BACKGROUND: Preliminary studies have suggested that the renin-angiotensin system is activated in critical illness and associated with mortality and kidney outcomes. We sought to assess in a larger, multicenter study the relationship between serum renin and Major Adverse Kidney Events (MAKE) in intensive care unit (ICU) patients.

METHODS: Prospective, multicenter study at two institutions of patients with and without acute kidney injury (AKI). Blood samples were collected for renin measurement a median of 2 days into the index ICU admission and 5-7 days later. The primary outcome was MAKE at hospital discharge, a composite of mortality, kidney replacement therapy, or reduced estimated glomerular filtration rate to ≤ 75% of baseline.

RESULTS: Patients in the highest renin tertile were more severely ill overall, including more AKI, vasopressor-dependence, and severity of illness. MAKE were significantly greater in the highest renin tertile compared to the first and second tertiles. In multivariable logistic regression, this initial measurement of renin remained significantly associated with both MAKE as well as the individual component of mortality. The association of renin with MAKE in survivors was not statistically significant. Renin measurements at the second time point were also higher in patients with MAKE. The trajectory of the renin measurements between time 1 and 2 was distinct when comparing death versus survival, but not when comparing MAKE versus those without.

CONCLUSIONS: In a broad cohort of critically ill patients, serum renin measured early in the ICU admission is associated with MAKE at discharge, particularly mortality.

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Published in Critical Care, v. 25, issue 1, article no. 294.

© The Author(s) 2021

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This study was supported in part by the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center O’Brien Kidney Research Core Center (NIH, P30 DK079328-06); the University of Kentucky Center for Clinical and Translational Science (NIH/NCATS, UL1TR001998).

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