Font Size
A
A
A
2
...

Acute Kidney Failure (cont.)

What Causes Acute Kidney Failure?

Causes of acute kidney failure (also called acute kidney injury [AKI]) fall into one of the following categories:

  • Prerenal: Problems affecting the flow of blood before it reaches the kidneys
  • Postrenal: Problems affecting the movement of urine out of the kidneys
  • Renal: Problems with the kidney itself that prevent proper filtration of blood or production of urine

Acute Kidney Failure Prerenal Causes

Prerenal failure is the most common type of acute renal failure (60% to 70% of all cases). The kidneys do not receive enough blood to filter. Prerenal failure can be caused by the following conditions:

  • Dehydration: From vomiting, diarrhea, water pills, or blood loss
  • Disruption of blood flow to the kidneys from a variety of causes:
    • Drastic drop in blood pressure after surgery with blood loss, severe injury or burns, or infection in the bloodstream (sepsis) causing blood vessels to inappropriately relax
    • Blockage or narrowing of a blood vessel carrying blood to the kidneys
    • Heart failure or heart attacks causing low blood flow
    • Liver failure causing changes in hormones that affect blood flow and pressure to the kidney

There is no actual damage to the kidneys early in the process with prerenal failure. With appropriate treatment, the dysfunction usually can be reversed. Prolonged decrease in the blood flow to the kidneys, for whatever reason, can however cause permanent damage to the kidney tissues.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/20/2017

Must Read Articles Related to Acute Kidney Failure

Bladder Cancer
Bladder Cancer Bladder cancer originates within the bladder, and may have several different causes, including
Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy Chemotherapy or "chemo" is a treatment for cancer. Depending on the type of cancer an individual has, it can cure cancer, control cancer. or ease cancer symptom...learn more >>
Congestive Heart Failure
Congestive Heart Failure Congestive heart failure, or CHF, is a condition in which a person's heart is failing and it can't pump enough blood and oxygen to the body's tissues. Sometimes...learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Acute Kidney Failure:

Acute Kidney Failure - Patient Experience

What has your experience with acute kidney failure been like?

Acute Kidney Failure - Causes

What do you believe caused your kidney failure?

Acute Kidney Failure - Treatments

What treatments have you undergone for acute kidney failure?

Acute Kidney Failure - Symptoms

What symptoms of acute kidney failure did you experience?


Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Acute Renal Failure »

Acute renal failure (ARF) or acute kidney injury (AKI), as it is now referred to in the literature, is defined as an abrupt or rapid decline in renal filtration function.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


Medical Dictionary