Types of Acute Renal Failure (ARF)

The three types of ARF are named for their location within the renal (kidney) system:

Incidence of Acute Renal Failure

ARF affects approximately 1 percent of patients on admission to the hospital, 2 to 5 percent during hospitalization, and 4 to 15 percent after cardiopulmonary bypass surgery.

Signs and Symptoms of ARF

Acute renal failure does not produce a classic set of symptoms. The most common symptom is decreased urine output, which occurs in 70 percent of patients.

ARF Diagnosis

ARF is most easily diagnosed by an increase in blood levels of creatinine (Cr) and blood urea nitrogen (BUN). The blood level of creatinine typically increases by 0.5 milligrams per tenth of a liter (mg/dL) every day.

Treatment for Acute Renal Failure (ARF)

There are several modalities of renal replacement therapy (RRT) for patients with acute renal failure:

  • Intermittent hemodialysis
  • Continuous hemodialysis (used in critically ill patients)
  • Peritoneal dialysis (rarely used)

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

Published: 30 Apr 2001

Last Modified: 22 Jul 2015