Updated: 12/14/2019

Acute Kidney Injury

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Snapshot
  • A 54-year-old man is admitted to the cardiac care unit after coronary angiography and revascularization secondary to unstable agina. Approximately 1 week after the procedure he is found to have a "bluish" discoloration of the first and second digits of the foot. Laboratory testing is significant for an elevated serum creatinine. A urinalysis is benign. (Renal atheroemboli)
Introduction
  • Clinical definition
    • acute reduction in glomerular filtration rate (GFR)
      • recall that GFR represents the sum of the filtration rates of nephrons
        • therefore, GFR reflects functioning renal mass
  • Epidemiology
    • risk factors
      • hypertension
      • chronic kidney disease
      • dehydration and volume depletion
      • diabetes
      • chronic liver or lung disease
  • Etiology
    • prerenal causes
      • decreased renal perfusion (e.g., hemorrhage, congestive heart failure, and diuretic use)
    • intrarenal causes
      • acute tubular necrosis
        • ischemia and toxic causes
      • interstitial nephritis
      • glomerulonephritis
      • vasculitis
      • hemolytic uremic syndrome
      • cholesterol emboli
    • postrenal causes 
      • urinary flow obstruction (e.g., benign prostatic hyperplasia and nephrolithiasis)
      • post-operative secondary to bladder manipulation and anesthesia
        • bladder scans should be performed followed by urinary catheterization
  • Pathogenesis
    • based upcome etiology (look at etiology)
  • Prognosis
    • lower rates of recovery in patients > 65 years of age
    • increased risk of end-stage renal disease, chronic kidney disease, and mortality
Presentation
  • Symptoms
    • may be asymptomatic
    • oliguria
    • anuria
    • polyuria
    • confusion
  • Physical exam
    • hypertension
    • edema
    • decreased urine output
Imaging
  • Renal ultrasound
    • indication
      • initial imaging study for assessing acute kidney injury
        • can assess for renal size and hydronephrosis
        • to assess for postrenal obstruction
Studies
  • Labs
    • increase in serum creatinine by ≥ 0.3 mg/dL within 48 hours
    • blood urea nitrogen (BUN):creatinine ratio
    • urinalysis
      • dipstick
        • to assess for protein, glucose, leukocyte esterase, hemoglobin and myoglobin, and specific gravity
      • microscopy
        • for example
          • red dysmorphic cells suggests a glomerular etiology (e.g., glomerulonephritis)
          • muddy brown casts suggests tubular necrosis
          • white blood cell casts suggest pyelonephritis or acute interstitial nephritis
    • fractional excretion of Na+ (FeNa+)
      • if patient is on diuretics use FeUrea
    • urine osmolality and Na+
 
Studies To Assess For Prerenal, Intrarenal, and Postrenal Acute Kidney Injury (AKI)
Studies
Prerenal AKI Intrarenal AKI
Postrenal AKI
Urine osmolality (mOsm/kg)
  • > 500
  • < 350
  • < 350
FeNa+
  • < 1%
  • > 2%
  • < 1% in mild cases
  • > 2% in severe cases
Urine Na+ (mEq/L)
  • < 20
  • > 40
  • > 40
Serum BUN/Cr
  • > 20:1
  • < 15:1
  • Variable
 
Differential
  • Acute gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Rhabdomyolysis
  • Medication-induced impairment of creatinine secretion
    • cimetidine
    • trimethoprim
    • pyrimethamine
Treatment
  • Treatment is dependent on the etiology of AKI and its consequences
    • for example
      • a patient who is hyperkalemic and not responding to medical treatment should be dialyzed
      • a patient with a history of excessive fluid loss (e.g., diarrhea and vomiting) should be given intravenous fluid
Complications
  • Hyperkalemia
  • Metabolic acidosis 
  • Uremic encephalopathy and platelet dysfunction
  • Anemia
  • Chronic kidney disease
 

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(M2.RL.17.84) A 63-year-old man undergoes uncomplicated laparascopic cholecystectomy for acute cholecystitis and is admitted to the surgical ward for postoperative management. On postoperative day 1, routine laboratory studies reveal an increase in serum creatinine to 1.46 mg/dL from 0.98 mg/dL before the operation; BUN is 37 mg/dL, increased from 18 mg/dL on prior measurement; K is 4.8 mEq/L and CO2 is 19 mEq/L. The patient has an indwelling urinary catheter in place, draining minimal urine over the last few hours. After ruling out urinary catheter obstruction, which of the following is the most appropriate next step in management? Tested Concept

QID: 104531
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Obtain urinalysis

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Place a new urinary catheter

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Administer IV fluid bolus

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Obtain bilateral renal ultrasonography

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Initiate emergent hemodialysis

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(M2.RL.15.42) A 70-year-old man was diagnosed two days ago with a myocardial infarction and underwent percutaneous coronary intervention to reperfuse his left anterior descending artery. Two days later his creatinine is noted to be elevated (despite being normal the day before) and he complains of a "rash" on his foot (Figure A). Which of the following would most likely be found in laboratory studies? Tested Concept

QID: 104489
FIGURES:
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Hyponatremia

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Hypokalemia

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Granular urinary casts

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Elevated white blood count in urine

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(1/20)

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Eosinophiluria

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