Case history #1
A 65-year-old male smoker with hypertension, dyslipidemia, and diabetes mellitus presents with chest pain. ECG changes suggest an acute myocardial infarction. He is taken for an emergent coronary angiogram. Three days later, he is noticed to have developed an elevated serum creatinine, oliguria, and hyperkalemia.
Case history #2
A 35-year-old man with a history of congenital valvular heart disease undergoes a dental procedure without appropriate antibiotic prophylaxis. Several weeks later, he presents with fever and respiratory distress. He is intubated, and Streptococcus viridans is isolated in all blood cultures drawn at the time of admission. Echocardiography demonstrates a mitral valve vegetation. Laboratory tests reveal a rising serum creatinine and urine output decline. Urine analysis reveals more than 20 white blood cells per high power field, more than 20 red blood cells per high power field, and red cell casts. Urine culture is negative. Renal ultrasound is unremarkable. Serum erythrocyte sedimentation rate is elevated.
AKI may develop in the setting of normal urine output and an otherwise asymptomatic patient. Associated laboratory abnormalities including elevated serum creatinine (or cystatin C) and blood urea nitrogen, hyperkalemia, and anion gap or non-gap metabolic acidosis may be all that are seen. Symptoms such as arthralgias, myalgias, or rash may be seen in patients with vasculitis or glomerulonephritis.
AKI following vascular catheterization or systemic anticoagulation may result from atheroembolic injury. Abdominal masses or an enlarged bladder, found on exam or by imaging, may be found in otherwise asymptomatic individuals with obstructive nephropathy and renal failure. AKI with allergy symptoms (fever, rash, arthralgia), hematuria, and sterile pyuria may suggest interstitial nephritis.
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