Acute kidney injury is common in hospitalized patients, particularly those in intensive care units and older adults, and refers to a sudden episode of kidney failure or damage that happens within a few hours or days. It causes a build-up of waste products in the blood that can affect other organs, including the brain, heart, and lungs.
McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member John Kellum, MD, Professor in the Departments of Critical Care Medicine, Medicine, Bioengineering, and Clinical and Translational Science at the University of Pittsburgh, recently spoke with Regenerative Medicine Today host John Murphy, McGowan Institute Executive Director, about
- the importance of clinical tracking of the measures of kidney function,
- acute kidney stress/injury and the NephroCheck® Test System and new treatment development opportunities, and
- the kidneys as a major target of sepsis.
Listen to their conversation here.
While kidney function is monitored using simple blood tests, subtle changes can elude or delay detection of a problem. Failure to recognize and manage acute kidney injury in the early stages can lead to devastating outcomes for patients and increased costs to the health care system. Benefits of earlier detection of acute kidney injury include earlier intervention to mitigate loss of kidney function, and reduced hospital and long-term health care costs as a result of avoiding progression to severe and permanent kidney damage.
Dr. Kellum’s work spans various aspects of critical care medicine but centers on sepsis and acute organ dysfunction. He has organized multidisciplinary teams of investigators to study novel approaches to the treatment of sepsis and to the understanding of the pathogenesis of acute kidney injury. His laboratory integrates the work of epidemiology and health service research with studies of basic mechanism of disease and new methods of treatment.
Acute kidney injury is increasingly prevalent, but unlike myocardial infarction, AKI often has no signs or symptoms, making risk assessment via traditional methods difficult. The NephroCheck® Test, designed to help evaluate critically ill patients’ risk of acute kidney injury, is a breakthrough in renal risk assessment.
The NephroCheck® Test System is intended to be used in conjunction with clinical evaluation in patients who currently have or have had within the past 24 hours acute cardiovascular and or respiratory compromise and are ICU patients as an aid in the risk assessment for moderate or severe acute kidney injury (AKI) within 12 hours of patient assessment. The NephroCheck® Test System is intended to be used in patients 21 years of age or older.
Illustration: McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine.