Which conditions are included in the differential diagnoses of acute kidney injury (AKI)?

Updated: Dec 24, 2020
  • Author: Biruh T Workeneh, MD, PhD, FASN; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
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Although acute kidney injury (AKI) is a potentially reversible condition, it can occur in patients with chronic renal failure. Every effort should be made to identify reversibility, even if improvement in renal function is marginal. The best way to identify reversibility is by tracking the rate of deterioration of renal function. If there is an acceleration of the rate at which the patient’s renal function is worsening, the cause should be sought and treated.

Differentials to consider in AKI include the following:

  • Abdominal aneurysm
  • Alcohol toxicity
  • Alcoholic ketoacidosis
  • Chronic renal failure
  • Dehydration
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding
  • Heart failure
  • Metabolic acidosis
  • Obstructive uropathy
  • Protein overloading
  • Renal calculi
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Steroid use
  • Urinary obstruction
  • Urinary tract infection

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