Acute kidney failure (AKF)

Acute kidney failure (AKF) is a life-threatening condition that occurs due to unexpected and sudden loss of kidney function. kidneys are involved in clearing the metabolic waste from the blood, red blood cell production, maintaining electrolyte balance, and regulate blood pressure. Failure of kidneys in performing their function leads to several illnesses which are characterized by vomiting, lethargy, anorexia, and sometimes seizures.

AKF is caused due to certain reasons which include:


  • toxins (e.g.: raisins, antifreeze/ethylene glycol, or snake venom),
  • bacterial infections (e.g.: Leptospirosis),
  • certain drugs (e.g., anti-inflammatory medications)
  • obstructions caused by stones or tumors

Blood and urine tests are used for the diagnosis of AKF while radiographs and abdominal x-rays can be used to determine the underlying cause of the disease. In some cases, a biopsy of the kidney is recommended. Treatment involves hospitalization with intravenous (IV) fluids and electrolytes therapy. This increases urine production and helps in flushing the toxins out of the body. Antibiotics are advised to combat infections.    

AKF is a serious and fatal condition and prognosis depends on the underlying cause of the condition and how the patient is responding to therapy.