Acute Kidney Injury in the Outpatient Setting: Developing and Validating a Risk Prediction Model

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Rationale & Objective: Risk factors for acute kidney injury (AKI) in the hospital have been well studied. Yet, risk factors for identifying high-risk patients for AKI occurring and managed in the outpatient setting are unknown and may differ. Study Design: Predictive model development and external validation using observational electronic health record data. Setting & Participants: Patients aged 18-90 years with recurrent primary care encounters, known baseline serum creatinine, and creatinine measured during an 18-month outcome period without established advanced kidney disease. New Predictors & Established Predictors: Established predictors for inpatient AKI were considered. Potential new predictors were hospitalization history, smoking, serum potassium levels, and prior outpatient AKI. Outcomes: A ≥50% increase in the creatinine level above a moving baseline of the recent measurement(s) without a hospital admission within 7 days defined outpatient AKI. Analytical Approach: Logistic regression with bootstrap sampling for backward stepwise covariate elimination was used. The model was then transformed into 2 binary tests: one identifying high-risk patients for research and another identifying patients for additional clinical monitoring or intervention. Results: Outpatient AKI was observed in 4,611 (3.0%) and 115,744 (2.4%) patients in the development and validation cohorts, respectively. The model, with 18 variables and 3 interaction terms, produced C statistics of 0.717 (95% CI, 0.710-0.725) and 0.722 (95% CI, 0.720-0.723) in the development and validation cohorts, respectively. The research test, identifying the 5.2% most at-risk patients in the validation cohort, had a sensitivity of 0.210 (95% CI, 0.208-0.213) and specificity of 0.952 (95% CI, 0.951-0.952). The clinical test, identifying the 20% most at-risk patients, had a sensitivity of 0.494 (95% CI, 0.491-0.497) and specificity of 0.806 (95% CI, 0.806-0.807). Limitations: Only surviving patients with measured creatinine levels during a baseline period and outcome period were included. Conclusions: The outpatient AKI risk prediction model performed well in both the development and validation cohorts in both continuous and binary forms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100376
JournalKidney Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by National Institutes of Health grant UL1TR002494.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors


  • acute kidney injury
  • ambulatory
  • outpatient
  • renal failure
  • risk prediction


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