Acute kidney injury is a common and significant complication among pediatric patients with congenital heart disease, occurring most commonly after cardiopulmonary bypass. Current laboratory methods of diagnosis are not timely enough to guide management decisions, thus spurring interest in discovering new biomarkers of acute injury. Several promising candidates, including NGAL, IL-18 and KIM-1, have been the subject of recent investigation and may facilitate earlier and more accurate diagnosis of renal injury within this cohort. There is little evidence demonstrating that it will be possible to rely upon one particular biomarker as a single agent, and evidence supports that the use of biomarker panels will be most effective. Further clinical validation and broader commercial availability of these novel biomarkers will probably revolutionize the care of pediatric cardiac patients with renal injury.