DOI: 10.1093/ckj/sfad292 ISSN: 2048-8505

All-cause and immune checkpoint inhibitor–associated acute kidney injury in immune checkpoint inhibitor users: a meta-analysis of occurrence rate, risk factors and mortality

Jia-Jin Chen, Tao-Han Lee, George Kuo, Chieh-Li Yen, Cheng-Chia Lee, Chih-Hsiang Chang, Kun-Hua Tu, Yung-Chang Chen, Ji-Tseng Fang, Cheng-Chieh Hung, Chih-Wei Yang, Wen-Chi Chou, Ching-Chi Chi, Yu-Kang Tu, Huang- Yu Yang
  • Transplantation
  • Nephrology



Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) have been associated with acute kidney injury (AKI). However, the occurrence rate of ICI-related AKI has not been systematically examined. Additionally, exposure to proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) were considered as risk factors for AKI, but with inconclusive results in ICI-related AKI. Our aim was to analyse the occurrence rate of all-cause AKI and ICI-related AKI and the occurrence rates of severe AKI and dialysis-requiring AKI, and to determine whether exposure to PPIs and NSAIDs poses a risk for all-cause and ICI-related AKI.


This study population was adult ICI recipients. A systematic review was conducted by searching MEDLINE, Embase and PubMed through October 2023. We included prospective trials and observational studies that reported any of the following outcomes: the occurrence rate of all-cause or ICI-related AKI, the relationship between PPI or NSAID exposure and AKI development or the mortality rate in the AKI or non-AKI group. Proportional meta-analysis and pairwise meta-analysis were performed. The evidence certainty was assessed using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation framework.


A total of 120 studies comprising 46 417 patients were included. The occurrence rates of all-cause AKI were 7.4% (14.6% from retrospective studies and 1.2% from prospective clinical trials). The occurrence rate of ICI-related AKI was 3.2%. The use of PPIs was associated with an odds ratio (OR) of 1.77 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.43–2.18] for all-cause AKI and an OR of 2.42 (95% CI 1.96–2.97) for ICI-related AKI. The use of NSAIDs was associated with an OR of 1.77 (95% CI 1.10–2.83) for all-cause AKI and an OR of 2.57 (95% CI 1.68–3.93) for ICI-related AKI.


Our analysis revealed that approximately 1 in 13 adult ICI recipients may experience all-cause AKI, while 1 in 33 adult ICI recipients may experience ICI-related AKI. Exposure to PPIs and NSAIDs was associated with an increased OR risk for AKI in the current meta-analysis.

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