Acute kidney failure is the rapid loss your kidneys’ ability to remove waste and help balance fluids and
Kidney failure; Renal failure; Renal failure – acute; ARF; Kidney injury – acute
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
There are many possible causes of kidney damage. They include:
- Acute tubular necrosis (
- Autoimmune kidney disease
- Blood clot from cholesterol (cholesterol emboli)
- Decreased blood flow due to very low blood pressure, which can result from:
- Serious illness
- Disorders that cause clotting within the kidney’s blood vessels
- Infections that directly injure the kidney, such as:
- Acute pyelonephritis
- Pregnancy complications, including:
Placenta abruptio Placenta previa
- Urinary tract blockage
- Bloody stools
Breath odorand metallic taste in mouth
- Bruising easily
Changes in mental statusor mood
- Decreased appetite
Decreased sensation, especially in the hands or feet Fatigue Flank pain(between the ribs and hips) Hand tremor
- High blood pressure
- Metallic taste in mouth
- Nausea or vomiting, may last for days
- Persistent hiccups
- Prolonged bleeding
- Shortness of breath
- Slow, sluggish movements
Swellingdue to the body keeping in fluid Swelling, usually in the ankles, feet, and legs
- Urination changes:
- Little or no urine
Excessive urination at night
- Urination stops completely
Signs and tests
The doctor or nurse will examine you. Many patients with kidney disease have body swelling caused by fluid retention. The doctor may hear a heart murmur, crackles in the lungs, or other abnormal sounds when listening to the heart and lungs with a stethoscope.
The results of laboratory tests may change suddenly (within a few days to 2 weeks). Such tests may include:
BUN Creatinine clearance Serum creatinine Serum potassium Urinalysis
A kidney or abdominal ultrasound is the preferred test for diagnosing a blockage in the urinary tract. X-ray, CT scan, or MRI of the abdomen can also tell if there is a blockage.
Blood tests may help reveal the underlying cause of kidney failure. Arterial blood gas and
Once the cause is found, the goal of treatment is to help your kidneys work again and prevent fluid and waste from building up in the body while they heal. Usually, you have to stay overnight in the hospital for treatment.
The amount of liquid you eat (such as soup) or drink will be limited to the amount of urine you can produce. You will be told what you may and may not eat to reduce the buildup of toxins that the kidneys would normally remove. Your diet may need to be high in
You may need antibiotics to treat or prevent infection. Diuretics (“water pills”) may be used to help remove fluid from your body.
Medicines will be given through a vein to help control your blood potassium level.
Dialysis may be needed for some patients, and can make you feel better. It can save your life if your potassium levels are dangerously high. Dialysis will also be used if:
Your mental status changes, if you stop urinating
You develop pericarditis
You retain too much fluid
You cannot eliminate nitrogen waste products from your body
Dialysis will most often be short term. Rarely, the kidney damage is so great that dialysis may be permanently needed.
The stress of having an illness can often be helped by joining a support group where members share common experiences and problems.
Calling your health care provider
Call your health care provider if your urine output slows or stops or you have other symptoms of acute kidney failure.
Treating disorders such as high blood pressure can help prevent acute kidney failure.