J Clin Med. 2021 Jan 22;10(3):412. doi: 10.3390/jcm10030412.
BACKGROUND: Acute kidney injury (AKI) has been observed in up to 20% of adult hospital admissions. Sepsis, diarrhea and heart failure, all causing reduced effective volume, are considered risk factors for AKI, especially among patients treated with medications that block the Renin-Angiotensin System (RAS), such as angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEi) and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB). We aimed to determine the incidence of acute kidney injury (AKI) in emergency medical admissions in relation to the use and dosage of ACEi/ARB.
METHODS: A single-center observational study conducted in 577 consecutive medical admissions via the Emergency Room (ER) at a University General Hospital in Athens, Greece, between June and July 2018. Patients with incomplete medical records, discharged within 24 h, maintained on chronic renal replacement therapy, admitted to the Cardiology Department or the ICU were excluded. Thus, a total of 309 patients were finally included in this analysis.
RESULTS: We compared 86 (28%) patients who presented in the ER with AKI (AKIGroup) with 223 (72%) patients without AKI (non-AKI Group) at the time of admission. Patients in the AKI Group were more frequently male (58% vs. 46%, p = 0.06), with a higher frequency of diarrhea (16% vs. 6%, p = 0.006), edema (15% vs. 6%, p = 0.014) and lower systolic blood pressure (120 (107-135) vs. 126 (113-140), p = 0.007) at presentation, despite higher prevalence of hypertension (64% vs. 47%, p = 0.006). Overall, ACEi/ARB were more likely to have been prescribed in the AKI Group than in the non-AKI Group (49% vs. 28%, p = 0.001). Interestingly, AKI was more frequently observed in patients treated with the target or above target dosage of ACEi/ARB, but not in those receiving lower than the recommended dosage.
CONCLUSION: The risk of AKI in emergency medical admissions is higher among users of ACEIs/ARB at target or above target dosages. Physicians should adjust RAS blockade according to estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR) and advise their patients to withhold ACEi/ARB in cases of acute illness.