BACKGROUND Longitudinal investigations of murine acute kidney injury (AKI) suggest that injury and inflammation may persist long after the initial insult. However, the evolution of these processes and their prognostic values are unknown in patients with AKI.METHODS In a prospective cohort of 656 participants hospitalized with AKI, we measured 7 urine and 2 plasma biomarkers of kidney injury, inflammation, and tubular health at multiple time points from the diagnosis to 12 months after AKI. We used linear mixed-effect models to estimate biomarker changes over time, and we used Cox proportional hazard regressions to determine their associations with a composite outcome of chronic kidney disease (CKD) incidence and progression. We compared the gene expression kinetics of biomarkers in murine models of repair and atrophy after ischemic reperfusion injury (IRI).RESULTS After 4.3 years, 106 and 52 participants developed incident CKD and CKD progression, respectively. Each SD increase in the change of urine KIM-1, MCP-1, and plasma TNFR1 from baseline to 12 months was associated with 2- to 3-fold increased risk for CKD, while the increase in urine uromodulin was associated with 40% reduced risk for CKD. The trajectories of these biological processes were associated with progression to kidney atrophy in mice after IRI.CONCLUSION Sustained tissue injury and inflammation, and slower restoration of tubular health, are associated with higher risk of kidney disease progression. Further investigation into these ongoing biological processes may help researchers understand and prevent the AKI-to-CKD transition.FUNDING NIH and NIDDK (grants U01DK082223, U01DK082185, U01DK082192, U01DK082183, R01DK098233, R01DK101507, R01DK114014, K23DK100468, R03DK111881, K01DK120783, and R01DK093771).
Yumeng Wen, Leyuan Xu, Isabel Melchinger, Heather Thiessen-Philbrook, Dennis G. Moledina, Steven G. Coca, Chi-yuan Hsu, Alan S. Go, Kathleen D. Liu, Edward D. Siew, T. Alp Ikizler, Vernon M. Chinchilli, James S. Kaufman, Paul L. Kimmel, Jonathan Himmelfarb, Lloyd G. Cantley, Chirag R. Parikh, the ASSESS-AKI Consortium