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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Renal Failure
      Category : Health Centers > Urinary System & Kidneys

Renal Failure

Alternate Names : Acute Renal Insufficiency

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Acute renal failure occurs when the filtering function of the kidneys changes suddenly. The kidneys are not able to maintain healthy body function.

What is going on in the body?

The kidneys filter the blood in the body and produce urine. They clear the body of many drugs and toxins. They also produce hormones and control blood pressure. The blood flow to each kidney is supplied by a large artery. Blood flow to the kidneys is crucial both for kidney health and to allow the kidneys to perform their functions of cleaning and maintaining the blood. Anything that leads to a sudden drop in blood flow to the kidneys can cause acute renal failure. When this happens, the regular functions of the kidneys can be altered or destroyed.

What are the causes and risks of the disease?

The following can lead to acute renal failure:

  • a blockage of urine flow out of the kidneys and into the bladder
  • exposure to certain drugs
  • exposure to toxic substances
  • significant loss of blood or sudden drop in blood flow to the kidneys
  • Kidneys that have preexisting disease or damage are at higher risk for acute renal failure.


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    Renal Failure: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Bill Harrison, MD
    Reviewer: Sandy Keefe, RN, MSN
    Date Reviewed: 08/22/01

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