We hypothesized that the use of actual body weight might lead to more frequent misdiagnosis of acute kidney injury (AKI) than when ideal body weight is used in underweight and/or obese patients. We examined which definition of body weight is most effective in establishing a urinary diagnosis of AKI in septic patients.
Consecutive patients aged ≥ 20 years admitted to the intensive care unit of a university hospital between June 2011 and December 2016 were analyzed. Sepsis was defined in accordance with the Sepsis-3 criteria. AKI was defined as a urinary output of < 0.5 mL/kg/6h during intensive care unit stay. Patients were divided into one of four body mass index-based classes. The severity of illness and 90-day mortality were compared across the body mass index subgroups in patients diagnosed using the actual body weight or ideal body weight.
Of 5764 patients, 569 septic patients were analyzed. One hundred and fifty-three (26.9%) and 140 (24.6%) patients were diagnosed as having AKI using actual body weight and ideal body weight, respectively. There were no significant differences in the severity of illness among these groups. Also, 90-day mortality did not differ significantly among these groups. According to body mass index, 90-day mortality significantly differed in patients diagnosed using their actual body weights (underweight vs. normal vs. overweight vs. obese: 76.7% vs. 39.5% vs. 26.0% vs. 35.7%, P = 0.033).
Generally, using actual body weight to calculate the weight-adjusted hourly urine output for diagnosing AKI increased the sensitivity compared to ideal body weight, irrespective of the severity of illness in septic patients. Delayed diagnosis, however, was more common among underweight patients in this situation, and clinicians should be cautious when diagnosing urinary AKI using actual body weight.