Understanding Acute Kidney Injury


According to Marham It’s called acute renal failure (ARF) or acute kidney injury (AKI) because it’s a sudden incidence of kidney failure or damage that occurs within the span of a few hours or days. When you have AKI, waste products build up in your blood and your kidneys have a difficult time maintaining a proper balance of fluid in your body. 

The brain, heart, and lungs can all be affected by AKI, as well as other organ systems. Those in the hospital, especially the elderly and those in intensive care, are more likely to have an acute kidney injury.

What do the kidneys do?

To control the amount of water and electrolytes excreted in the urine, sensors within particular kidney cells monitor the flow of blood to the kidney. A person’s kidneys will try to hold on to as much water as possible if they are dehydrated from exercise or disease, thus the urine becomes concentrated. 

Adequate hydration results in more dilute urine, which is then easier to see in the urine. Ghrelin, a hormone generated in the kidney, is responsible for regulating fluid and blood pressure in the body.

The hormone erythropoietin, which prompts the bone marrow to produce red blood cells, is made in the kidneys. 

Oxygen levels in the blood are monitored by keratinocytes in the kidney. There is an increase in the production of red blood cells in the body when oxygen levels fall.

The ureter, the tube that connects the kidney to the bladder, is the conduit via which urine produced by each kidney travels. The urethra is the tube via which urine is expelled from the bladder when a person urinates.

What Causes AKI?

There are a number of possible causes of acute kidney injury or renal failure. These include a lack of blood flow to the kidneys, kidney disease, and a blocked urinary tract.

1. Insufficient Blood Supply

Kidney failure can be caused by a wide range of illnesses and ailments, including:

  • Shock or low blood pressure
  • Blood or fluid loss of a significant amount
  • Heart failure
  • Major organ failure
  • Over-prescription of NSAIDs (no steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) (e.g., ibuprofen, naproxen, ketoprofen)
  • a severe allergic reaction, renal trauma, or anaphylactic shock

2. An injury or trauma to the kidneys

The conditions that can damage your kidneys and lead to AKI include:

  • Physical injury
  • a life-threatening infection is known as sepsis
  • An extremely rare blood vessel disease is known as Vasculitis.
  • Allergic reactions to certain drugs
  • Illegal drugs or some prescription medications
  • Diseases of connective tissue called scleroderma

3. Blockage of the urinary system

AKI can be caused by a number of disorders or diseases that prevent urine from exiting the body normally, including:

  • Urinary stones
  • Urinary tract blood clots
  • bladder, cervix, and prostate cancer

Symptoms of Acute Kidney Failure

Acute renal failure may not show any signs on your part. It is possible that your doctor will find that you have this condition through a routine lab test.

If you experience symptoms, they will depend on the severity of your kidney failure, how rapidly you lose kidney function, and the cause of your kidney failure. If you’re experiencing any of the following:

  • Less than typical urination
  • Swelling of the foot, ankles, and legs (caused by your body holding on to fluid)
  • Being sleepy or really worn out
  • Breathlessness
  • Itching
  • Ache, swelling in the joint
  • a decrease in hunger
  • Confusion
  • Feeling sick or having the urge to vomit
  • Any discomfort or pressure in the chest
  • Muscle twitching
  • Sicknesses or comas (in severe cases)
  • Inflammation of the abdomen and lower back
  • Fever 
  • Rash
  • Nosebleed

Diagnostic tests

Diagnosing renal failure can be done through a variety of means by your doctor. The following are some of the most prevalent tests:

Urinalysis: Any abnormal protein or sugar in your urine may be tested by your doctor, who may also take a urine sample. Blood and white cells, high amounts of bacteria, and tube-shaped particles known as cellular casts are all things your doctor may check for while doing a urine silt examination.

Urine volume measurements: One of the simplest techniques for diagnosing renal failure is to measure urine output. A urinary obstruction, which can be caused by a variety of illnesses or injuries, may indicate that kidney disease is the source of decreased urine flow, for example.

Blood samples: Blood urea nitrogen and creatinine may be tested by your doctor to see if your kidneys are functioning properly. If these levels rise quickly, it could be a sign of renal failure.

Imaging: Blockages or other issues in the urinary system and kidneys can be detected with imaging tests including ultrasound, MRI, and CT scans.

Kidney tissue sample: Unusual deposits, scarring, and pathogenic organisms are all looked for in tissue samples. To collect the tissue sample, your doctor will perform a kidney biopsy.


It all relies on the patient’s state, how severe the kidney injury is, and whether or not there are any additional injuries.

Trauma can be managed without surgery if the patient is stable and there is no damage to other organs. As long as there’s no additional blood in his or her urine, the patient must stay in the hospital for observation. 

Tint is stable and there is no damage to other organs. As long as there’s no additional blood in his or her urine, the patient must stay in the hospital for observation. 

Bleeding and other issues are regularly monitored in this patient. After being discharged from the hospital, patients should be closely monitored for indicators of kidney injury, such as increased blood pressure or delayed bleeding.

Surgery may be recommended if a patient is not stable and is losing a lot of blood from the kidney. It is possible that surgery will allow the doctor to have a clearer picture of the damage done. In order to repair and preserve the kidney, surgery is the goal. 

Open surgery to repair other systems will require the surgeon to examine and treat the damaged kidney as well. When a kidney has been damaged beyond repair, it may be necessary to remove it. There is no need for more than one healthy kidney to maintain excellent health, as kidneys are extremely efficient.

The vast majority of kidney injuries are now treated non-operatively. As a result of minimally invasive procedures, numerous severe and life-threatening injuries can be successfully treated. 

Angiographic embolization is a technique that has been used in the past. Surgeons can use this technique to control bleeding in the renal arteries by passing big blood vessels in the groin through them.


Kidney disease is classified into five stages. Mild renal disease to full kidney failure is all possible outcomes. As the disease progresses, so do the symptoms and problems.

The Nephrologist can help you figure out the best course of action if you have kidney failure.


1. What kind of disease does a nephrologist generally treat?

Doctors that specialize in kidney disease are known as nephrologists. Millions of people each year seek treatment for kidney damage or chronic kidney disease, which is on the rise around the world (CKD).

2. What can cause damage to your kidneys?

Conditions that may cause kidney damage include:

  • Fluid or blood loss
  • Treatment for hypertension.
  • A fatal heart condition.
  • Heart problems.
  • Infection.
  • Hepatitis B and C

3. What are the first signs of kidney disease?

Generally, earlier stages are known as 1 to 3. As kidney disease advances, you may begin to notice the following side effects: In addition to nausea and vomiting and muscular cramps, there are other symptoms such as lack of appetite, swelling of the feet and ankles as well as itchy skin, shortness of breath, and difficulty sleeping.

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