Curr Opin Crit Care. 2022 Dec 1;28(6):599-604. doi: 10.1097/MCC.0000000000000970. Epub 2022 Aug 4.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Acute kidney injury is a heterogeneous syndrome and as such is associated with multiple predisposing conditions and causes all of which affect outcomes. Such heterogeneity may conceal the potential benefit of therapies when generally applied to patients with acute kidney injury (AKI). The discovery of pathophysiology-based subphenotypes could be of benefit in allocating current and future therapies to specific groups.
RECENT FINDINGS: Clinical subphenotypes group patients into categories according to predisposing factors, disease severity, and trajectory. These may be helpful in assessing patient outcomes. Analyses of existing databases have revealed biological subphenotypes that are characterized by levels of biomarkers indicative of hyperinflammation and endothelial injury. Patients with increased levels of these biomarkers display higher mortality rates compared with those with lower levels and there is potential that this group might respond differently to therapies. However, challenges remain in the validation, generalizability, and application of these subphenotypes.
SUMMARY: Subphenotyping may help reduce heterogeneity under the umbrella term of acute kidney injury. Despite challenges remain, the identification of AKI subphenotypes has opened the potential of AKI research focused on better targeted therapies.