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Home > Health Library > Acute kidney injury
Acute kidney injury, also called acute renal failure, is the sudden loss of kidney function. When acute kidney injury occurs, the kidneys are unable to remove waste products and excess fluids, which then build up in the body and upset the body's normal chemical balance.
The most common causes of acute kidney injury are serious infection, blood loss from major surgery or injury, or medicines such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), antibiotics, or the dyes (contrast agents) used in X-ray tests.
Symptoms depend on the cause of the problem and can include:
The treatment of acute kidney injury includes finding the cause and correcting it. Treatment also includes following a special diet, taking certain medicines, and possibly doing dialysis. This will continue until the kidneys are functioning normally. Most people who develop acute kidney injury are already in the hospital.
Current as of: December 17, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Tushar J. Vachharajani MD, FASN, FACP - Nephrology
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