Post-renal Acute Kidney Injury: Epidemiology, Presentation, Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, and Management

  • Valary T. Raup
  • Steven L. Chang
  • Jairam R. EswaraEmail author


Postobstructive renal damage has many etiologies but can be simply defined as a mechanical inability for urine to pass through the urinary system resulting in kidney damage. This obstruction can occur at any point along the urinary tract, from the tip of the urethra to within the kidney itself. Etiologies can be intrinsic and extrinsic and partial and complete and can occur at any time. The causes of post-renal acute kidney injury may be divided anatomically based on location. Upper tract causes of post-renal obstruction include renal etiologies and ureteral etiologies. Lower tract causes of post-renal obstruction include bladder, prostatic, and urethral etiologies. Obstructive uropathy often presents as some combination of flank or abdominal pain, hematuria, uremic symptoms, occasionally signs of infection when this is present, or rarely decreased urine output. Identification of elevated creatinine and/or hydronephrosis on routine surveillance or workup of other issues can also lead to the diagnosis. The preferred screening test for hydronephrosis is renal ultrasound, but renal radionuclide studies may be indicated if contrast is contraindicated or the remaining function of the kidney is in question. Management of post-renal acute kidney injury involves first relieving the obstruction, and this depends upon the anatomic location and etiology. Treatments are grouped based on anatomic location.


Obstruction Renal injury Postobstructive renal disorder Acute kidney injury 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Valary T. Raup
    • 1
  • Steven L. Chang
    • 1
  • Jairam R. Eswara
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Division of Urology, Department of SurgeryBrigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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