Decreased renal cortical perfusion, independent of changes in renal blood flow and sublingual microcirculatory impairment, is associated with the severity of acute kidney injury in patients with septic shock

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Reduced renal perfusion has been implicated in the development of septic AKI. However, the relative contributions of macro- and microcirculatory blood flow and the extent to which impaired perfusion is an intrinsic renal phenomenon or part of a wider systemic shock state remains unclear. METHODS: Single-centre prospective longitudinal observational study was carried out. Assessments were made at Day 0, 1, 2 and 4 after ICU admission of renal cortical perfusion in 50 patients with septic shock and ten healthy volunteers using contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS). Contemporaneous measurements were made using transthoracic echocardiography of cardiac output. Renal artery blood flow was calculated using velocity time integral and vessel diameter. Assessment of the sublingual microcirculation was made using handheld video microscopy. Patients were classified based on the degree of AKI: severe = KDIGO 3 v non-severe = KDIGO 0-2. RESULTS: At study enrolment, patients with severe AKI (37/50) had prolonged CEUS mean transit time (mTT) (10.2 vs. 5.5 s, p < 0.05), and reduced wash-in rate (WiR) (409 vs. 1203 au, p < 0.05) and perfusion index (PI) (485 vs. 1758 au, p < 0.05); differences persisted throughout the entire study. Conversely, there were no differences in either cardiac index, renal blood flow or renal resistive index. Sublingual microcirculatory variables were not significantly different between groups at study enrolment or at any subsequent time point. Although lactate was higher in the severe AKI group at study enrolment, these differences did not persist, and there were no differences in either ScvO2 or ScvCO2-SaCO2 between groups. Patients with severe AKI received higher doses of noradrenaline (0.34 vs. 0.21mcg/kg/min, p < 0.05). Linear regression analysis showed no correlation between mTT and cardiac index (R-0.18) or microcirculatory flow index (R-0.16). CONCLUSION: Renal cortical hypoperfusion is a persistent feature in critically ill septic patients who develop AKI and does not appear to be caused by reductions in macrovascular renal blood flow or cardiac output. Cortical hypoperfusion appears not be associated with changes in the sublingual microcirculation, raising the possibility of a specific renal pathogenesis that may be amenable to therapeutic intervention. Trial Registration Clinical Trials.gov NCT03713307 , 19 Oct 2018.

Original languageEnglish
Article number261
Pages (from-to)261
Number of pages1
JournalCritical care (London, England)
Volume26
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2022

Keywords

  • Acute kidney injury
  • Contrast-enhanced ultrasound
  • Echocardiography
  • Microcirculation
  • Renal blood flow
  • Septic shock
  • Sublingual video microscopy

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