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Acute kidney injury (AKI), previously known as acute renal failure, refers to a sudden onset of kidney damage or failure within a short period of time. This condition can occur due to various reasons, such as dehydration, severe infection, medication toxicity, kidney disease, or reduced blood flow to the kidneys.

AKI is diagnosed based on changes in urine output, blood tests measuring kidney function, and sometimes imaging studies like ultrasound. Symptoms may include decreased urine output, fluid retention, fatigue, confusion, nausea, and shortness of breath.

Treatment for AKI focuses on addressing the underlying cause, managing complications like electrolyte imbalances and fluid overload, and supporting kidney function until it recovers. In severe cases, dialysis may be necessary to temporarily replace kidney function while the kidneys heal.

Prompt recognition and treatment of AKI are crucial to prevent complications and improve outcomes. Long-term effects and prognosis depend on the severity of kidney injury and the underlying cause.