Ian McCoy, MD, MS is a board-certified nephrologist who treats kidney disease of all kinds. Dr. McCoy is active in clinical research with a particular interest in acute kidney injury and diuretic use in the intensive care unit. He is also involved in quality improvement, leading the Draw on Dialysis project at Stanford Hospital to draw non-urgent inpatient labs on dialysis rather than by peripheral phlebotomy in order to save patient pain and peripheral veins for future dialysis access. He is currently continuing a post-doctoral research fellowship, with the goal of becoming an independent clinical investigator.

Academic Appointments

Honors & Awards

  • Gold Heart Pin for Compassionate Care, West Roxbury Veterans Affairs Hospital (2014)
  • CSRP Recognition Award for Value-Based Care, Stanford Hospital and Clinics (2018)

Professional Education

  • Master of Science, Stanford University, EPIDM-MS (2019)
  • Masters of Science, Epidemiology and Clinical Research, Stanford University School of Medicine, CA (2019)
  • Board Certification: Nephrology, American Board of Internal Medicine (2018)
  • Fellowship, Stanford University Division of Nephrology, CA (2018)
  • Board Certification: Intern Med, American Board of Internal Medicine (2016)
  • Residency, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, MA (2016)
  • Doctor of Medicine, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, TX (2013)

Research & Scholarship

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

As a nephrologist working in diverse practice settings including the intensive care unit (ICU), I regularly face the limitations of current clinical tools for assessing a patient's volume status and for guiding patient selection for diuretic therapy. I work with a large, detailed clinical database (MIMIC-III) to study current patterns of diuretic use in the ICU, estimated effects of diuretic use, and clinical features that may predict outcomes in critically ill patients receiving diuretics.

I am also involved in quality improvement. I lead the Draw on Dialysis project, which aims to draw non-urgent inpatient labs on dialysis rather than by peripheral phlebotomy in order to save patient pain and peripheral veins for future dialysis access. I am also interested in leveraging nationwide databases such as Optum claims data to assess adherence to guidelines in kidney care.

Clinical Trials

  • Comparing Diuretic Strategies in Hospitalized Heart Failure Not Recruiting

    We will conduct a pragmatic randomized trial comparing whether using a combination of two types of diuretics (loop + thiazide) compared with using a single diuretic (loop only) will result in shorter hospital stays for patients hospitalized with heart failure.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial.

    View full details


All Publications

  • Patterns of diuretic use in the intensive care unit. PloS one McCoy, I. E., Chertow, G. M., Chang, T. I. 2019; 14 (5): e0217911


    To inform future outcomes research on diuretics, we sought to describe modern patterns of diuretic use in the intensive care unit (ICU), including diuretic type, combination, and dosing. We also investigated two possible quality improvement targets: furosemide dosing in renal impairment and inclusion of an initial bolus with continuous furosemide infusions.In this descriptive study, we retrospectively studied 46,037 adult ICU admissions from a publicly available database of patients in an urban, academic medical center.Diuretics were employed in nearly half (49%, 22,569/46,037) of ICU admissions. Mechanical ventilation, a history of heart failure, and admission to the post-cardiac surgery unit were associated with a higher frequency of diuretic use. Combination use of different diuretic classes was uncommon. Patients with severely impaired kidney function were less likely to receive diuretics. Furosemide was by far the most common diuretic given and the initial intravenous dose was only 20 mg in more than half of ICU admissions. Among patients treated with a continuous infusion, 30% did not receive a bolus on the day of infusion initiation.Patterns of diuretic use varied by patient-specific factors and by ICU type. Diuretic dosing strategies may be suboptimal.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0217911

    View details for PubMedID 31150512

  • Estimated effects of early diuretic use in critical illness. Critical care explorations McCoy, I. E., Montez-Rath, M. E., Chertow, G. M., Chang, T. I. 2019; 1 (7)


    To estimate the effects of diuretic use during the first 24 hours of an intensive care unit stay on in-hospital mortality and other clinical outcomes including acute kidney injury and duration of mechanical ventilation.Retrospective cohort study.Urban, academic medical center.Adult patients admitted to medical or cardiac ICUs between 2001 and 2012, excluding those on maintenance dialysis or with ICU length of stay < 24 hours.None.We included 13,589 patients: 2,606 with and 10,983 without early diuretic use (loop diuretic exposure during the first 24 hours of an ICU stay). Propensity score matching generated 2523 pairs with well-balanced baseline characteristics. Early diuretic use was unassociated with in-hospital mortality (risk ratio 1.01, 99.5% confidence interval 0.83-1.22). We found no evidence of associations with ICU or hospital length of stay, or duration or provision of mechanical ventilation. Early diuretic use was associated with higher rates of subsequent acute kidney injury (risk ratio 1.41, 99.5% confidence interval 1.25 to 1.59) and electrolyte abnormalities. Results were not materially different in subgroups of patients with heart failure, chronic kidney disease, or acute lung injury.Early diuretic use in critical illness was unassociated with in-hospital mortality, ICU or hospital length of stay, or duration of mechanical ventilation, but risks of acute kidney injury and electrolyte abnormalities were higher.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/CCE.0000000000000021

    View details for PubMedID 31440746

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6705600

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