The RIFLE and AKIN classifications for acute kidney injury: a critical and comprehensive review

Clin Kidney J. 2013 Feb;6(1):8-14. doi: 10.1093/ckj/sfs160. Epub 2012 Jan 1.


In May 2004, a new classification, the RIFLE (Risk, Injury, Failure, Loss of kidney function, and End-stage kidney disease) classification, was proposed in order to define and stratify the severity of acute kidney injury (AKI). This system relies on changes in the serum creatinine (SCr) or glomerular filtration rates and/or urine output, and it has been largely demonstrated that the RIFLE criteria allows the identification of a significant proportion of AKI patients hospitalized in numerous settings, enables monitoring of AKI severity, and is a good predictor of patient outcome. Three years later (March 2007), the Acute Kidney Injury Network (AKIN) classification, a modified version of the RIFLE, was released in order to increase the sensitivity and specificity of AKI diagnosis. Until now, the benefit of these modifications for clinical practice has not been clearly demonstrated. Here we provide a critical and comprehensive discussion of the two classifications for AKI, focusing on the main differences, advantages and limitations.

Keywords: AKIN; RIFLE; acute kidney injury.