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August 7, 2018

Progress in Prevention and Treatment of Acute Kidney Injury: Moving Beyond Kidney Attack

Author Affiliations
  • 1The Center for Critical Care Nephrology, Department of Critical Care Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • 2Department of Intensive Care and Department of Medicine, Austin Hospital and Melbourne University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • 3Department of Nephrology and International Renal Research Institute, Ospedale San Bortolo, Vicenza, Italy
JAMA. 2018;320(5):437-438. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.7160

In 2012, in an attempt to raise awareness about acute kidney injury (AKI), the term kidney attack was suggested,1 given the widespread familiarity with terms such as heart attack (for myocardial infarction [MI]) and brain attack (for stroke). Lay terms, including the word attack, convey a sense of urgency and importance, which may have been lacking in conversations about AKI. The lack of understanding and focus on AKI may have contributed to lack of progress in improving outcomes. The gradual rather than sudden development of AKI, compared with the sudden onset of readily recognizable signs and symptoms that often characterize MI and stroke, may explain lack of uptake and adoption of the term kidney attack.