Overview of Postrenal ARF

Postrenal ARF is caused by an acute obstruction that affects the normal flow of urine out of both kidneys. The blockage causes pressure to build in all of the renal nephrons (tubular filtering units that produce urine). The excessive fluid pressure ultimately causes the nephrons to shut down. The degree of renal failure corresponds directly with the degree of obstruction. Postrenal ARF is seen most often in elderly men with enlarged prostate that obstructs the normal flow of urine.

Causes of Postrenal ARF

Some of the most notable causes of postrenal ARF include the following:

  • Bladder outlet obstruction due to an enlarged prostate gland or bladder stones
  • Kidney stones in both ureters (tubes that pass urine from each kidney to the bladder) or in patients with one kidney
  • Neurogenic bladder (overdistended bladder caused by inability of the organ to empty)
  • Tubule obstruction (end channels of the renal nephrons)
  • Renal injury (usually sustained in an automobile accident or while playing a sport)
  • Retroperitoneal fibrosis (formation of fibrous tissue behind the peritoneum—the membrane that lines the abdominal cavity)

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 30 Apr 2001

Last Modified: 27 Aug 2015