What is oliguric and nonoliguric acute kidney injury (AKI)?

Updated: Dec 24, 2020
  • Author: Biruh T Workeneh, MD, PhD, FASN; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
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Patients who develop AKI can be oliguric or nonoliguric, can have a rapid or slow rise in creatinine levels, and may have qualitative differences in urine solute concentrations and cellular content. (Approximately 50-60% of all causes of AKI are nonoliguric.) This lack of a uniform clinical presentation reflects the variable nature of the injury.

Classifying AKI as oliguric or nonoliguric on the basis of daily urine excretion has prognostic value. Oliguria is defined as a daily urine volume of less than 400 mL and has a worse prognosis.

Anuria is defined as a urine output of less than 100 mL/day and, if abrupt in onset, suggests bilateral obstruction or catastrophic injury to both kidneys.

Stratification of renal injury along these lines helps in diagnosis and decision-making (eg, timing of dialysis) and can be an important criterion for patient response to therapy.

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