Acute Kidney Injury in the Age of Enhanced Recovery Protocols

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Acute kidney injury is a prevalent complication after abdominal surgery. With increasing adoption of enhanced recovery protocols, concern exists for concomitant increase in acute kidney injury.


This study evaluated effects of enhanced recovery on acute kidney injury through identification of risk factors.


This was a retrospective cohort study comparing acute kidney injury rates before and after implementation of enhanced recovery protocol.


The study was conducted at a large academic medical center.


All of the patients undergoing elective colorectal surgery between 2010 and 2016, excluding patients with stage 5 chronic kidney disease, were included.


Patients before and after enhanced recovery implementation were compared, with rate of acute kidney injury as the primary outcome. Acute kidney injury was defined as a rise in serum creatinine ≥1.5 times baseline within 30 days of surgery. Multivariable logistic regression identified risk factors for acute kidney injury.


A total of 900 cases were identified, including 461 before and 439 after enhanced recovery; 114 cases were complicated by acute kidney injury, including 11.93% of patients before and 13.44% after implementation of enhanced recovery (p = 0.50). Five patients required hemodialysis, with 2 cases after protocol implementation. Multivariable logistic regression identified hypertension, functional status, ureteral stents, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, operative time >200 minutes, and increased intravenous fluid administration on postoperative day 1 as predictors of acute kidney injury. Laparoscopic surgery decreased the risk of acute kidney injury. The enhanced recovery protocol was not independently associated with acute kidney injury.


The study was limited by its retrospective and nonrandomized before-and-after design.


No difference in rates of acute kidney injury was detected before and after implementation of a colorectal enhanced recovery protocol. Independent predictors of acute kidney injury were identified and could be used to alter the protocol in high-risk patients. Future study is needed to determine whether protocol modifications will further decrease rates of acute kidney injury in this population. See Video Abstract at

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