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Postoperative acute kidney injury (AKI) has an unfavorable impact on both short-term and long-term outcomes. The aim of this retrospective study was to compare the incidence of postoperative AKI between laparoscopic and laparotomy procedures in elderly patients undergoing colorectal surgery.Medical records of elderly (65 y and older) patients who underwent colorectal cancer surgery between May 2016 and July 2018 at our tertiary hospital were reviewed. Patients with Union Internationale Contre le Cancer (UICC) stage II and III colorectal cancer, without neoadjuvant treatment, were divided into laparoscopic procedure group and laparotomy group. AKI, determined by the Acute Kidney Injury Network criteria, was compared between the 2 groups, before and after propensity matching. Multivariable analysis was made to identify independent risk factors of AKI.In all, 285 patients met the study inclusion criteria. Postoperative AKI occurred only in 16 patients from the laparotomy group (n=212). The incidence of AKI was significantly lower in the laparoscopic procedure group (n=73) compared with the laparotomy group (0% vs. 7.5%; P=0.015). Seventy-three patients who underwent laparoscopic surgery were matched with 73 of 212 patients who underwent open surgery, by using propensity score analysis, and the incidence of AKI in the 2 groups was similar (0% vs. 8.3%; P=0.028). Multivariable analysis showed that intraoperative metaraminol dose >1 mg (odds ratio=2.742, P=0.042) is an independent risk factor for postoperative AKI.In elderly patients, the incidence of AKI after colorectal cancer surgery is lower in the laparoscopic procedure group, maybe related to hemodynamic stability and less vasoconstriction.