Acute Kidney Injury

What is Acute Kidney Injury ?

Acute Kidney Injury is synonymous with the historical term Acute Renal Failure.

It is sudden loss in kidney function. The severity of kidney dysfunction can vary from mild to severe degree. It can develop rapidly over hours to few days.

The loss of kidney function is mantfested by rise in serum creatinine and or drop in GFR. It can be fatal and requires urgent care. However, it is usually reversible. The kidney function returns to normal level in most of the cases over a span of 4 to 6 weeks.

Symptoms
What are causes ?
How to diagnose
How to Treat
Symptoms
1. Decrease in urine output or not passing urine at all
2. Swelling of lowerlimbs
3. Breathless ness
4. Nausea, Vomting
5. Altered mentation
6. Fits or seizures

Sometimes there may not be any symptom and it is detected only through investigation
What are causes ?
1. Sudden drop in blood supply to kidneys due to blood loss, dehydration ,drop in blood pressure, infection
2. Direct insult to the kidneys due to systemic diseases autoimmune diseases infections, drugs, blood cancer
3. Obstruction to the flow of urine from kidneys due to kidney stones, cancer of bladder, cervix, prostate enlargement
How to diagnose
1. Urine examination
2. Serum creatinine
3. Ultrasound scan of kidney, ureter, bladder
4. There is also battery of tests required as per the suspicion of etiology of the disease
How to Treat
Depending on the severity & cause of AKI the treatment modality will differ. Also some patients may need dialysis to correct the metabolic abnormality to remove extra fluid from body .severe form of AKI is usually treated in ICU and will require slow dialysis therapies like SLED (sustained low efficiency dialysis) or CRRT (continuous renal replacement therapy)