Acute Kidney Injury

Overview of Acute Kidney Injury

Acute Kidney Failure or AKI develops when serious damage to the kidneys is being done. It most commonly occurs in intensive care patients at the hospital.

Signs and Symptoms of Acute Kidney Injury

Kidney diseases are an indication that kidneys are damaged and are unable to perform their function. When kidneys are damaged they cannot filter their blood properly. Diabetic and hypertensive patients are at a greater risk for kidney disease.
AKI also is known as Acute Kidney Injury (گردوں کی شدید ناکامی) happens when the kidneys stop working over a few days or a few hours. It is also termed as acute kidney failure or acute renal failure.AKI is both fatal and reversible.
In AKI, kidneys are unable to filter waste products from the blood. This allows the waste materials to accumulate in the body at a dangerous level. This throws the chemical balance of the blood. AKI most commonly occurs in critically-ill patients.

Prevalence of AKI

AKI cases per annum are about 13.3 million globally. The incidence rate of AKI during hospitalization is 2.5 percent. In Pakistan, this incidence rate is 21 percent in critically ill patients after myocardial infarction. In Islamabad, this rate was found to be 68.55 percent with a mortality rate of 18.55 percent.

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Types of Acute Kidney Injury

Signs and symptoms of AKI include:

  • Fluid retention, swelling in legs, feet, and ankles
  • Decreased urine output
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Pain or pressure in the chest
  • Seizures or coma (in case of severe AKI)

Risk Factors of Acute Kidney Injury

Acute kidney injury is the indicator that kidneys are damaged suddenly. The cause of acute kidney injury is as following:

  • Injury to the kidneys
  • Blockage in ureters
  • Less blood flow through the kidneys

Less Blood Flow to the Kidneys
Less or impaired blood flow to the kidneys may be due to:

  • Blood loss
  • Fluid loss
  • Infection
  • Blood pressure medications
  • Use of blood thinners
  • Heart disease
  • Heart attack
  • Dehydration (severe)
  • Burns (severe)
  • Anaphylaxis

Diseases & Conditions Causing AKI

Following are the diseases and conditions that can cause acute kidney failure:

  • Inflammation of glomeruli
  • Infection
  • Medications
  • Blood clots in the veins and arteries
  • Lupus
  • Scleroderma
  • Hemolytic uremic syndrome
  • Heavy metals toxins
  • Cocaine
  • Rhabdomyolysis
  • Tumor lysis syndrome

Other diseases that cause AKI by blocking the passage of urine out of the body include:

  • Colon cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Cervical cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Kidney stones
  • Nerve damage in the bladder
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Blood clots in the urinary tract



Risk factors leading to acute kidney injury include:

  • Advanced age
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney diseases
  • Cancers
  • Heart diseases
  • Critically ill and hospitalized
  • Peripheral artery disease

Health Complications of AKI

Acute kidney failure can cause many health complications including:

  • Chest pain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Pulmonary edema (fluid buildup in the lungs)
  • Hyperkalemia
  • Permanent kidney damage
  • Eventual death


The preventive measure of acute kidney injury is that the person should avoid hypovolaemia as well as the use of nephrotoxic drugs. Make sure to drink lots of water to prevent dehydration.

Treatment of Acute Kidney Injury | When to Consult a Doctor

Various tests are recommended for a proper diagnosis, including:

  • Urine output measurements
  • Urine tests
  • Urea and Creatinine blood tests
  • GFR Test
  • Imaging such as Ultrasound and CT scan
  • Kidney tissue sample testing (kidney biopsy)

Doctors to treat Acute Kidney Injury

Last updated on Friday 21/10/2022


Dr. Tashbeeb Gulzar

Nephrologist | MBBS, MD

National Hospital & Medical CenterRs 3000

Hameed Latif HospitalRs 3000


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Dr. is excellent. Highly recommended.


Dr. Muhammad Mohsin Riaz

Nephrologist | MBBS, FCPS

Iqra Medical ComplexRs 2500


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Highly Recommended


Dr. Muhammad Salman Rehman

Hypertension Specialist, Nephrologist | MBBS, FCPS, SCE Nephrology

Faisal Hospital (Lahore)Rs 2500


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Highly Recommended

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