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Am J Med Sci. 2012 Oct;344(4):318-25.

Acute kidney injury: the beginning of the end of the dark ages.

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Division of Pediatric Nephrology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX 75390-8856, USA.


There has been enormous progress in the understanding of acute kidney injury (AKI) over the past 5 years. This article reviews some of the salient new findings, the challenges revealed by these findings and new insights into the pathogenesis of ischemic AKI. Clinical studies have demonstrated that even a small, transient rise in serum creatinine increases the risk of mortality in hospitalized patients and that a single event of AKI increases the risk for developing chronic kidney disease. Although the overall mortality rate from AKI has improved over the past 2 decades, it continues to be significant. Current treatment is focused on maintaining renal perfusion and avoiding volume overload. However, new therapeutic targets are emerging for the treatment of AKI as our understanding of the pathogenesis of ischemic injury and inflammation increases. Early diagnosis, however, continues to be challenging as the search continues for sensitive and specific biomarkers.

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