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Blood Purif. 2009;28(3):165-74. doi: 10.1159/000227785. Epub 2009 Jul 8.

Early diagnosis of acute kidney injury: the promise of novel biomarkers.

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San Bortolo Hospital, Vicenza, Italy.


The incidence of acute kidney injury (AKI) formerly referred to as acute renal failure (ARF) is increasing to epidemic proportions. Development of AKI portends excessive morbidity and mortality. AKI is associated with prolonged hospital stay, increased healthcare costs and high mortality especially in critically ill patients. The mortality rate has remained largely unchanged for many decades. Delay in the diagnosis of AKI using conventional biomarkers like urine output and serum creatinine has been one of the important obstacles in applying effective early interventions. Several new biomarkers are being evaluated in a quest for early diagnosis of AKI, among which neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) appears to be one of the most promising. This review summarizes the recent literature on these biomarkers.

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