Rationale & Objective: Since January 2017, patients with acute kidney injury requiring dialysis (AKI-D) can be discharged to outpatient dialysis centers for continued hemodialysis (HD) support. We aimed to examine the rate of kidney recovery, time to recovery, and hospitalization-related clinical parameters associated with kidney recovery in patients with AKI-D.

Study Design: Single-center prospective cohort study.

Setting & Participants: 111 adult patients who were admitted to the University of Kentucky Hospital, experienced AKI-D, and were discharged with need of outpatient HD.

Exposure: Hospitalization-related clinical parameters were evaluated.

Outcome: Kidney recovery as a composite of being alive and no longer requiring HD or other form of kidney replacement therapy.

Analytical Approach: Discrete-time survival analysis and logistic regression were used to determine adjusted probabilities of kidney recovery at prespecified time points and to evaluate clinical parameters associated with recovery.

Results: 45 (41%) patients recovered kidney function, 25 (55.5%) within the first 30 days following discharge, 16 (35.5%) within 30 to 60 days, and 4 (9%) within 60 to 90 days. Adjusted probabilities of recovery were 36.7%, 27.4%, and 6.3%, respectively. Of the remaining patients, 49 (44%) developed kidney failure requiring chronic kidney replacement therapy and 17 (15%) died or went to hospice. Patients who did not recover kidney function were older, had more comorbid conditions, had lower estimated glomerular filtration rates at baseline, and received more blood transfusions during hospitalization when compared with those who recovered kidney function.

Limitations: Selection bias given that patients included in the study were all eligible for AKI management with outpatient HD as part of Medicare/Medicaid services.

Conclusions: At least one-third of AKI-D survivors discharged from an acute care hospital dependent on HD recovered kidney function within the first 90 days of discharge, more commonly in the first 30 days postdischarge. Future studies should elucidate clinical parameters that can inform risk classification and interventions to promote kidney recovery in this vulnerable and growing population.

Document Type


Publication Date


Notes/Citation Information

Published in Kidney Medicine, v. 3, issue 6.

© 2021 The Authors

This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Funding Information

Dr Neyra is currently supported by National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases R56 DK126930 and P30 DK079337 and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute R01 HL148448-01 and R21 HL145424-01A1.

1-s2.0-S2590059521001722-fx1_lrg.jpg (431 kB)
Graphical abstract

1-s2.0-S2590059521001722-mmc1.pdf (112 kB)
Supplementary file: Tables S1-S3.