Renal dysfunction and cirrhosis

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Hepatorenal syndrome (HRS) does not represent the predominant phenotype of acute kidney injury (AKI) in cirrhosis. Early recognition of HRS helps initiate appropriate therapy. The aims of this review are to present redefinition of AKI, to list new biomarkers, to report recent data on vasopressors in HRS and to propose criteria for simultaneous liver and kidney transplantation (SLKT).

Recent findings

Urine output, which was not part of the definition of AKI might be reconsidered as it has an independent prognostic value. Biomarkers (NGAL and IL-18) could help identify ATN. However, cut-off values have to be clarified. Vasopressors with albumin represent first option in HRS. Continuous infusion of terlipressin has a better safety profile than intravenous boluses. SLKT should be considered whenever native kidney recovery is unlikely [i.e. prolonged renal replacement therapy (RRT) and/or GFR less than 25 ml/min for 6 weeks prior to transplantation].

Summary

New definitions and recent biomarkers may help differentiate HRS from ATN at an earlier stage. Urine output should be reconsidered in the definitions. Even in patients who are not candidates for transplantation, a short trial of RRT is justified whenever needed. SLKT should be considered whenever posttransplant renal recovery is unlikely.

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