Avoiding acute kidney injury (AKI)

Led by Gianni Angelini

Severe acute kidney injury (AKI) occurs in around five per cent of cardiac surgery patients. It is a life-threatening complication and can double the cost of hospitalisation, yet of all the cardiac surgery complications it is the least predictable. Building on preclinical research we will:

  • Carry out a feasibility trial in newborns requiring surgery and at high risk of AKI, comparing treatment with sildenafil (a drug used to improve blood flow to the kidney) with a placebo. We will check how well the kidneys are working throughout these two treatments by measuring markers of kidney function (i.e. creatinine levels and glomerular filtration rate) over the first five days after surgery.
  • Use blood and serum samples from the same group of newborns alongside existing clinical data to explore the potential of specific biomarkers (extracellular microRNAs, exosomes), and genotype to predict post-operative AKI. Predictors identified will be included as secondary outcomes in future trial cohorts.