acute renal failure (ARF) occurs when a sudden
reduction in blood flow to the kidney (renal hypoperfusion) causes a loss of
kidney function. In prerenal acute renal failure, there is nothing wrong with
the kidney itself.
Prerenal acute renal failure is the most common type of acute renal
failure, accounting for about 55 out of 100 acute renal failure cases.1 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
Your kidneys help filter waste, excess fluid, and toxins from your blood. They are also important for blood cell production and bone health. If kidneys don't work properly, harmful substances build up in the body, blood pressure can rise, and too much fluid can collect in the body's tissues, which leads to swelling, called edema.
If your kidneys fail, you will need a life-saving treatment called dialysis to take over their job.
Severe blood loss and low blood pressure related
to major cardiac or abdominal surgery, severe infection (sepsis), or injury.
interfere with the blood supply to the kidneys. Medicines such as ACE inhibitors and common pain medicines (NSAIDs) commonly cause
prerenal acute renal failure in people who already have an increased risk for
dehydration caused by excessive fluid
and liver diseases, such as
cirrhosis, that create fluid shifts in the
Treatment focuses on correcting the cause of the prerenal acute renal
failure. 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 renal failure can cause tissue death in the kidneys and lead to intrinsic
(intrarenal) acute renal failure.
Liu KD, Chertow GM (2008). Acute renal failure. In AS
Fauci et al., eds., Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 17th ed., vol. 2, pp. 1752-1761. New York:
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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