Microvascular Rarefaction and Hypertension in the Impaired Recovery and Progression of Kidney Disease Following AKI in Preexisting CKD States

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Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a major complication in hospitalized patients and is associated with elevated mortality rates. Numerous recent studies indicate that AKI also significantly increases the risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD), end-stage renal disease (ESRD), hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and mortality in those patients who survive AKI. Moreover, the risk of ESRD and mortality after AKI is substantially higher in patients with preexisting CKD. However, the underlying mechanisms by which AKI and CKD interact to promote ESRD remain poorly understood. The recently developed models that superimpose AKI on rodents with preexisting CKD have provided new insights into the pathogenic mechanisms mediating the deleterious interactions between AKI and CKD. These studies show that preexisting CKD impairs recovery from AKI and promotes the development of mechanisms of CKD progression. Specifically, preexisting CKD exacerbates microvascular rarefaction, failed tubular redifferentiation, disruption of cell cycle regulation, hypertension, and proteinuria after AKI. The purpose of this review is to discuss the potential mechanisms by which microvascular rarefaction and hypertension contribute to impaired recovery from AKI and the subsequent progression of renal disease in preexisting CKD states.