Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.


Acute Renal Failure Overview

What is acute renal failure?
A person acute renal failure is unable to filter waste from the blood, make urine, or regulate salts in the bloodstream. Common causes of acute renal failure include hypertension, diabetes, dehydration, drug toxicity, drug side effect, poisoning, and congestive heart failure. Some with acute renal failure will progress to chronic end stage renal disease.

What are the symptoms of acute renal failure?
Symptoms of acute renal failure include little or no urine production, itching, fatigue, anorexia, numbness and tingling, facial swelling, leg swelling, vomiting, memory loss and tremor. Other symptoms of acute renal failure include breathing difficulty, confusion, seizures, and coma.

How does the doctor treat acute renal failure?
The treatment of acute renal failure depends on the underlying cause. In some cases, hydration with intravenous fluids can help the kidneys to continue to function. Those with severe acute renal failure may require kidney dialysis to remove wastes from the bloodstream.

Last Updated: May 16, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Acute Renal Failure References
  1. Bailie GR, Uhlig K, Levey AS. Clinical practice guidelines in nephrology: evaluation, classification, and stratification of chronic kidney disease. Pharmacotherapy. 2005 Apr;25(4):491-502. [15977910]
  2. Boydstun II. Chronic kidney disease in adolescents. Adolesc Med Clin. 2005 Feb;16(1):185-99, xii. [15844391]
  3. Snively CS, Gutierrez C. Chronic kidney disease: prevention and treatment of common complications. Am Fam Physician. 2004 Nov 15;70(10):1921-8. [15571058]
  4. Toto RD. Management of hypertensive chronic kidney disease: role of calcium channel blockers. J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 2005 Apr;7(4 Suppl 1):15-20. [15858398]
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