Acute renal failure causes

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Acute renal failure Microchapters


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Historical Perspective




Differentiating Acute renal failure from other Diseases

Epidemiology and Demographics

Risk Factors

Natural History, Complications and Prognosis


History and Symptoms

Physical Examination

Laboratory Findings





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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Aarti Narayan, M.B.B.S [2]


Glomerular filtration rate depends on multiple factors, particularly the renal blood flow. The pressure difference across the renal vasculature i.e the difference in pressure between the renal arterioles and venules is directly proportional to the GFR. Any decrease in renal blood flow, injury to the renal tubules or obstruction to the urinary tract outflow can cause decreased urinary output.


Common Causes

Acute renal failure is usually categorised (as in the flowchart below) according to pre-renal, renal and post-renal causes.

Acute Renal




Causes by Organ System

Cardiovascular Malignant hypertension, Systemic hypertension
Chemical / poisoning Amyl Alcohol, Aristolochic acid, Arsenic, Bismuth, Cadmium, Carbon Tetrachloride, Carmustine, Cephaloridine, Chloroform, Chromium, Copper, Diethylene glycol, Dioxane, Gallium, Gasoline, Germanium, Glue sniffing, Gold, Herbicide, Lead, Lithium, Lomustine, Mercury, Methanol, Nitrosourea compounds, Paint thinner, Para-amino salicylic acid, Paraquat ochratoxin A, Perchloroethylene, Pesticide, Platinum, Radiocontrast agents, Silica, Silver, Solvents, Styrene, Sulphonamides, Thallium, Toluene, Trichloroethane, Trichloroethylene, Uranium, Zinc overdose
Dermatologic Dermatomyositis
Drug Side Effect Acetaminophen, Aminoglycosides, Amlodipine besylate and Valsartan, Amphotericin B, Anticancer agents, Aspirin, Bacitracin, Capreomycin, Chlortetracycline, Cidofovir, Cisplatin, Cyclophosphamide, Cyclosporin, Ibuprofen, Ifosfamide, Methicillin, Methotrexate, Mithramycin, Neomycin, Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, Oxytetracycline, Polymyxin B, Rifampin, Trimethoprim, Vancomycin
Ear Nose Throat No underlying causes
Endocrine No underlying causes
Environmental Agents causing methemoglobinemia
Gastroenterologic Hepatorenal syndrome
Genetic Adenine phosphoribosyltransferase deficiency, McArdle disease, Glycogen storage disease type V
Hematologic Capillary leak syndrome with monoclonal gammopathy, Disseminated intravascular coagulation, Hemolytic uremic syndrome, Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura
Iatrogenic No underlying causes
Infectious Disease Boutonneuse fever, Clostridium tetani, Diphtheria, Ehrlichiosis, Escherichia coli O157:H7, Hantavirus, Hemorragic fever with renal syndrome, India tick typhus, Israeli spotted fever, Kenya tick typhus, Leptospirosis, Marseilles fever, Mediterranean Spotted Fever, Toxic shock syndrome
Musculoskeletal / Ortho Dermatomyositis, Rhabdomyolysis
Neurologic No underlying causes
Nutritional / Metabolic Hyperuricemia
Obstetric/Gynecologic Eclampsia, Pre-eclampsia
Oncologic No underlying causes
Opthalmologic No underlying causes
Overdose / Toxicity No underlying causes
Psychiatric No underlying causes
Pulmonary No underlying causes
Renal / Electrolyte Mesangial proliferative glomerulonephritis, Post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis, Renal artery stenosis, Membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis, Hemolytic uremic syndrome, Hepatorenal syndrome, Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, Rhabdomyolysis
Rheum / Immune / Allergy No underlying causes
Sexual No underlying causes
Trauma No underlying causes
Urologic Obstructive uropathy, Reflux nephropathy, Hydronephrosis
Dental No underlying causes
Miscellaneous Blood transfusion and its complications, Cholesterol embolism, Crush syndrome, Dehydration, Epidemic dropsy, Formaldehyde, Heat stroke, Hyperosmolar non-ketotic diabetic coma, Post-surgical complication, Shock, Tumor lysis syndrome

Causes in Alphabetical Order


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