Preoperative renal insufficiency: Underreporting and association with readmission and major postoperative morbidity in an academic medical center

Jeanna D. Blitz, Marny H. Shoham, Yixin Fang, Venod Narine, Neeraj Mehta, Beamy S. Sharma, Paul Shekane, Samir Kendale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Making a formal diagnosis of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in the preoperative setting may be challenging because of lack of longitudinal data. We explored the predictive value of a single reduced preoperative estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) value on adverse patient outcomes in the first 30 days after elective surgery. We compared the rate of major postoperative adverse events, including 30-day readmission rate, hospital length of stay, infection, acute kidney injury (AKI), and myocardial infarction across patients with declining preoperative eGFR values. We hypothesized that there is an association between decreasing preoperative eGFR values and major postoperative morbidity including readmission within 30 days of discharge and that the reasons for unplanned readmissions may be associated with poor preoperative renal function. METHODS: This was a retrospective analysis of the electronic health record of 39 989 adult patients who underwent elective surgery between June 2011 and July 2013 at our institution. Patients with reduced eGFR (<60 mL/min/1.73m2) were identified and categorized by the stages of CKD that correlated with the preoperative eGFR value. Odds of readmission to our hospital within 30 days, as well as new diagnosis of AKI, myocardial infarction, and infection, were determined with multivariate logistic regression. The subset of patients who were readmitted within 30 days also were subdivided further into patients who had an eGFR <60 mL/min/1.73m2 and those with an eGFR ≥60 mL/min/1.73m2, as well as whether the readmission was planned or unplanned. RESULTS: Of the 4053 patients with eGFR <60 mL/min/1.73m2, 3290 (81.2%) did not carry a preoperative diagnosis of CKD. Adjusted odds ratios of being readmitted were 1.48 (99% confidence interval [CI], 1.18-1.87; P <.001) for eGFR 30 to 44 mL/min/1.73m2 to 2.06 (99% CI, 1.32-3.23; P <.001) for eGFR <15 mL/min/1.73m2 compared with patients with a preoperative eGFR value ≥60 mL/min/1.73m2. Patients with a lower eGFR also demonstrated increasing odds of AKI from 2.78 (99% CI, 1.86-4.17; P <.001) for eGFR 45 to 59 mL/min/1.73m2 to 3.81 (99% CI, 1.68-8.16; P <.001) for eGFR <15 mL/min/1.73m2. CONCLUSIONS: This study highlights that preoperative renal insufficiency may be underreported and appears to be significantly associated with postoperative complications. It extends the association between a single low preoperative eGFR and postoperative morbidity to a broader range of surgical populations than previously described. Our results suggest that preoperative calculation of eGFR may be a relatively low-cost, readily available tool to identify patients who are at an increased risk of readmission within 30 days of surgery and postoperative morbidity in patients presenting for elective surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1500-1515
Number of pages16
JournalAnesthesia and Analgesia
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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