Introduction: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) and acute kidney injury (AKI) are strongly associated with excess morbidity and mortality and frequently co-occur in critically ill septic patients, but how their interplay affects clinical outcomes is not well elucidated. Methods: We conducted a single-center, retrospective cohort study of 2632 adult patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) with severe sepsis or septic shock. Subjects were classified into 6 groups according to baseline CKD (no-CKD: estimated glomerular filtration rate [eGFR] ≥60; CKD: eGFR 15−59 ml/min per 1.73 m2) and incident AKI by the Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) serum creatinine criteria (no-AKI, AKI stage 1, AKI stages ≥2) during ICU stay. Study outcomes were 90-day mortality (in hospital or within 90 days of discharge) and incident/progressive CKD. Results: Prevalent CKD was 46% and incident AKI was 57%. Adjusted hazard ratios (95% confidence intervals) for 90-day mortality relative to the reference group of no-CKD/no-AKI were 1.5 (1.1−2.0) in no-CKD/AKI stage 1, 2.4 (1.9−3.1) in no-CKD/AKI stages≥2, 1.1 (0.8−1.4) in CKD/no-AKI, 1.2 (0.9−1.6) in CKD/AKI stage 1, and 2.2 (1.7−2.9) in CKD/AKI stages ≥2. A similar trend was observed for incident/progressive CKD during a median follow-up of 15.3 months. Conclusion: Stage 1 AKI on CKD was not associated with an independent increased risk of adverse outcomes in critically ill septic patients. AKI stages ≥2 on CKD and any level of AKI in no-CKD patients were strongly and independently associated with adverse outcomes. Sepsis-associated stage 1 AKI on CKD may represent distinct underlying pathophysiology, with more prerenal cases and less severe de novo intrinsic damage, which needs further investigation.
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