BACKGROUND: Acute kidney injury is associated with increased postoperative length of hospital stay and increases the risk of postoperative mortality. The association between the development of postoperative acute kidney injury and the implementation of an enhanced recovery after surgery protocol remains unclear. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to examine the relationship between the implementation of an enhanced recovery pathway and the development of postoperative acute kidney injury. DESIGN: In this retrospective cohort study, a prospectively maintained database of patients who underwent elective colorectal surgery in an enhanced recovery pathway were compared to a hospital historical National Surgical Quality Improvement Program colorectal registry of patients. SETTINGS: This study was conducted at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, a tertiary referral center. PATIENTS: A total of 1052 patients undergoing elective colorectal surgery from 2012 through 2016 were included. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The development of postoperative acute kidney injury was the primary outcome measured. RESULTS: Patients undergoing an enhanced recovery pathway had significantly greater rates of postoperative acute kidney injury than patients not undergoing an enhanced recovery pathway (13.64% vs 7.08%; p < 0.01). Our adjusted model indicated that patients who underwent an enhanced recovery pathway (OR, 2.31; 95% CI, 1.48-3.59; p < 0.01) had an increased risk of acute kidney injury. Patients who developed acute kidney injury in the enhanced recovery cohort had a significantly longer median length of stay than those who did not (median 4 (interquartile range, 4-9) vs 3 (interquartile range, 2-5) days; p=0.04). LIMITATIONS: This study did not utilize urine output as a modality for detecting acute kidney injury. Data are limited to a sample of patients from a large academic medical center participating in the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program. Interventions or programs in place at our institution that aimed at infection reduction or other initiatives with the goal of improving quality were not accounted for in this study. CONCLUSION: The implementation of an enhanced recovery after surgery protocol is independently associated with the development of postoperative acute kidney injury.