Kidney Res Clin Pract.  2021 Dec;40(4):566-577. 10.23876/j.krcp.21.043.

When and why to start continuous renal replacement therapy in critically ill patients with acute kidney injury

  • 1Division of Nephrology, Department of Internal Medicine, Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital, Anyang, Republic of Korea
  • 2Hallym University Kidney Research Institute, Anyang, Republic of Korea
  • 3Department of Biomedical Gerontology, Graduate School of Hallym University, Chuncheon, Korea


Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a common condition in critically ill patients, and may contribute to significant medical, social, and economic consequences, including death. Although there have been advances in medical technology, including continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT), the mortality rate of AKI is high, and there is no fundamental treatment that can reverse disease progression. The decision to implement CRRT is often subjective and based primarily on the clinician’s judgment without consistent and concrete guidelines or protocols regarding when to initiate and discontinue CRRT and how to manage complications. Recently, several randomized controlled trials addressing the initiation of renal replacement therapy in critically ill patients with AKI have been completed, but clinical application of the findings is limited by the heterogeneity of the objectives and research designs. In this review, the advantages and disadvantages of CRRT initiation, clinical guideline recommendations, and the results of currently published clinical trials and meta-analyses are summarized to guide patient care and identify future research priorities.


Acute kidney injury; Continuous renal replacement therapy; Guideline; Meta-analysis; Randomized controlled trial
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