BACKGROUND: Neonates with serum creatinine (SCr) rise ≥0.3 mg/dL and/or ≥50% SCr rise are more likely to die, even when controlling for confounders. These thresholds have not been tested in newborns. We hypothesized that different gestational age (GA) groups require different SCr thresholds. METHODS: Neonates in Assessment of Worldwide Acute Kidney Epidemiology in Neonates (AWAKEN) with ≥1 SCr on postnatal days 1-2 and ≥1 SCr on postnatal days 3-8 were assessed. We compared the mortality predictability of SCr absolute (≥0.3 mg/dL) vs percent (≥50%) rise. Next, we determine usefulness of combining absolute with percent rise. Finally, we determined the optimal absolute, percent, and maximum SCr thresholds that provide the highest mortality area under curve (AUC) and specificity for different GA groups. RESULTS: The ≥0.3 mg/dL rise outperformed ≥50% SCr rise. Addition of percent rise did not improve mortality predictability. The optimal SCr thresholds to predict AUC and specificity were ≥0.3 and ≥0.6 mg/dL for ≤29 weeks GA, and ≥0.1 and ≥0.3 mg/dL for >29 week GA. The maximum SCr value provides great specificity. CONCLUSION: Unique SCr rise cutoffs for different GA improves outcome prediction. Percent SCr rise does not add value to the neonatal AKI definition.