© The Author(s) 2018. Acute kidney injury (AKI) is common in critically ill patients and associated with increased morbidity and mortality. With the increased use of renal replacement therapy (RRT) for severe AKI, the optimal time for initiation of RRT has become one of the most probed and debated topic in the field of nephrology and critical care. There appears to be an increased trend toward earlier initiation of RRT to avoid life-threatening complications associated with AKI. Despite the presence of a plethora of studies in this field, the lack of uniformity in study design, patient population types, definition of early and late initiation, modality of RRT, and results, the optimal time for starting RRT in AKI still remains unknown. The beneficial effects reported in observational studies have not been supported by clinical trials. Recently, 2 of the largest randomized control trials evaluating the timing of RRT in critically ill patients with AKI showed differing results. We provide an in-depth review of the available data on the timing of dialysis in patients with AKI.