Long-term consequences of acute kidney injury in the perioperative setting

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Purpose of review

Recent studies indicate that acute kidney injury (AKI) and chronic kidney disease (CKD) are interconnected syndromes. Although the majority of patients who suffer an episode of AKI will recover laboratory indices suggesting complete or near complete recovery of renal function, a significant portion of post-AKI survivors will develop major kidney events, including development of late-stage CKD, need for renal replacement therapies, and death.

Recent findings

Our review highlights epidemiology of adverse post-AKI events, association of AKI with late development of nonrenal adverse outcomes, use of bedside equations that facilitate prognostication of adverse renal outcomes of AKI, and how variability in serum creatinine values in individual patients, even among those with normal baseline renal function may indicate risk for the development of CKD. Use of common laboratory parameters such as serum creatinine and albumin, along with certain clinical and demographic markers, individualize patients at high risk of complications and in need of close postdischarge follow-up. Evidence that ‘organ crosstalk’ following a major AKI episode may increase the risk of heart failure, stroke, and hypertension, places its survivors in a special patient category deserving active efforts to minimize risk for cardiovascular events.


AKI is a major cause for acute in-hospital mortality and development of both late-stage CKD and cardiovascular events. Perioperative care to prevent AKI must challenge the notion that a single normal point of contact serum creatinine value substantially reduces the likelihood of its occurrence.

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