The incidence of acute kidney injury (AKI) will in the future remain high, partly due to an increase in comorbidities and other AKI favoring factors such as the rise in high-risk diagnostic and therapeutic interventions. AKI has emerged as a major public health concern with high human and financial costs. It has recently been demonstrated that patients surviving an AKI episode show increased all-cause mortality, chronic kidney disease (CKD), ESRD, cardiovascular events, and reduced quality of life. Although it is important to acknowledge that, after an AKI episode, the risk of dying by far exceeds the risk of developing incident or progressive CKD and/or entering a maintenance renal replacement therapy (RRT) program, currently only a minority of patients are referred for renal follow-up, even after AKI-requiring RRT. On the other hand, renal follow-up for all AKI survivors might not be necessary and would represent an overwhelming work load for the health care system. There are at present no clear guidelines on which patients should be referred and on the elements of post AKI care that may improve non-renal and renal outcomes. In this review, we discuss several points of concern in post-AKI management and propose an algorithm on post-AKI care, mainly based on the renal recovery pattern at discharge from the hospital. Potential opportunities to improve care include appropriate risk stratification, close monitoring of kidney function, management of CKD complications, blood pressure control, medication reconciliation, and education of patients and non-nephrologists on AKI and its downstream complications.
Keywords: Acute kidney injury; Chronic kidney disease; Outcome; Post acute kidney injury care; Quality improvement; Referral; Renal recovery.
© 2017 S. Karger AG, Basel.