Kidney injury after lung transplantation: Long-term mortality predicted by post-operative day-7 serum creatinine and few clinical factors.


Acute kidney injury (AKI) after lung transplantation (LuTx) is associated with increased long-term mortality. In this prospective observational study, commonly used AKI-definitions were examined regarding prediction of long-term mortality and compared to simple use of the serum creatinine value at day 7 for patients who did not receive hemodialysis, and serum creatinine value immediately before initiation of hemodialysis (d7/preHD-sCr).


185 patients with LuTx were prospectively enrolled from 2013-2014 at our center. Kidney injury was assessed within 7 days by: (1) the Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcomes criteria (KDIGO-AKI), (2) the Acute Disease Quality Initiative 16 Workgroup classification (ADQI-AKI) and (3) d7/preHD-sCr. Prediction of all-cause mortality was examined by Cox regression analysis, and clinical as well as laboratory factors for impaired kidney function post-LuTx were analyzed.


AKI according to KDIGO and ADQI-AKI occurred in 115 patients (62.2%) within 7 days after LuTx. Persistent ADQI-AKI, KDIGO-AKI stage 3 and higher d7/preHD-sCr were associated with higher mortality in the univariable analysis. In the multivariable analysis, d7/preHD-sCr in combination with body weight and intra- and postoperative platelet transfusions predicted mortality after LuTx with similar performance as models using KDIGO-AKI and ADQI-AKI (concordance index of 0.75 for d7/preHD-sCr vs., 0.74 and 0.73, respectively). Pre-transplant reduced renal function, diabetes, higher BMI, and intraoperative ECMO predicted higher d7/preHD-sCr (r2 = 0.354, p < 0.001).


Our results confirm the importance of AKI in lung transplant patients; however, a simple and pragmatic indicator of renal function, d7/preHD-sCr, predicts long-term mortality equally reliable as more complex AKI-definitions like KDIGO and ADQI.


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