Dynamic Biomarker Assessment: A Diagnostic Paradigm to Match the AKI Syndrome

Rajit K. Basu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Acute kidney injury (AKI) affects one in four neonates, children, and adults admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU). AKI-associated outcomes, including mortality, are significantly worsened. Several decades of research demonstrate evidence for a need to rethink the pathophysiology and drivers of injury as well as to reconsider the existing diagnostic framework. Novel urinary and serum biomarkers of injury have, however, not been readily integrated into practice—partially because of the limited scope to current testing. The predominant focus to date has been the adjudication of a single biomarker measured at a single point of time for the prediction of either AKI progression or disease-related mortality. This approach is pragmatically problematic. The imprecise, umbrella classification of AKI diagnosis coupled with the absence of a consistently effective set of therapies creates a difficult rubric for biomarkers to demonstrate value in the scope of practice. AKI is, however, not a binary process but more an ICU syndrome—with complex biology underpinning injury, interacting and disrupting other organ function, multidimensional in manifestation, and varying in severity over time. As such, a more appropriate diagnostic paradigm is needed. In this minireview, the status quo for AKI diagnosis and associated limitations will be discussed, and a novel, dynamic, and multidimensional paradigm will be presented. Appreciation of AKI as an ICU syndrome and creation of an appropriately matching and sophisticated diagnostic platform of injury assessment are possible and represent the next step in AKI management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number535
JournalFrontiers in Pediatrics
StatePublished - Jan 21 2020


  • AKI
  • FST
  • NGAL
  • biomarkers
  • critical care
  • pediatrics
  • syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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