Analysis of Survival After Initiation of Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy in a Surgical Intensive Care Unit

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Continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) benefits patients with renal failure who are too hemodynamically unstable for intermittent hemodialysis. The duration of therapy beyond which continued use is futile, particularly in a population of patients admitted to and primarily cared for by a surgical service (hereinafter referred to as surgical patients), is unclear.


To analyze proportions of and independent risk factors for survival to discharge after initiation of CRRT among patients in a surgical intensive care unit (SICU).

Design, Setting, and Participants

This retrospective cohort study included all patients undergoing CRRT from July 1, 2012, through January 31, 2016, in an SICU of an urban tertiary medical center. The population included patients treated before or after general surgery and patients admitted to a surgical service during inpatient evaluation and care before liver transplant. The pretransplant population was censored from further survival analysis on receipt of a transplant.


Continuous renal replacement therapy.

Main Outcomes and Measures

Hospital mortality among patients in an SICU after initiation of CRRT.


Of 108 patients (64 men [59.3%] and 44 women [40.7%]; mean [SD] age, 62.0 [12.7] years) admitted to the SICU, 53 were in the general surgical group and 55 in the pretransplant group. Thirteen of the 22 patients in the pretransplant group who required 7 or more days of CRRT died (in-hospital mortality, 59.1%); among the 12 patients in the general surgery group who required 7 or more days of CRRT, 12 died (in-hospital mortality, 100%). In the general surgical group, each day of CRRT was associated with an increased adjusted odds ratio of death of 1.39 (95% CI, 1.01-1.90; P = .04).

Conclusions and Relevance

Continuous renal replacement therapy is valuable for surgical patients with an acute and correctable indication; however, survival decreases significantly with increasing duration of CRRT. Duration of CRRT does not correlate with survival among patients awaiting liver transplant.

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