Overview of Prerenal ARF

Prerenal ARF is characterized by inadequate blood circulation (perfusion) to the kidneys, which leaves them unable to clean the blood properly. Many patients with prerenal ARF are critically ill and experience shock (very low blood pressure). There often is poor perfusion within many organs, which may lead to multiple organ failure.

Prerenal ARF Causes

Some of the most notable causes of prerenal ARF are dehydration, heart failure, sepsis (severe infection), and severe blood loss.

Prerenal ARF is associated with a number of preexisting medical conditions, such as atherosclerosis ("hardening" of the arteries with fatty deposits), which reduces blood flow. Dehydration caused by drastically reduced fluid intake or excessive use of diuretics (water pills) is a major cause of prerenal ARF. Many people with severe heart conditions are kept slightly dehydrated by the diuretics they take to prevent fluid buildup in their lungs, and they often have reduced blood flow (underperfusion) to the kidneys.

Prerenal ARF Risk Factors

  • Atherosclerosis
  • Blood loss
  • Chronic liver disease
  • Heart disease

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

Published: 30 Apr 2001

Last Modified: 27 Aug 2015