Acute renal failure historical perspective

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

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Overview

Before the advancement of modern medicine, acute renal failure might be referred to as uremic poisoning. Uremia was the term used to describe the contamination of the blood with urine. Starting around 1847 this term was used to describe reduced urine output, now known as oliguria, which was thought to be caused by the urine's mixing with the blood instead of being voided through the urethra. Acute renal failure due to acute tubular necrosis (ATN) was recognised in the 1940s in the United Kingdom, where crush victims during the Battle of Britain developed patchy necrosis of renal tubules, leading to a sudden decrease in renal function.[1] During the Korean and Vietnam wars, the incidence of ARF decreased due to better acute management and intravenous infusion of fluids.[2]

References

  1. Bywaters EG, Beall D (1941). "Crush injuries with impairment of renal function.". Br Med J (1): 427–32. PMID 9527411. 
  2. Schrier RW, Wang W, Poole B, Mitra A (2004). "Acute renal failure: definitions, diagnosis, pathogenesis, and therapy". J. Clin. Invest. 114 (1): 5–14. PMC 437979Freely accessible. PMID 15232604. doi:10.1172/JCI22353. 

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