Which urine output findings are characteristic of 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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Urine output history can be useful. Oliguria generally favors AKI. Abrupt anuria suggests acute urinary obstruction, acute and severe glomerulonephritis, or embolic renal artery occlusion. A gradually diminishing urine output may indicate a urethral stricture or bladder outlet obstruction due to prostate enlargement.

Because of a decrease in functioning nephrons, even a trivial nephrotoxic insult may cause AKI to be superimposed on chronic renal insufficiency.

Acute kidney injury (AKI) has a long differential diagnosis. The history can help to classify the pathophysiology of AKI as prerenal, intrinsic renal, or postrenal failure, and it may suggest some specific etiologies.

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