Intrinsic or intrarenal
acute renal failure (ARF) occurs when direct damage to
the kidneys causes a sudden loss in kidney function. The treatment of intrinsic
acute renal failure includes identifying and correcting the cause of the renal
failure. The most common causes of intrinsic acute renal failure are acute
tubular necrosis (ATN), acute glomerulonephritis (AGN), and
acute interstitial nephritis (AIN).
Acute tubular necrosis (ATN)
Acute tubular necrosis
(ATN) is a condition in which the small filtering tubes in the kidney are
injured. ATN is a common cause of intrinsic acute renal failure often seen in
people who are already hospitalized. ATN may occur because of:
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Decreased blood flow in the kidneys. Decreased
blood flow may be caused by:
Surgery, especially cardiovascular or
Direct injury to the kidney.
Severe muscle injury or extreme physical exertion.
Substances, such as
medicines that are toxic to the kidneys. Many
substances that are not toxic to the kidneys in a healthy person may become
toxic in a person who has existing kidney problems or another condition that
increases his or her risk of acute renal failure, such as heart failure,
diabetes, or multiple myeloma.
Acute glomerulonephritis (AGN)
a condition in which the tiny blood vessels in the kidneys become inflamed and
damaged. Damaged glomeruli do not filter blood properly.
glomerulonephritis may be caused by an abnormal
immune system response. Some specific conditions that
cause acute glomerulonephritis include:
Lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus).
Goodpasture's syndrome, and other forms of
Bacterial or viral
Symptoms of glomerulonephritis include blood and protein in
the urine, high blood pressure, and swelling caused by fluid retention
Acute interstitial nephritis (AIN)
interstitial nephritis (AIN) is inflammation of the kidneys. It is usually
caused by a
medicine, such as an
antibiotic or a
nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug like aspirin or
ibuprofen. But AIN may also be caused by a streptococcal, viral, or
Symptoms of AIN
include a skin rash, fever, and an abnormal sediment in the urine.
Primary Medical Reviewer
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Tushar J. Vachharajani, MD, FASN, FACP - Nephrology
May 10, 2011
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
May 10, 2011
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