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Back to Basics: Is There a Good Reason to Not Systematically Measure Urine Creatinine in Acute Kidney Injury Monitoring?

Back to Basics: Is There a Good Reason to Not Systematically Measure Urine Creatinine in Acute Kidney Injury Monitoring?

Nephron 133(2): 111-115

Regardless of the recent advancements in the understanding of the pathophysiology of acute kidney injury (AKI), its diagnosis remains fundamentally dependent on the serum creatinine (sCr) level and urine output (UO), both of which are considered late markers of AKI, offering only a vague idea of the actual creatinine clearance (CrCl). Although not ideal, CrCl is still the most common alternative of the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) in clinical practice. It is generally accepted that early diagnosis of AKI must reveal kidney impairment before sCr increases. Much effort has been made to find tubular and glomerular markers of injury which increase (in blood and/or in urine) before the 'official' diagnosis of AKI. Most of these markers are expensive and not widely available, especially in developing countries. Urine creatinine (CrU), the major link between sCr and UO, has been systematically ignored and clinicians are usually unaware of its value. The reasons for this are unclear, but it may be related to the lack of a reference range, dependence of its concentration value on the urine flow (which in turn is only adequately assessed with an indwelling urinary catheter) and the clinical unavailability of its counterbalance part - creatinine production. Changes in urine tend to precede changes in blood in the course of AKI development and recovery. Hence, it is important to bear in mind that changes in sCr signal renal dysfunction with a significant delay. The search for a more dynamic, 'real-time' but pragmatic assessment of renal function, especially in patients at risk of abrupt decrease in GFR is certainly one of the most relevant focus of research in the field of AKI monitoring. Systematic CrU assessment may be highly relevant in this case.

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Accession: 057280683

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PMID: 27270242

DOI: 10.1159/000446666

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