Optimal timing of renal replacement therapy for favourable outcome in patients of acute renal failure following cardiac surgery

  • Shanshank Tripathi
  • Shantanu PandeEmail author
  • Pulkit Malhotra
  • Supaksh Mahindru
  • Ankit Thukral
  • Ankush Singh Kotwal
  • Gauranga Majumdar
  • Surendra Kumar Agarwal
  • Amit Gupta
Original Article



Acute renal failure is a serious complication following cardiac surgery. This may lead to fatal outcome if not treated timely. Continuous renal replacement therapy (RRT) has shown improvement in outcome. There is no clear consensus on the timing of the initiation of RRT in these patients. This study evaluates the factors predicting favourable outcome in this group of patients.


Patients undergoing cardiac surgery between January 2015 and December 2018 are included in this retrospective study. RRT is required in 24 patients out of 2254 operated during this period. Patients are divided into groups, survivors (group 1, n = 8) and dead (group 2, n = 16). The preoperative information is accessed from the hospital information system and intensive care unit data. Multivariate analysis of pre continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) bicarbonate level, pH, potassium, time of initiating CRRT and central venous pressure is performed.


The incidence of acute renal failure requiring RRT is 1.06%. Patients in two groups were similar in demographics and presence of risk factors. There was difference in the pre RRT bicarbonate level (p = 0.007). On multivariate analysis, pre RRT bicarbonate levels predict survival (p = 0.003). ROC curve for pre RRT bicarbonate predicts survival for value above 16.83 mg/dl with 80% sensitivity and 78.6% specificity.


Bicarbonate level in blood predicts the best evidence for initiating the renal replacement therapy in of acute renal failure following cardiac surgery. When urine output drops to < 0.5 ml/kg and not responding to infusion of furosemide, RRT must be initiated at sodium bicarbonate in blood above 16.9 mg%.


Renal replacement therapy Cardiac surgery Acute renal failure 



This study required no funding.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Indian Association of Cardiovascular-Thoracic Surgeons 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shanshank Tripathi
    • 1
  • Shantanu Pande
    • 1
    Email author
  • Pulkit Malhotra
    • 1
  • Supaksh Mahindru
    • 1
  • Ankit Thukral
    • 1
  • Ankush Singh Kotwal
    • 1
  • Gauranga Majumdar
    • 1
  • Surendra Kumar Agarwal
    • 1
  • Amit Gupta
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic SurgerySanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical SciencesLucknowIndia
  2. 2.Department of NephrologySanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical SciencesLucknowIndia

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