Q&A: AKI’s relationship with cardiorenal syndrome

December 7, 2018
Medicare Web

Q: Is it possible for acute kidney injury (AKI) to lead to or be caused by cardiorenal syndrome?

A: Yes, it is possible. Cardiorenal syndrome is the term used to describe heart and kidney disorders when the acute or chronic dysfunction of one organ may induce acute or chronic dysfunction of the other. The heart and the kidneys work together to maintain hemodynamic stability and organ perfusion by communicating with each other through several different pathways in an interdependent relationship.

It has been reported previously that the treatment of congestive heart failure (ICD-10-CM code category I50.-) is limited by decline in kidney function. Therefore, with the relationship that exists between the heart and kidneys, if a patient is experiencing acute kidney failure (ICD-10-CM code category N17.-), heart function can be affected as well. The same applies if a patient is experiencing acute on chronic congestive heart failure; the kidneys can be affected, causing the AKI.

Editor’s note: Sarah Humbert, RHIA, AHIMA-certified ICD-10-CM/PCS trainer, coding and compliance manager at KIWI-TEK, LLC, and Temeka Davis, RHIT, coding manager at KIWI-TEK, LLC, answered this question during HCPro’s webinar Acute Kidney Injury and Acute Renal Failure: 2018 Coding, Criteria, and Classifications

This answer was provided based on limited information. Be sure to review all documentation specific to your own individual scenario before determining appropriate code assignment.

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