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Biomarkers of Acute Renal Failure


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Common Causes of Acute

Slide 3

August 2009

Acute kidney injury can be caused by anything which damages the kidneys. Renal ischemia, or decreased blood flow to the kidneys, is a very common cause. Cardiac disease, hemorrhage, or septic shock are common examples of this. Certain toxins can adversely affect renal cells. Aminoglycoside antibiotics and IV contrast dye are 2 examples of that. Sometimes allergic reactions to drugs are localized to the kidney, causing interstitial nephritis. Anything that causes obstruction to the urinary outflow can lead to an acute decline of kidney function. Examples might include prostatic obstruction or bladder cancer. Finally, certain vasculitides can affect the kidney and lead to relatively rapid loss of kidney function. Often times, many of these factors are occurring at the same time and, therefore, many causes of acute kidney injury are multifactorial. For example, many patients might have septic shock as well as exposure to nephrotoxic antibiotics or contrast dye.

However, of the potential causes, renal ischemia due to decreased cardiac function and/or septic shock is probably the most common underlying theme amongst hospitalized patients with acute kidney injury.

Common Causes of Acute


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