Renin Kinetics Are Superior to Lactate Kinetics for Predicting In-Hospital Mortality in Hypotensive Critically Ill Patients

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Critical care medicine








OBJECTIVES: Whole blood lactate concentration is widely used in shock states to assess perfusion. We aimed to determine if the change in plasma renin concentration over time would be superior to the change in lactate concentration for predicting in-hospital mortality in hypotensive patients on vasopressors. DESIGN: Prospective, observational cohort study. SETTING: Tertiary academic ICU. PATIENTS: Adult patients on vasopressors for greater than 6 hours to maintain a mean arterial pressure greater than or equal to 65 mm Hg during January 2020. INTERVENTIONS: Plasma renin concentrations were measured at enrollment and at 24, 48, and 72 hours. Whole blood lactate measurements were performed according to normal standard of care. Logistic regression was performed to evaluate whether the change in renin or lactate concentration could predict in-hospital mortality. Generalized estimating equations were used to analyze the association between renin and lactate concentration and in-hospital mortality. The area under the receiver operating characteristics curve was performed to measure the discriminative ability of initial and peak renin and lactate concentration to predict mortality. The association between renin and lactate concentration above the upper limit of normal at each timepoint with in-hospital mortality was also examined. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: The study included 197 renin and 148 lactate samples obtained from 53 patients. The slope of the natural log (ln) of renin concentration was independently associated with mortality (adjusted odds ratio, 10.35; 95% CI, 1.40-76.34; p = 0.022), but the slope of ln-lactate concentration was not (adjusted odds ratio, 4.78; 95% CI, 0.03-772.64; p = 0.55). The generalized estimating equation models found that both ln-renin (adjusted odds ratio, 1.18; 95% CI, 1.02-1.37; p = 0.025) and ln-lactate (adjusted odds ratio, 2.38; 95% CI, 1.05-5.37; p = 0.037) were associated with mortality. Area under the receiver operating characteristics curve analysis demonstrated that initial renin could predict in-hospital mortality with fair discrimination (area under the receiver operating characteristics curve, 0.682; 95% CI, 0.503-0.836; p = 0.05), but initial lactate could not (area under the receiver operating characteristics curve, 0.615; 95% CI, 0.413-0.803; p = 0.27). Peak renin (area under the receiver operating characteristics curve, 0.728; 95% CI, 0.547-0.888; p = 0.01) and peak lactate (area under the receiver operating characteristics curve, 0.746; 95% CI, 0.584-0.876; p = 0.01) demonstrated moderate discrimination. There was no significant difference in discriminative ability between initial or peak renin and lactate concentration. At each study time point, a higher proportion of renin values exceeded the threshold of normal (40 pg/mL) in nonsurvivors than in survivors, but this association was not significant for lactate. CONCLUSIONS: Although there was no significant difference in the performance of renin and lactate when examining the absolute values of each laboratory, a positive rate of change in renin concentration, but not lactate concentration, over 72 hours was associated with in-hospital mortality. For each one-unit increase in the slope of ln-renin, the odds of mortality increased 10-fold. Renin levels greater than 40 pg/mL, but not lactate levels greater than 2 mmol/L, were associated with in-hospital mortality. These findings suggest that plasma renin kinetics may be superior to lactate kinetics in predicting mortality of hypotensive, critically ill patients.


Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine