We hypothesized that the optimization of renal haemodynamics by maintaining a high level of mean arterial blood pressure (MAP) during cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) could reduce the rate of acute kidney injury (AKI) in high-risk patients.
In this randomized, controlled study, we enrolled 300 patients scheduled for elective cardiac surgery under cardiopulmonary bypass. All had known risk factors of AKI: serum creatinine clearance between 30 and 60 ml/min for 1.73m2 or two factors among the following: age >60 years, diabetes mellitus, diffuse atherosclerosis. After a standardized fluid loading, the MAP was maintained between 75-85 mmHg during CPB with norepinephrine (High Pressure, n=147) versus 50-60 mmHg in the Control (n=145). AKI was defined by a 30% increased of serum creatinine (sCr). We further tested others definitions for AKI: RIFLE classification, 50% rise of sCr and the need for haemodialysis.
The pressure endpoints were achieved in both the High Pressure (79 ± 6 mmHg) and the Control groups (60 ± 6 mmHg; p<0.001). The rate of AKI did not differ by group (17% vs. 17%; p=1), whatever the criteria used for AKI. The length of stay in hospital (9.5 days [7.9-11.2] vs. 8.2 [7.1-9.4]) and the rate of death at day 28 (2.1% vs. 3.4%) and at six months (3.4% vs. 4.8%) did not differ between the groups.
Maintaining a high level of MAP (on average) during normothermic CPB does not reduce the risk of postoperative AKI. It does not alter the length of hospital stay or the mortality rate.