Acute Tubular Necrosis

Definition

Acute tubular necrosis is damage to the tubule cells (tiny tube-shaped cells) in the kidney that results in acute kidney failure. This is a potentially serious condition that requires care from your doctor.
Anatomy of the Kidney
Glomerulonephritis
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Causes

Acute tubular necrosis can be caused by:
  • Lack of oxygen to kidney tissues from problems such as blood clots, surgical complications, severe dehydration or hemorrhage (heavy bleeding)
  • Exposure to toxic materials such as antibiotics, x-ray dyes, or anesthetics

Risk Factors

A risk factor is something that increases your chance for getting a disease or condition. Risk factors that increase your chance of developing acute tubular necrosis include:
  • Injury
  • Trauma
  • Surgery
  • Blood transfusion
  • Septic shock
  • Shock
  • Low blood pressure
  • Liver disease or damage
  • Drugs (aminoglycosides, amphotericin B, cyclosporine, tacrolimus)
  • X-ray dye
  • Blood transfusion reaction
  • Exposure or build up of toxic chemicals such as:
    • Crystals (uric acid, calcium phosphate)
    • Myoglobin
    • Hemaglobin

Symptoms

Symptoms may include:
  • Change in urine output
  • General swelling, fluid retention
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Dehydration

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