acute kidney injury (AKI), also called acute renal failure, occurs when a sudden
reduction in blood flow to the kidney (renal hypoperfusion) causes a loss of
kidney function. In prerenal acute kidney injury, there is nothing wrong with
the kidney itself.
Prerenal acute kidney injury is the most common type of acute kidney injury. It can be a complication of almost any disease, condition, or
medicine that causes a decrease in the normal amount of blood and fluid in
Causes of prerenal acute kidney injury include:
- Severe blood loss and low blood pressure related
to major cardiac or abdominal surgery, severe infection (sepsis), or injury.
- Medicines that
interfere with the blood supply to the kidneys. Medicines such as ACE inhibitors and common pain medicines (NSAIDs) commonly cause
prerenal acute kidney injury in people who already have an increased risk for
dehydration caused by excessive fluid
- Severe burns.
and liver diseases, such as
cirrhosis, that create fluid shifts in the
Treatment focuses on correcting the cause of the prerenal acute kidney injury. Depending on the cause, the condition often reverses itself within a
couple of days after normal blood flow to the kidneys has been restored.
But if it is not reversed or treated successfully and quickly, prerenal
acute kidney injury can cause tissue death in the kidneys and lead to intrinsic
(intrarenal) acute kidney injury.