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Acute kidney injury (AKI) may be associated with short- and long-term patient morbidity and mortality. Therefore, the impact of AKI after cardiac arrest on survival and neurological outcome was evaluated.An observational single center study was conducted and consecutively included all out and in hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA/IHCA) patients treated with therapeutic temperature management between 2006 and 2013. Patient morbidity, mortality and neurological outcome according to the widely used Pittsburgh Cerebral Performance Category (CPC) were assessed. A good neurological outcome was defined as a CPC of 1–2 versus a poor neurological outcome with a CPC of 3–5. AKI was defined by using the KDIGO Guidelines 2012.503 patients were observed in total. 29.4% (n = 148) developed AKI during their intensive care unit (ICU) stay. 70.6% (n = 355) did not experience AKI. The mean age at admission was 62 years, of those 72.8% were male and 77% experienced an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). AKI occurred with 41.2% more often in the group with poor neurological outcome compared to 17.1% in the group with good neurological outcome. The median survival for patients after cardiac arrest with AKI was 0.07 years compared to 6.5 years for patients without AKI.Our data suggest that AKI is a major risk factor for a poor neurological outcome and a higher mortality after cardiac arrest. Further important risk factors were age, time to ROSC and high NSE.AKI is a major risk factor for a poor neurological outcome after cardiac arrest.AKI predisposes to a higher mortality among those who survived cardiac arrest.AKI may reflect both, more severe chronic comorbid conditions and the extent of cardiac disease.