Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a common complication in hospitalized patients and is associated with adverse short- and long-term outcomes. AKI is diagnosed by serum creatinine (SCr)-based consensus definitions that capture an abrupt decrease in glomerular filtration rate associated with AKI. However, SCr-based AKI definitions lack sensitivity and specificity for diagnosing structural kidney injury. Moreover, AKI is a heterogeneous condition consisting of distinct phenotypes based on its etiology, prognosis, and molecular pathways, and that may potentially require different therapies. SCr-based AKI definitions provide no information on these AKI phenotypes. This review highlights traditional and novel tools that overcome the limitations of SCr-based AKI definitions to improve AKI phenotyping.
Keywords: AKI; IL-18; IL-6; KIM-1; L-FABP; NGAL; biomarkers; creatinine; cystatin C; furosemide; urinary casts; urine microscopy.
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