Genetics of Acute Kidney Injury

Published by Luke Morais on

Genetics of Acute Kidney Injury


What is Acute Kidney Injury?

Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) is a serious and dangerous disease that can cause problems with your kidneys, heart, and overall health. The worst kind of AKI can damage the inside of your kidneys and make them stop working properly. This is called intrinsic AKI (iAKI). People who have iAKI are more likely to die or have long-term problems with their kidneys. Veterans, because they are often older and have other health issues, are more likely to get iAKI compared to other people. Despite years of investment into this, there still aren’t any successful treatments. This is why researchers are trying to learn more about what causes iAKI, so providers can do a better job of preventing and treating it.




How was the research done?

Researchers use advanced computer programs to analyze data about AKI. This will help find patterns and learn more about the different forms of this disease. They also look at data to identify traditional types of AKI, like pre-renal, iAKI, and post-renal AKI. Then, they develop separate categories for iAKI that happen in three different situations: heart surgery, heart catheterization, and sepsis (a severe infection). This will help them understand these types of AKI better. Next, they compare the DNA samples with their identified types of iAKI to samples who don’t have AKI. This is to see if there are any differences that might explain why some people get AKI and others don’t. They will look at the different types of AKI they identified in the data analysis and see if there are any genetic differences. They look at the genes that are most linked to iAKI and the identified types of AKI. They use new computer tools to predict how these genes might affect the kidneys. This helps them understand how these genes might cause AKI.


What is the significance of this study? 

Ischemic iAKI is the most common and deadly form of AKI, especially for Veterans. The number of people getting this disease is growing by 11% each year according to reports from 2017. By studying the genes linked to this disease, researchers can learn more about what causes it. This could help them find new ways to treat it. It can also help doctors make better decisions by understanding who is at higher risk of getting the disease.