- Background The association between levels of acute kidney injury (AKI) during ICU admission and long-term mortality are not well defined. Methods We examined medical records of adult patients admitted to a large tertiary medical center with no history of end-stage renal disease who survived 60 days from ICU admission between 2001 and 2007. Demographic, clinical, physiologic, and date of death data were extracted. Results Among 15,048 patients, 12,399 (82.4%) survived 60 days from ICU admission and comprised the study population. AKI did not develop in 5,663 (45.7%) during ICU admission, whereas progressively severe levels of AKI as defined by Acute Kidney Injury Network (AKIN) criteria AKIN 1, AKIN 2, and AKIN 3 developed in 4,589 (37.0%), 1,613 (13.0%), and 534 (4.3%), respectively. Only 42.5% of patients with AKIN 3 survived 2 years from ICU admission. Patients with AKIN 3 had a 61% higher mortality risk 2 years from ICU discharge compared with patients in whom AKI did not develop. Patients with AKIN 1 and AKIN 2 had similar increased mortality risk 2 years from ICU admission (hazard ratio, 1.26 and 1.28, respectively). The level of estimated glomerular filtration rate on ICU discharge and chronic kidney disease were associated with long-term mortality. Conclusions Patients in whom AKI develops during ICU admission have significantly increased risks of death that extend beyond their high ICU mortality rates. These increased risks of death continue for at least 2 years after the index ICU admission.