Scientists at Cardiff University are investigating whether the urine of patients with acute kidney injury (AKI) could give clues as to how their condition has progressed and how likely they are to recover.
The School of Medicine has received funding of almost £200,000 from Kidney Research UK to help develop new tests which show the status of AKI patients, so doctors can monitor them accordingly.
AKI occurs when the kidneys stop working properly. This is often because kidneys are given a “shock”, such as from an operation or severe illness.
It can become life threatening within hours, which means early recognition and quick treatment are critical.
AKI affects one in six people who are admitted to hospital and causes about 40,000 deaths every year in the UK. A 2009 report suggested up to 30 per cent of cases may be preventable.
Dr Timothy Bowen, head researcher, said: “Even though AKI is preventable, it has a very high mortality rate. We therefore wish to find new ways to identify which AKI patients are most at risk of progressing to irreversible kidney failure.
“This will allow doctors to monitor these patients closely, and treat them sooner to prevent this happening.”