Acute Renal Failure
Acute renal failure is the sudden loss of kidney function. Kidneys clean waste from the blood and manage the balance of fluid in the body. The condition can be reversed with timely medical intervention, such as dialysis, which is a process that cleans the blood.
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There are many possible causes of sudden kidney failure because there are three anatomical sites for problems to occur in the renal system: before the blood enters the kidneys, within the kidney , and after the urine is processed by the kidney and enters the ureters.
Sudden kidney failure can result from problems with blood flow to the kidney, which can be caused by blood loss or dehydration. It can also result from conditions such as infections that interfere with the work of the kidney.
The most common cause of sudden kidney failure occurs inside the kidney. Acute tubular necrosis is the death of the cells inside the kidney that act as the blood's filter. These cells die when they are deprived of oxygen. This can be due to surgical complications or the side effects of certain medicines. Physical problems, such as swollen prostate glands or kidney stones can also cause sudden kidney failure.
Last reviewedOctober 2012by Adrienne Carmack, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.