Mortality and cost of acute and chronic kidney disease after cardiac surgery

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Purpose of review

Acute and chronic kidney diseases (AKI and CKD) have far-reaching implications for surgical patients in regards to postoperative outcomes and hospital cost. We review the recent literature on the effects of AKI and CKD on morbidity, mortality, and resource utilization among cardiac surgery patients.

Recent findings

Both AKI and CKD increase the risk for short-term and long-term mortalities, morbidity, length of stay, and hospital cost among postoperative patients, with increasing disease stage correlating with worse outcomes. Even the mildest forms of AKI (RIFLE-R) and CKD (proteinuria without an observed reduction in estimated glomerular filtration rate) demonstrate worse clinical outcomes compared with patients with no AKI or CKD. Outcomes are worse even in patients who achieve full renal recovery before hospital discharge. These complications dramatically increase ICU length of stay, hospital length of stay, resource utilization, and both in-hospital and postdischarge costs, as evidenced by lower rates of discharges to home.


AKI and CKD remain prevalent, morbid, and costly conditions for cardiac surgery patients. Better risk stratification, early diagnosis, and earlier interventions are needed to prevent the consequences of these diseases.

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