Clinically Distinct Subtypes of Acute Kidney Injury on Hospital Admission Identified by Machine Learning Consensus Clustering

Charat Thongprayoon, Pradeep Vaitla, Voravech Nissaisorakarn, Michael A. Mao, Jose L.Zabala Genovez, Andrea G. Kattah, Pattharawin Pattharanitima, Saraschandra Vallabhajosyula, Mira T. Keddis, Fawad Qureshi, John J. Dillon, Vesna D. Garovic, Kianoush B. Kashani, Wisit Cheungpasitporn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: We aimed to cluster patients with acute kidney injury at hospital admission into clinically distinct subtypes using an unsupervised machine learning approach and assess the mortality risk among the distinct clusters. METHODS: We performed consensus clustering analysis based on demographic information, principal diagnoses, comorbidities, and laboratory data among 4289 hospitalized adult patients with acute kidney injury at admission. The standardized difference of each variable was calculated to identify each cluster's key features. We assessed the association of each acute kidney injury cluster with hospital and one-year mortality. RESULTS: Consensus clustering analysis identified four distinct clusters. There were 1201 (28%) patients in cluster 1, 1396 (33%) patients in cluster 2, 1191 (28%) patients in cluster 3, and 501 (12%) patients in cluster 4. Cluster 1 patients were the youngest and had the least comorbidities. Cluster 2 and cluster 3 patients were older and had lower baseline kidney function. Cluster 2 patients had lower serum bicarbonate, strong ion difference, and hemoglobin, but higher serum chloride, whereas cluster 3 patients had lower serum chloride but higher serum bicarbonate and strong ion difference. Cluster 4 patients were younger and more likely to be admitted for genitourinary disease and infectious disease but less likely to be admitted for cardiovascular disease. Cluster 4 patients also had more severe acute kidney injury, lower serum sodium, serum chloride, and serum bicarbonate, but higher serum potassium and anion gap. Cluster 2, 3, and 4 patients had significantly higher hospital and one-year mortality than cluster 1 patients (p < 0.001). CONCLUSION: Our study demonstrated using machine learning consensus clustering analysis to characterize a heterogeneous cohort of patients with acute kidney injury on hospital admission into four clinically distinct clusters with different associated mortality risks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalMedical sciences (Basel, Switzerland)
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 24 2021


  • AKI
  • acute kidney injury
  • artificial intelligence
  • clustering
  • hospitalization
  • machine learning
  • mortality
  • nephrology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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