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Acute Kidney Injury in Critically Ill Patients with Cancer

Shruti Gupta , Prakash Gudsoorkar, and Kenar D. Jhaveri


Advances in cancer therapy have significantly improved overall patient survival; however, AKI remains a common complication in patients with cancer, occurring in anywhere from 11% to 22% of patients, depending on patient-related or cancer-specific factors. Critically ill patients with cancer as well as patients with certain malignancies (e.g., leukemias, lymphomas, multiple myeloma, and renal cell carcinoma) are at highest risk of developing AKI. AKI may be a consequence of the underlying malignancy itself or from the wide array of therapies used to treat it. Cancer-associated AKI can affect virtually every compartment of the nephron and can present as subclinical AKI or as overt acute tubular injury, tubulointerstitial nephritis, or thrombotic microangiopathy, among others. AKI can have major repercussions for patients with cancer, potentially jeopardizing further eligibility for therapy and leading to greater morbidity and mortality. This review highlights the epidemiology of AKI in critically ill patients with cancer, risk factors for AKI, and common pathologies associated with certain cancer therapies, as well as the management of AKI in different clinical scenarios. It highlights gaps in our knowledge of AKI in patients with cancer, including the lack of validated biomarkers, as well as evidence-based therapies to prevent AKI and its deleterious consequences.

CJASN 17: 1385–1398, 2022.


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