Acute kidney injury: a guide to diagnosis and management.

Link to article at PubMed

Acute kidney injury: a guide to diagnosis and management.

Am Fam Physician. 2012 Oct 1;86(7):631-9

Authors: Rahman M, Shad F, Smith MC


Acute kidney injury is characterized by abrupt deterioration in kidney function, manifested by an increase in serum creatinine level with or without reduced urine output. The spectrum of injury ranges from mild to advanced, sometimes requiring renal replacement therapy. The diagnostic evaluation can be used to classify acute kidney injury as prerenal, intrinsic renal, or postrenal. The initial workup includes a patient history to identify the use of nephrotoxic medications or systemic illnesses that might cause poor renal perfusion or directly impair renal function. Physical examination should assess intravascular volume status and identify skin rashes indicative of systemic illness. The initial laboratory evaluation should include measurement of serum creatinine level, complete blood count, urinalysis, and fractional excretion of sodium. Ultrasonography of the kidneys should be performed in most patients, particularly in older men, to rule out obstruction. Management of acute kidney injury involves fluid resuscitation, avoidance of nephrotoxic medications and contrast media exposure, and correction of electrolyte imbalances. Renal replacement therapy (dialysis) is indicated for refractory hyperkalemia; volume overload; intractable acidosis; uremic encephalopathy, pericarditis, or pleuritis; and removal of certain toxins. Recognition of risk factors (e.g., older age, sepsis, hypovolemia/shock, cardiac surgery, infusion of contrast agents, diabetes mellitus, preexisting chronic kidney disease, cardiac failure, liver failure) is important. Team-based approaches for prevention, early diagnosis, and aggressive management are critical for improving outcomes.

PMID: 23062091 [PubMed - in process]

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