Kidney dysfunction in the postoperative period

Br J Anaesth. 2005 Jul;95(1):20-32. doi: 10.1093/bja/aei018. Epub 2004 Nov 5.


The development of perioperative acute renal failure is associated with a high incidence of morbidity and mortality. Although this incidence varies with different surgical procedures and with the definition used for renal failure, we now understand better the aetiology of the underlying problem. However, successful strategies to provide renal protection or strategies for 'rescue therapy' are either lacking, unsubstantiated by randomized clinical trials, or show no significant efficacy. The present review considers the physiology and pharmacology of the kidney; the characterization of tests of renal function; the cause of postoperative renal dysfunction; what is presently available for its prevention and treatment; and the effect of postoperative renal impairment on patient outcome.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury / etiology*
  • Acute Kidney Injury / physiopathology
  • Acute Kidney Injury / prevention & control
  • Anesthesia / adverse effects
  • Aorta / surgery
  • Cardiopulmonary Bypass
  • Cardiotonic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Dopamine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Dopamine / therapeutic use
  • Dopamine Agonists / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia / physiopathology
  • Incidence
  • Intraoperative Complications / etiology*
  • Intraoperative Complications / physiopathology
  • Intraoperative Complications / prevention & control
  • Kidney / blood supply
  • Kidney Function Tests / methods
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology


  • Cardiotonic Agents
  • Dopamine Agonists
  • dopexamine
  • Dopamine