Acute Kidney Injury

Acute Kidney Injury Chapter Overview

Jennifer Kong and Lyz Boyd

Chapter Learning Objectives

  1. Define kidney injury and differentiate between acute and chronic.
  2. Explain how injury leads to acute death of nephrons based on it cause originating before, within, or after the kidney
  3. Identify histological features in the nephron associated with acute kidney injury.
  4. List common clinical manifestations of acute kidney injury and explain the pathophysiology behind each.
  5. Briefly describe how interprofessional collaboration of health care professions work towards diagnosis of acute kidney injury

While most people are aware of the general functions of their heart, lungs, or brain, the functions of the kidney are rarely thought of or referred to in day-to-day life. Throughout your life, your kidneys quietly perform their important tasks without your knowledge. However, if a pathological process affects the function of the kidneys, you will quickly become sick and the situation may become life threatening. In this chapter, we will explore various pathologies that impact the kidneys on both a gross and histological level, as well as some of the clinical correlations that come with acute kidney injury (AKI), which is defined as a rapid decrease in kidney function.

This chapter is subdivided into:

  • Pre-test
  • Gross & Microscopic anatomy of kidney anatomy
  • Physiology or urine formation
  • Gross anatomy of normal kidney
  • Histology of normal kidney
  • Clinical presentations of AKI
  • Gross Pathology of AKI
  • Histopathology of AKI
  • Treatment and prognosis of AKI
  • Consequences of AKI in other systems
  • Diagnosis of AKI and interprofessional collaboration
  • Chapter Summary
  • Post-test


The following abbreviations are used throughout the chapter.

ADH Antidiuretic Hormone
AKI Acute Kidney Injury
ATN Acute Tubular Necrosis
BPH Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy
CKD Chronic Kidney Disease
DCT Distal Convoluted Tubule
GFR Glomerular Filtration Rate
LoH Loop of Henle
NFP Net Filtration Pressure
PCT Proximal Convoluted Tubule
RAAS Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone
UTIs Urinary Tract Infections



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Pathology by Jennifer Kong and Lyz Boyd is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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