The diagnosis of acute kidney injury (AKI) is usually based on measurements of blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and serum creatinine. BUN and serum creatinine are not very sensitive or specific for the diagnosis of AKI because they are affected by many renal and nonrenal factors that are independent of kidney injury or kidney function. Biomarkers of AKI that are made predominantly by the injured kidney have been discovered in preclinical studies. In clinical studies of patients with AKI, some of these biomarkers (eg, interleukin-18, neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin, and kidney injury molecule-1) have been shown to increase in the urine before the increase in serum creatinine. These early biomarkers of AKI are being tested in different types of AKI and in larger clinical studies. Biomarkers of AKI may also predict long-term kidney outcomes and mortality.