Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Renal Tubular Necrosis Overview

Another name for Renal Tubular Necrosis is Acute Tubular Necrosis.

What is acute tubular necrosis (ATN)?
A person with acute tubular necrosis (ATN) has a kidney disorder caused by a lack of oxygen to the kidney tissues. The lack of oxygen damages the tubule cells of the kidneys resulting in acute kidney failure. Acute tubular necrosis may be triggered by conditions of low blood flow to the kidneys (e.g. sepsis, shock, or dehydration) or following the exposure to a chemical or drug that is toxic to the kidneys. Acute tubular necrosis is the second most common cause of all types of acute renal failure in hospitalized patients.

What are the symptoms of acute tubular necrosis (ATN)?
The symptoms of acute tubular necrosis (ATN) vary with the underlying cause, but often include confusion, lethargy, decreased consciousness, coma, severe weakness, anorexia, malaise, decreased urination, absent urination, nausea and vomiting, fluid retention, and generalized swelling

How does the doctor treat acute tubular necrosis (ATN)?
Treatment for acute tubular necrosis (ATN) includes correction of the underlying condition that triggered the ATN. Treatment often includes medications to control potassium levels in the blood as well as medications (diuretics) to remove fluid from the kidneys. A person with acute tubular necrosis (ATN) should limit their fluids to equal the amount of fluids going in to the amount of urine coming out. Restrict things such as protein, sodium, and potassium, which are normally removed by the kidneys, to reduce their buildup in the body. In severe renal failure, kidney dialysis or peritoneal dialysis may be required.

Continue to Renal Tubular Necrosis Symptoms

Last Updated: Feb 15, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Renal Tubular Necrosis 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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