1 Gastroenterology Unit, University of Foggia, Foggia, Italy.
Renal dysfunction represents a dreadful complication of advanced liver cirrhosis. In addition to the traditional types of acute kidney injury (AKI) that can occur in the general population, cirrhotics might experience a different kind of renal dysfunction, called hepatorenal syndrome (HRS). The exact definition of HRS is a functional renal dysfunction caused by overactivity of the endogenous vasoactive systems (in particular intrarenal circulation) which lead to reduced renal perfusion. Type I HRS (HRS-1) is characterized by an abrupt deterioration in renal function (in less than 2 weeks), defined by a doubling of baseline sCr to >2.5 mg/dL or a 50% reduction in the initial 24 hrs creatinine clearance to <20 mL/min. Frequent precipitating events leading to HRS-1 are bacterial infections, gastrointestinal hemorrhage, or large-volume paracentesis without adequate albumin administration as well as massive diuretic use. In 2015, the international club of ascites (ICA) revised the definitions and recommendations concerning HRS. The revised definition allows to adopt effective pharmacological therapy based on albumin and vasoconstrictors in an earlier stage thus not influenced anymore by a rigid sCr cut-off value as by the previous definition of HRS-1. The aim of this article was to provide an updated overview of the latest advancements in the field of hepatorenal syndrome and of the recent amendments of the previous definitions of kidney injury in cirrhotic patients.