• Article

Statin initiation on acute kidney injury following elective cardiovascular surgery


Layton, J. B., Hansen, M., Jakobsen, C. J., Kshirsagar, A. V., Andreasen, J. J., Hjortdal, V. E., ... Christiansen, C. F. (2016). Statin initiation on acute kidney injury following elective cardiovascular surgery: a population cohort study in Denmark. Eur J Cardiothorac Surg, 49(3), 995-1000. DOI: 10.1093/ejcts/ezv246


Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a serious complication of cardiac surgery. Statins may prevent post-surgical AKI, yet methodological concerns about existing studies raise questions about the magnitude of a protective effect. We sought to determine the effect of initiating a statin prior to elective cardiac surgery on post-surgical AKI in a regional Danish surgical cohort.

We identified adults who underwent cardiac surgery during 2006-11 using the Western Denmark Heart Registry. Presurgical medication use, pre- and post-surgical serum creatinine (sCr) measures, and other patient characteristics were obtained from Danish population-based registries. Post-surgical AKI was assessed using sCr measures within 5 days of surgery. The adjusted risk ratio (RR) of AKI and 95% confidence interval (CI) were estimated for patients who initiated a statin within 100 days prior to surgery compared with patients without prior statin use; long-term statin users were excluded to reduce healthy-user bias. Subanalyses were stratified by surgery type: coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) and non-CABG surgeries.

We identified 1929 CABG and 1775 non-CABG patients. AKI occurred in 25% of CABG and 28% of non-CABG surgeries, and in 29% of the non-users and 21% of the statin initiators. Half of CABG patients and 9% of non-CABG patients initiated a statin prior to surgery. The adjusted RRs for the effect of statin initiation on AKI were as follows: all surgeries combined, RR = 0.86 (95% CI: 0.74, 0.98); CABG, RR = 0.88 (0.74, 1.05); non-CABG RR = 0.87 (0.68, 1.11).

Presurgical statin initiation is associated with a reduction in AKI risk after cardiac surgery.