Adding Insult to (Acute Kidney) Injury

Some 28 percent of cancer patients admitted to hospital show signs of acute kidney injury

(RxWiki News) An alarming number of patients (about 28 percent) admitted to MD Anderson Cancer Center over the course of three months showed clinical signs of acute kidney injury.

"Our study suggests that we need to take measures to mitigate acute kidney injury in cancer patients," said lead study author Dr. Abdulla K. Salahudeen, chief of the section of nephrology and director of the dialysis unit at the center.

For the study, acute kidney injury was defined as having a rise in absolute serum creatinine (worsening renal functioning) of 0.3 mg/dL or greater. Complete information on some 5,013 patients was analyzed for the study. The researchers determined that 14 percent of patients had preexisting acute kidney injury while another 14 percent developed the condition during their hospital stay. Clinical risk factors linked to acute kidney injury included: transfer to the ICU, use of chemotherapeutic agents, use of antibiotics and having diabetes.

"It is possible that what we are seeing is an association between severity of cancer and level of kidney injury," said Salahudeen. "This is a complex group of patients, and the study underscores the importance of being aggressive with treatment of acute kidney injury as early as possible."

Salahudeen emphasized the preliminary nature of the study. He said screening patients as they come into the hospital and identifying those who are at risk will be how acute-kidney-injury biomarkers prove most useful.

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December 9, 2010