An upcoming AACC educational activity will focus on how recently cleared acute kidney injury (AKI) biomarkers can be used to assess a critically ill patient’s risk of developing moderate to severe AKI. It will feature two AKI experts, who will speak to the value of laboratorians in evaluating and assessing the extent of AKI. “Clinical and Analytical Perspectives on Biomarkers for Acute Kidney Injury” will be held May 4 at the Sofitel Hotel Center City in Philadelphia. The conference is being supported by an education grant from Ortho Clinical Diagnostics.

Kianoush Kashani, MD, a nephrologist and assistant professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, will lead a session called “Pathogenesis of AKI and Markers of Cellular Injury.” Denise Uettwiller-Geiger, PhD, the director of laboratory services and clinical trials at John T. Mather Memorial Hospital in Port Jefferson, New York, will host a session called “Laboratory’s Role in AKI Risk Assessment.” Former AACC President Mary Lou Gantzer, PhD, CEO, of BioCore Diagnostics, LLC, in Newark, Delaware, will moderate the meeting.

Uettwiller-Geiger gave CLN Stat a preview of what she intends to discuss. “The message I hope to deliver and achieve is to talk about the value of laboratory information, the cost of AKI, and how the lab may contribute to improved healthcare with new biomarkers for AKI. We know today that the value of laboratory information is unquestionable, given that upwards of 70-80% of the medical decisions made by healthcare providers originates from laboratory information,” she said. “That means the laboratory can spend additional money with downstream benefits beyond the laboratory either in cost avoidance or in cost savings. This investment also translates into high value patient care and enhanced outcomes.”

Uettwiller-Geiger will also speak to the high cost of AKI. “The economic and public health burden of AKI is staggering with substantially increased mortality, morbidity, length of ICU stay, and in-hospital costs, as well as worse long-term patient outcomes,” she explained. “AKI hospital costs exceed $9 billion annually, 300,000 patients die each year, and 1.2 million patients get AKI during a hospital stay. So you can see when a laboratory rapidly detects AKI it can positively impact patient care and outcomes while reducing costs. That improves healthcare for everyone.”

Kashani will address the pathogenesis of AKI and underlying biology of new biomarkers, as well as the current challenges in assessing AKI risk in critically ill patients and how biomarkers are used in the various stages of AKI. He’ll also discuss the impact of AKI on hospital resources, such as mortality, readmission, and economics, and he will talk about the prevalence, major risk factors, and the impact of AKI on patients.

The event, sponsored by Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, is free, but registration is required.