at 90 days, continued dependence on renal-replacement therapy was confirmed in 85 of 814 patients (10.4%) in the accelerated-strategy group and in 49 of 815 patients (6.0%) in the standard-strategy group (relative risk, 1.74; 95% CI, 1.24 to 2.43). Adverse events occurred in 346 of 1503 patients (23.0%) in the accelerated-strategy group and in 245 of 1489 patients (16.5%) in the standard-strategy group (P<0.001).
Among critically ill patients with acute kidney injury, an accelerated renal-replacement strategy was not associated with a lower risk of death at 90 days than a standard strategy. (Funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and others; STARRT-AKI ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02568722. opens in new tab.)