Acute Kidney Failure



Acute renal failure occurs when your kidneys suddenly can not filter waste from your blood. If your kidneys lose filtration capacity, dangerous levels of waste accumulate and the chemical composition of your blood may lose balance.

Acute renal failure, also called acute renal failure or acute renal failure, develops rapidly over hours or days. Acute renal failure is most common in hospitalized patients, especially in those with serious illness requiring intensive care.

Acute renal failure is lethal and requires intensive care. However, acute renal failure may be reversible. If you are healthy you may recover normal or near normal kidney function.


For signs and symptoms of acute renal failure,

  • Urine output may decline, but sometimes urine output remains normal
  • Liquid retention that causes swelling on your foot, ankle or foot
  • Drowsiness
  • shortness of breath
  • fatigue
  • confusion
  • nausea
  • Seizures or coma in severe cases
  • Chest pain and pressure

Acute renal failure does not cause symptoms or symptoms and may be detected in laboratory tests done for other reasons.

When going to see a doctor

If you have any signs or symptoms of acute renal failure, please consult your doctor.


Acute renal failure occurs in the following cases:

  • There are symptoms that slow blood flow to the kidneys
    Damage to the kidneys directly
  • Your kidney’s urinary drainage tube (ureter) is occluded and excrement can not leave your body in your urine
  • Blood flow disturbance to the kidney

Diseases and conditions that retard blood flow to the

kidney leading to renal failure include the following:

  • Blood or bodily fluid loss
  • Blood pressure medicine
  • heart attack
  • Heart disease
  • infection
  • Liver failure
  • Use of aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, etc.), naproxen (Aleb, others) or related drugs
  • Severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)
  • Severe burns
  • Serious dehydration

Kidney damage

These diseases, conditions and medications can damage the kidneys and cause acute renal failure:

  • Blood clotting of kidney and surrounding veins and arteries
  • Cholesterol deposition to block kidney blood flow
  • Glomerulonephritis (glomerulonephritis) is inflammation of a small filter of the kidney (glomerulus)
  • Hemolytic uremic syndrome, a condition resulting from premature destruction of erythrocytes
  • infection
  • Lupus, immune system disorder causing glomerulonephritis
  • Drugs such as certain chemotherapeutic drugs, antibiotics, pigments used in imaging tests, zoledronic acid (Reclast, Zometa) used for the treatment of osteoporosis and hypertensive calcium (hypercalcemia)
  • Multiple myeloma which is cancer of plasma cell
  • Scleroderma, a rare disease group affecting skin and connective tissue
  • Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, rare blood disease
  • Alcohol, heavy metal, cocaine and other toxins
  • Vasculitis

Kidney urinary obstruction

Diseases and conditions that cause diseases that impede the passage of urine from the body (urinary obstruction) and may lead to acute renal failure include,

  • Bladder cancer
  • Urinary tract blood clot
  • Cervical cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • The enlarged prostate
  • Kidney stone
  • Nerve damage including nerve controlling bladder
  • Prostate cancer

Risk Factors

Acute renal failure occurs most often in association with another disease state or event. For conditions that may increase the risk of acute renal failure,

  • During hospitalization, especially in cases of severe illness
  • requiring intensive care
  • Old age
  • Occlusion of vessels in your arms and legs (peripheral arterial disease)
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • heart failure
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease


Potential complications of acute renal failure include,

Accumulation of liquid.

Acute renal failure can cause accumulation of body fluids in your lungs and can cause shortness of breath.

Pain in the chest.

When the lining covering your heart (pericardium) causes inflammation, you may experience chest pain.

Weak muscle weakness.

If your body fluids and electrolytes – the blood chemistry of your body – are not balanced, muscle weakness may occur. The rise in potassium concentration in your blood is particularly dangerous.

Permanent kidney damage.

Sometimes, acute renal failure causes permanent loss of renal function or end stage renal disease. People with end stage renal disease need permanent dialysis (a mechanical filtration process used to remove toxins and waste products from the body, or kidney transplantation to survive).


Acute renal failure may result in loss of kidney function and ultimately death. For those with kidney problems before acute renal failure, the risk of death increases.


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