Acute kidney injury (AKI) is an independent risk factor for mortality in critically ill patients whose epidemiology has been made unclear in the past by the use of different definitions across various studies. The RIFLE consensus definition has provided a unifying definition for AKI leading to large retrospective studies in different countries. The present study is a prospective observational multicenter study designed to prospectively evaluate all incident admissions in 10 Intensive Care Units (ICUs) in Italy and the relevant epidemiology of AKI. A simple user-friendly web-based data collection tool was created with the scope to serve for this study and to facilitate future multicenter collaborative efforts. We enrolled 601 consecutive patients into the study; 25 patients with End-Stage Renal Disease were excluded leaving 576 patients for analysis. The median age was 66 (IQR 53-76) years, 59.4% were male, while median SAPS II and APACHE II scores were 43 (IQR 35-54) and 18 (IQR 13-24), respectively. The most common diagnostic categories for ICU admission were: respiratory (27.4%), followed by neurologic (17%), trauma (14.4%), and cardiovascular (12.1%). Crude ICU and hospital mortality were 21.7% and median ICU length of stay was 5 days (IQR 3, 14). Of 576 patients, 246 patients (42.7%) had AKI within 24 hours of ICU admission while 133 developed new AKI later during their ICU stay. RIFLE-initial class was Risk in 205 patients (54.1%), Injury in 99 (26.1%) and Failure in 75 (19.8%). Progression of AKI to a worse RIFLE class was seen in 114 patients (30.8% of AKI patients). AKI patients were older, with higher frequency of common risk factors. 116 AKI patients (30.6%) fulfilled criteria for sepsis during their ICU stay, compared to 33 (16.7%) of non-AKI patients (P<0.001). 48 patients (8.3%) were treated with renal replacement therapy (RRT) in the ICU. Patients were started on RRT a median of 2 (IQR 0-6) days after ICU admission. Among AKI patients, they were started on RRT a median of 1 (IQR 0-4) days after fulfilling criteria for AKI. Median duration of RRT was 5 (IQR 2-10) day. AKI patients had a higher crude ICU mortality (28.8% vs. non-AKI 8.1%, P<0.001) and longer ICU length of stay (median 7 days vs. 3 days [non-AKI], P<0.001). Crude ICU mortality and ICU length of stay increased with greater severity of AKI. Two hundred twenty five patients (59.4% of AKI patients) had complete recovery of renal function, with a SCr at time of ICU discharge which was ≤120% of baseline; an additional 51 AKI patients (13.5%) had partial renal recovery, while 103 (27.2%) had not recovered renal function at the time of death or ICU discharge. Septic patients had more severe AKI, and were more likely to receive RRT with less frequency of renal function recovery. Patients with sepsis had higher ICU mortality and longer ICU stay. The study confirms previous analyses describing RIFLE as an optimal classification system to stage AKI severity. AKI is indeed a deadly complication for ICU patients where the level of severity correlated with mortality and length of stay. The tool developed for data collection resulted user friendly and easy to implement. Some of its features including a RIFLE class alert system, may help the treating physician to collect systematically AKI data in the ICU and possibly may guide specific decision on the institution of renal replacement therapy.