High risk of acute kidney injury in Malawian trauma patients: a prospective observational cohort study

Academic Article


  • Background: Trauma is a common cause of acute kidney injury (AKI). Yet little data exist regarding trauma-related-AKI in low-resourced settings, where the majority of deaths from AKI and trauma occur. We prospectively evaluated epidemiology of AKI in hospitalized Malawian trauma patients. Methods: AKI was defined by creatinine-only Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) criteria. Those with AKI were followed up 3–6 months later to determine persistent kidney abnormalities. We calculated univariate statistics with Wilcoxon rank sum tests, Fisher’s exact, and chi-square tests to compare those with and without AKI. Multivariate log-risk regression modelling was used to determine risk ratios (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for AKI development. Results: Of 223 participants, 14.4% (n = 32) developed AKI. Most patients were young (median age 32) males (n = 193, 86.5%) involved in road traffic injuries (n = 120, 53.8%). After adjusting for confounders, those with severe anemia during their admission were 1.4 times (RR 1.4, 95% CI 1.1–1.8) more likely to develop AKI than those without. Overall mortality was 7.6% (n = 17), and those who developed AKI were more likely to die than those who did not (18.8% vs 5.6%, p-value = 0.02). Almost half of those with AKI (n = 32) either died (n = 6) or had persistent kidney dysfunction at follow-up (n = 8). Conclusion: In one of the few African studies on trauma-related AKI, we found a high incidence of AKI (14.4%) in Malawian trauma patients with associated poor outcomes. Given AKI’s association with increased mortality and potential ramifications on long-term morbidity, urgent attention is needed to improve AKI-related outcomes.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • BMC Nephrology  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Bjornstad EC; Smith ZH; Muronya W; Munthali CK; Mottl AK; Marshall SW; Golightly YM; Gibson K; Charles A; Gower EW
  • Volume

  • 22
  • Issue

  • 1