Intensive Care Medicine

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 409–413 | Cite as

Defining and classifying acute renal failure: from advocacy to consensus and validation of the RIFLE criteria

  • Rinaldo Bellomo
  • John A. Kellum
  • Claudio Ronco
Special Article


Until recently, more than 30 different definitions of acute renal failure (ARF) had been used in the literature. This lack of a common reference point created confusion and made comparisons difficult. It also led to strong advocacy of a consensus definition. In response to the need for a common definition and classification of ARF, the Acute Dialysis Quality Initiative (ADQI) group of experts developed and published a consensus definition of ARF. This definition goes under the acronym of RIFLE to indicate that it classifies patients with renal dysfunction according to the degree of impairment into patients at risk (R), with injury (I), with failure (F), with sustained loss (L) and with end-stage (E) status in relation to their renal function. This editorial aims to summarize and interpret recent findings concerning the application of the RIFLE criteria to the assessment of the epidemiology and the prediction of the outcome of ARF.


Acute renal failure RIFLE definition Epidemiology Outcome Critical illness Cardiac surgery Hemodialysis Hemofiltration Kidney Illness severity 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rinaldo Bellomo
    • 1
    • 2
  • John A. Kellum
    • 3
  • Claudio Ronco
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Intensive Care and Department of MedicineAustin Hospital and University of Melbourne, HeidelbergMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Intensive CareAustin & Repatriation Medical Centre, HeidelbergVictoria 3084Australia
  3. 3.Department of Critical Care MedicineUniversity of Pittsburgh Medical CentrePittsburghUSA
  4. 4.Department of NephrologyOspedale San BortoloVicenzaItaly

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