What Is Acute Renal Failure?

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By becky
Article Sources Article Sources
  • 1. Murugan, Raghavan and John A. Kellum. Acute kidney injury: what’s the prognosis? Nature Reviews Nephrology vol. 7,4 (2011): 209-17. doi: 10.1038/nrneph.2011.13.
  • 2. Hilton, Rachel. Acute renal failure. The BMJ vol. 333,7572 (2006): 786-90. doi: 10.1136/bmj.38975.657639.AE.
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Acute renal failure is a result of the sudden onset of kidney malfunction. The kidneys cease to be able to effectively filter waste from the blood, resulting in an accumulation of toxins in the bloodstream and altering the chemical balance. It often occurs in those who are in the hospital for other critical conditions.

Acute renal failure develops rapidly and requires immediate and intensive treatment measures. Onset can occur in a matter of days, unlike non-acute kidney failure, which develops slowly. The acute condition is potentially fatal, particularly when treatment is delayed.

1. Causes

There are three primary factors that can lead to acute renal failure. The first of these is when the blood flow to the kidneys is impaired. This can occur as the result of a serious infection, a heart attack or heart disease. Blood pressure medications, aspirin and ibuprofen can also reduce kidney blood flow.

When the kidneys become damaged from blood clots, cholesterol deposits, inflammation, infections or other causes, the resulting injury can reduce the organ’s ability to filter waste. Sepsis is one of the leading causes of kidney inflammation.1Murugan, Raghavan and John A. Kellum. Acute kidney injury: what’s the prognosis? Nature Reviews Nephrology vol. 7,4 (2011): 209-17. doi: 10.1038/nrneph.2011.13. Another potential cause is a blockage of the urinary passage from cancers, urinary tract blood clots or an enlarged prostate.

Acute Renal Failure

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