It has the same incidence as heart attack, 3,000,000 will die of it this year, yet no one has heard of it. What is it? Hopefully, the post title gave you a clue. Kidney Attack is the latest in a long list of names for the disease I study (I’ve been calling it Acute Kidney Injury in this blog). This last week I was in Sydney where I conducted a seminar for Nephrologists and Intensivists – I’d recently been reading an article (referenced in the image below) and decided that the history of the nomenclature was a good place to start my presentation. This resulted in the info graphic below which I have also posted on my specialist AKI blog over at www.gkaonlineacademy.com/blog, however for fun I thought I’d post here as well. What struck me when putting this together is that it took about 1800 years from Galen’s first written description in the second century until the first consensus definition was arrived at in 2004. Since then there have been two more definitions (iterations of the first) and more to come. Two reasons for this: first is that the recognition that even a mild form of AKI increases the risk of premature death, and second that proteomics and genomics have identified a plethora of new new biomarkers of structural injury to the kidney. It is my job to help figure out what to do with them.
The kidney is still very much a black box to me. Hence, the box in this mini-infographic (a “minfo”) describing some of the cool stuff our kidneys do. As you can tell, it is not just a brilliant filter getting rid of waste products but so much more. Dialysis (with the aid of Nephrologists’ potions) has got to do most of this stuff too.