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Kellum, John A.; Romagnani, Paola; Ashuntantang, Gloria; Ronco, Claudio; Zarbock, Alexander and Anders, Hans-Joachim (2021): Acute kidney injury. In: Nature Reviews Disease Primers, Vol. 7, No. 1, 52

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Acute kidney injury (AKI) describes a sudden loss of excretory kidney function that can result in long-term kidney damage. This Primer describes AKI epidemiology and pathophysiology in different economic settings, discusses current diagnostic and management principles, and highlights long-term effects on quality of life and initiatives to improve patient care. Acute kidney injury (AKI) is defined by a sudden loss of excretory kidney function. AKI is part of a range of conditions summarized as acute kidney diseases and disorders (AKD), in which slow deterioration of kidney function or persistent kidney dysfunction is associated with an irreversible loss of kidney cells and nephrons, which can lead to chronic kidney disease (CKD). New biomarkers to identify injury before function loss await clinical implementation. AKI and AKD are a global concern. In low-income and middle-income countries, infections and hypovolaemic shock are the predominant causes of AKI. In high-income countries, AKI mostly occurs in elderly patients who are in hospital, and is related to sepsis, drugs or invasive procedures. Infection and trauma-related AKI and AKD are frequent in all regions. The large spectrum of AKI implies diverse pathophysiological mechanisms. AKI management in critical care settings is challenging, including appropriate volume control, nephrotoxic drug management, and the timing and type of kidney support. Fluid and electrolyte management are essential. As AKI can be lethal, kidney replacement therapy is frequently required. AKI has a poor prognosis in critically ill patients. Long-term consequences of AKI and AKD include CKD and cardiovascular morbidity. Thus, prevention and early detection of AKI are essential.

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