NEW YORK—Early detection and proper diagnosis of acute kidney injury (AKI) are essential to preventing cardiovascular events, kidney failure and mortality, according to the first evidence-based clinical practice guideline for AKI.
Published this month in Kidney International Supplements, the guideline was developed by an international group of experts co-chaired by John A. Kellum, MD, professor of Critical Care Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh and Norbert Lameire MD, PhD, of Ghent University Hospital in Ghent, Belgium, under the auspices of Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO). KDIGO is managed by the National Kidney Foundation.
“Although AKI presents similarly in so many patients, the root causes are varied,” said Dr. Kellum. “And that’s why it’s critical for doctors to find it early and determine the underlying cause of each case. Treatment and response to treatment will differ accordingly and AKI is linked not only to short term patient outcomes, but to long term ones as well. This guideline offers a roadmap for physicians to assess and manage this common condition.”
Prior to the publication of this guideline, considerable variation existed in recommendations for prevention, evaluation, diagnosis and treatment. In developing this clinical practice guideline, an approach has been established to recognize and treat AKI on an individual basis. By assessing the comprehensive medical, social and drug history of each patient in addition to performing physical examination, this guideline outlines AKI management to improve patient outcomes and reduce costs.
“Acute kidney injury is a major problem with profound consequences that has long been under-recognized,” says Dr. Bertram L. Kasiske, co-chair of KDIGO. “Our collective attention has been on chronic kidney disease, and rightfully so. However, we now know that acute kidney injury may be a precursor to CKD, and CKD can also lead to AKI.”