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Subphenotypes in acute kidney injury: a narrative review


Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a frequently encountered syndrome especially among the critically ill. Current diagnosis of AKI is based on acute deterioration of kidney function, indicated by an increase in creatinine and/or reduced urine output. However, this syndromic definition encompasses a wide variety of distinct clinical features, varying pathophysiology, etiology and risk factors, and finally very different short- and long-term outcomes. Lumping all AKI together may conceal unique pathophysiologic processes specific to certain AKI populations, and discovering these AKI subphenotypes might help to develop targeted therapies tackling unique pathophysiological processes. In this review, we discuss the concept of AKI subphenotypes, current knowledge regarding both clinical and biomarker-driven subphenotypes, interplay with AKI subphenotypes and other ICU syndromes, and potential future and clinical implications.

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