Acute kidney injury (AKI) is frequently observed among hospitalized and critical care patients. In the absence of any effective therapies aiming to actively restore kidney function, AKI is usually managed through acute renal replacement therapy (ARRT). 'Optimization' of ARRT may reduce the mortality of patients with AKI. Although several studies have tried to identify the most adequate approach to ARRT in terms of dose, treatment modality and all other important dimensions, the literature has provided controversial results. Nowadays, adequate ARRT still appears difficult to dose, prescribe, deliver and monitor among different critical care patients. The identification of the major elements involved for a multidimensional approach to adequacy of ARRT in patients with AKI should consider the patient, the applied technology and the environment. All these aspects should be carefully evaluated and adequately applied in clinical practice through a patient-oriented approach. Adequacy of ARRT imposes the concomitant consideration of more complex issues, such as the timing, modality and technique of ARRT delivery; anticoagulation and substitution fluid choice; membrane selection; monitor accuracy; the role of fluid overload; and other patient comorbidities. The capacity of clinicians to consider all these aspects through a multidimensional approach, adapting the different dimensions of ARRT to actual patients' needs, might be the fundamental missing element in the pathway toward significant outcome improvements among critically ill patients with AKI. This narrative review provides a systematic approach to the major dimensions of ARRT and their multidimensional rationalization for adequate treatment prescription, monitoring and evaluation.
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