In a kidney
Open kidney cross section pop-up dialog
Acute kidney failure occurs when your kidneys suddenly become unable to filter waste products from your blood. When your kidneys lose their filtering ability, dangerous amounts of waste products can build up and your blood chemistry can become imbalanced.

Acute kidney failure – also known as acute kidney failure or acute kidney failure – develops rapidly, usually within a few days. Acute kidney failure is more common in people who are already in the hospital, especially those who are seriously ill and need intensive care.

Acute kidney failure can be fatal and requires intensive treatment. However, acute kidney failure can be reversible. Otherwise, if you are healthy, you can restore normal or near-normal kidney function.

Signs and symptoms of acute kidney failure may include:

Decreased urine output, although urine output sometimes remains normal
Fluid retention, causing swelling of the legs, ankles or feet
shortness of breath
Irregular heartbeat
Chest pain or pressure
Seizures or coma in severe cases
Sometimes acute kidney failure does not cause any signs or symptoms and is detected by lab tests done for another reason.

Acute kidney failure can occur when:

You have a disease that slows blood flow to your kidneys
You suffer from direct kidney damage
The urine drainage tubes (ureters) in your kidneys become blocked and waste products cannot leave your body through urine
Impaired blood flow to the kidneys
Diseases and conditions that can slow blood flow to the kidneys and cause kidney damage include:

Loss of blood or fluids
Blood pressure medications
Heart attack
Heart disease
Hepatic insufficiency
Use of aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), naproxen sodium (Aleve, others) or related drugs
Severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)
Bad burns
Severe dehydration
Kidney damage
These diseases, conditions and pathogens can damage the kidneys and lead to acute kidney failure:

Blood clots in the veins and arteries in and around the kidneys
Cholesterol deposits that block blood flow to the kidneys
Glomerulonephritis (Gloe-mer-u-loe-nuh-FRY-tis), inflammation of the tiny filters in the kidneys (glomeruli)
Hemolytic uremic syndrome, a condition that results from the premature destruction of red blood cells
Infection, such as the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Lupus, an immune system disorder that causes glomerulonephritis
Drugs, such as certain chemotherapy drugs, antibiotics, and dyes, used in imaging tests
Scleroderma, a group of rare diseases that affect the skin and connective tissue
Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura, a rare blood disease
Toxins like alcohol, heavy metals, and cocaine
Muscle breakdown (rhabdomyolysis), which results in kidney damage caused by toxins from the destruction of muscle tissue
Breakdown of tumor cells (tumor lysis syndrome), which leads to the release of toxins that can cause kidney damage
Urinary blockage in the kidneys
Diseases and conditions that can block the flow of urine from the body (urinary obstruction) and lead to acute kidney injury include:

Bladder cancer
Blood clots in the urinary tract
Cervical cancer
Colon Cancer
Enlarged prostate
Kidney stones
Nerve damage to the nerves that control the bladder
Prostate cancer
Risk factors
Acute kidney failure is almost always linked to some other disease or event. Conditions that can increase your risk for acute kidney failure include:

Hospitalization, especially in the event of serious illnesses requiring intensive care
Advanced age
Blockage of blood vessels in the arms or legs (peripheral artery disease)
Arterial hypertension
Heart defect
Kidney disease
Liver disease
Certain types of cancer and their treatments
The possible complications of acute renal failure are:

Fluid build-up. Acute kidney failure can cause fluid to build up in your lungs, which can cause shortness of breath.
Breast bread. If the lining of your heart (pericardium) becomes inflamed, you may feel chest pain.
Muscular weakness. When the fluids and electrolytes in your body –

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