Acute kidney injury classification: AKIN and RIFLE criteria in critical patients

World J Crit Care Med. 2012 Apr 4;1(2):40-5. doi: 10.5492/wjccm.v1.i2.40.


Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a common and serious complication in critically ill patients. The mortality rate remains high despite improved renal replacement techniques. A possible cause of the high mortality rate is that intensive care unit patients tend to be older and more debilitated than before. Pathophysiological factors associated with AKI are also implicated in the failure of other organs, indicating that AKI is often part of a multiple organ failure syndrome. Until recently, there was a lack of consensus as to the best definition, characterization, and evaluation of acute renal failure. This lack of a standard definition has been a major impediment to progress in clinical and basic research. The introduction of the risk, injury, failure, loss, and end-stage kidney disease criteria and the modified version proposed by the Acute Kidney Injury Network have increased the conceptual understanding of AKI syndrome, and these criteria have been successfully tested in clinical studies. This article reviews current findings concerning the application of these criteria for assessing epidemiology and predicting outcome in specific homogeneous critically ill patient groups.

Keywords: Acute kidney injury; Acute respiratory distress syndrome; Cirrhosis; Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation; Intensive care unit; Sepsis.