Drug-drug interaction and acute kidney injury development: A correlation-based network analysis

Wenjun Zhu, Erin F. Barreto, Jingshan Li, Hyo Kyung Lee, Kianoush Kashani

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Background Drug-induced nephrotoxicity is a relatively common preventable cause of acute kidney injury (AKI), providing early recognition and management. The pharmacokinetics or pharmacodynamics of drug-drug interactions may lead to additive or synergistic toxicity. The influx of new medications or off-label use of medications in the critical care setting can lead to additional nephrotoxicities, often challenging to predict or detect. This study evaluates the patterns of medication utilization, their combinations, and the related associations with AKI. Methods We utilized correlation-based network analysis (CNA) to investigate the relationship between medications or their combinations with AKI in a large cohort of critically ill patients in a tertiary medical center between 2007 and 2018. Pairwise medication-AKI correlation analysis was performed to evaluate drug synergistic or additive effects. To investigate the inherent nephrotoxicity of medications, we further analyzed medications that were not paired with any other medications within 24 hours before or after their administration time (isolated medication analysis). Results Among 147,289 ICU admissions, we identified 244 associations among 1,555 unique medication types. In pairwise analysis, 233 significant correlations were found among 13,150,198 medication pair instances. In isolated medication analysis, ten significant AKI associations were noted. When stratified by eGFR level, substantial differences between eGFR<90 vs. eGFR≥90 patients were observed. This highlights a need to determine eGFR as a risk factor for nephrotoxicity assessment when drug interactions are considered. Conclusions This large-scale cohort study identified an artificial intelligence model to identify patient-agnostic relationships between medication or their pairs with AKI incidence among critically ill patients. It could be used as a continuous quality assurance tool to monitor drug-associated risk nephrotoxicity.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0279928
JournalPloS one
Issue number1 January
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Jan

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Zhu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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