Renal Cell Apoptosis and New Treatment Options in Sepsis-Induced Acute Kidney Injury
Sepsis is a common and important cause of mortality in critically ill patients. Acute kidney injury (AKI) is one of the most important factors determining morbidity and mortality in the prognosis of sepsis. Recent studies have indicated that the pathogenetic mechanism in septic AKI is totally different from that in non-septic AKI. Our understanding of sepsis-associated AKI pathophysiology is shifting from renal vasoconstriction, ischemia, and acute tubular necrosis to heterogeneous vasodilation, hyperemia, and acute tubular apoptosis. Especially, apoptosis is gradually gaining importance in the understanding of the development of renal injury. The frequency of renal tubular apoptosis on biopsies of septic patients has been pointed out in recently published studies. Apoptosis can be triggered by ischemia, exogen toxins, or endogen mediators. It has been shown in some animal models that hyperglycemia, which is common in critically ill patients, causes apoptosis in renal tubular cells. New treatment options have emerged in the light of recent findings. Ghrelin that inhibits pro-inflammatory cytokines, caspase inhibitors that block the apoptotic pathway, and suppression of anti-inflammatory reactions are under study. Among the existing methods of treatment, usage of arginine, which is a vasopressor agent, ventilation with a low tidal volume, and hemofiltration methods cleaning toxic mediators from the circulation should be considered in the first place. Hyperglycemia treatment is of major importance, since, besides its anti-inflammatory effect, it has a protective role on the kidney. Regarding pathogenesis, rates of morbidity and mortality are aimed to be reduced through the new agents of therapy that have been studied on.