Acute Renal Failure or Sudden Kidney Failure

Pelvis | Urology | Acute Renal Failure or Sudden Kidney Failure (Disease)


Acute kidney injury (AKI), previously called acute renal failure (ARF), is a rapid loss of kidney function, which is potentially life-threatening.

The following symptoms may occur with acute kidney failure: decreased urine production, body swelling, confusion, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, metallic taste in the mouth. Seizures and coma may occur in very severe acute kidney failure. AKI may be classified into 3 general categories, as follows: Prerenal - as an adaptive response to severe volume depletion and hypotension, with structurally intact nephrons.

Intrinsic - in response to cytotoxic, ischemic, or inflammatory insults to the kidney, with structural and functional damage. Postrenal - from obstruction to the passage of urine. Kidney failure is often detected from blood or urine tests.

Causes and Risk factors

The kidneys will stop working properly if their blood supply is greatly reduced. This reduction may be due to a fall in blood pressure associated with shock such as after severe bleeding, serious infection, or a heart attack.

Kidney failure may also result from damage by disorders such as glomerulonephritis, by toxic chemicals, or by drugs. Another cause may be a blockage in the urinary tract that causes both kidneys to swell with urine.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Treatment of acute renal failure depends partly on the cause and extent of the failure. The first goal is to pinpoint the exact cause of the kidney failure, as that will partly dictate the treatment. Secondly, the degree to which accumulating wastes and water are affecting the body will impact treatment decisions about medications and the need for dialysis. ...