What is acute kidney injury (AKI)?

Updated: Aug 07, 2018
  • Author: Piper Julie Hughes, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
  • Print


Acute kidney injury (AKI), formerly called acute renal failure (ARF), is commonly defined as an abrupt decline in renal function, clinically manifesting as a reversible acute increase in nitrogen waste products—measured by blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and serum creatinine levels—over the course of hours to weeks. The vague nature of this definition has historically made it difficult to compare between scholarly works and to generalize findings on epidemiologic studies of AKI to patient populations. Several classification systems have been developed to streamline research and clinical practice with respect to AKI. [1, 2, 3, 4]  Despite a broad consensus of support, however, the nephrology community continues to point out the shortcomings of these classification systems. [5]

For more information, see Acute Kidney Injury and Acute Tubular Necrosis

Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!