Acute kidney injury (AKI) occurs in 7% to 18% of hospitalized patients and complicates the course of 50% to 60% of those admitted to the intensive care unit, carrying both significant mortality and morbidity. Even though many cases of AKI are reversible within days to weeks of occurrence, data from multiple large observational and epidemiological studies over the past decade suggest a strong association between AKI and subsequent chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end‐stage renal disease (ESRD). Patients with AKI who receive renal replacement therapy (RRT) are >3 times more likely to develop ESRD than those who do not. This rise in the number of patients who receive treatment for ESRD is a global phenomenon associated with considerable patient costs, effects on quality of life, and economic impact on society as a whole. In developing countries, most people with kidney failure have insufficient access to dialysis and/or kidney transplantation. Consequently, the development of effective approaches to the prevention, early recognition, and management of AKI is necessary to reduce the burden of CKD and ESRD.
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