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What Is Oliguric Acute Renal Failure?

by Robert Mullis
  • Overview

    The kidneys play a critical role in the maintenance of the body. Sometimes, infection or trauma results in a severe decrease in kidney function. This is a major medical emergency and must be corrected quickly to avoid permanent renal damage.
  • Normal Kidney Function

    Normally, the two kidneys filter waste products and excess fluid and electrolytes out of the blood as it passes through the many nephrons of the kidneys. These waste products are passed from the body during urination.
 
  • Acute Failure Causes

    Any sudden drop in blood flow to the kidneys, such as during a heart attack or heavy blood loss after trauma, severely impedes kidney function. The kidneys are also vulnerable to infection and inflammation, which can quickly reduce kidney function. Finally, blockages such as kidney stones can impair filtration.
  • Oliguric vs. Non-oliguric

    Oliguric failure refers to a drop in urine volume below 500 milliliters per day, which means that both fluid and waste products are not being properly filtered. Non-oliguric failure refers to kidney problems that result in normal levels of extremely diluted urine, which indicates that only waste products are being filtered improperly.
  • Symptoms

    The most noticeable symptoms include a drop in daily urination as well as pain during urination. Other symptoms include body tissue fluid buildup and swelling. Fatigue and drowsiness are also fairly common.
  • Treatment

    If the root cause of renal failure can be treated quickly, kidney function can usually return to normal without any help. However, if kidney damage has occurred, a kidney transplant or long-term dialysis will be necessary to avoid organ failure and death.

    References & Resources