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Schiffl, Helmut (2020): Gender differences in the susceptibility of hospital-acquired acute kidney injury: more questions than answers. In: International urology and nephrology, Vol. 52: pp. 1911-1914 [PDF, 425kB]


Hospital-acquired acute kidney injury (HA-AKI) is a heterogeneous renal syndrome which occurs in different clinical settings. It is characterized by multiple aetiologies, various pathogeneses and unpredictable outcomes. HA-AKI, once predominantly viewed as a self-limited and reversible short-term condition, is now recognized as a harbinger for chronic kidney disease and a cause of long-term morbidity with an increased risk of cardiovascular, renal and cancer mortality. Recent clinical studies contradict the generally held belief that female sex is a risk factor for HA-AKI. They show, consistent with basic research performed with experimental models of AKI, that only male sex is associated with HA-AKI. The presence of testosterone, more likely than the absence of estrogen, plays a critical role in sex differences in the susceptibility of ischemia/reperfusion kidney injury. The conflicting data in epidemiological studies related to sex as susceptibility variable for human AKI, underscore the need for more rigorous, well designed observational studies taking into account the menopausal status and hormone therapy.

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