Leeds In Vitro Diagnostics Co-operative

Report identifies promising AKI tests

26 June 2018

A report that could help NHS decision-makers select effective diagnostic tests for acute kidney injury (AKI) has been published by researchers including experts from NIHR Leeds MIC.

Acute kidney injury affects many critically ill patients, and often leads to long term health problems or, if severe, can be fatal. Despite this, diagnosis of AKI is still a challenge – the disease is often not detected until several days after damage to kidneys has begun. Although a number of tests are being developed, there is currently no single test that can diagnose AKI or indicate its severity.

Commissioned by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the report identified 150 tests being developed for AKI, and carried out a detailed review of the three most promising of them. Researchers evaluated the available evidence for these tests, and recommended areas where additional evidence was needed before tests could be adopted into the healthcare system.

The work was carried out using statistical and methodological approaches developed by NIHR Leeds MIC, including health economics analysis needed to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of tests.

Dr Peter Hall, Clinical Senior Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh, led the project.

“There are many competing companies producing tests to help manage AKI, and the NHS is faced with uncertainty around which tests are robust – and also which represent an effective use of NHS resources,” he explained. “This project has brought all of the available evidence together and used a formalised evaluation process to show which of them appear to be the most useful.”

“NIHR Leeds MIC was able to bring together the advanced methods that enabled us to get to grips with this complex topic,” adds Dr Hall. “Using this expertise, we’ve been able to demonstrate the potential for these tests to influence patient care, but also set out what steps still need to be taken before they can be adopted into NHS procedures.”

The full report is published by the NIHR.