About this disease

What it concerns

Acute kidney failure occurs when the kidneys suddenly lose their filtering function and waste products from metabolism accumulate in the blood. The kidneys can no longer excrete the toxins in the urine. The majority of patients affected are previously ill, hospitalized patients and critically ill patients in intensive care. Caught early, the disease is reversible and kidney function can recover. There are many causes: infectious diseases, heart disease, liver disease, blood loss or rheumatism can lead to kidney failure.

Symptoms and consequences

Signs of kidney failure include decreased urine production and dark, concentrated urine. There may also be swollen feet, edema and shortness of breath. The accumulation of waste products in the blood can lead to anything from fatigue to confusion to loss of consciousness.

How we can help you

Examination and diagnosis

Acute kidney failure is often first diagnosed by blood and urine tests. The routine laboratory provides initial indications, which are then supplemented by special laboratory and 24-hour urine measurements. Ultrasound and a kidney biopsy are further diagnostic options.


Acute kidney failure requires immediate treatment. Early recognition of the kidney failure and its cause is crucial for therapy. If this can be treated quickly, kidney function can recover rapidly. Treatment takes place as an inpatient in the hospital. This requires close monitoring of intravenous fluid administration and blood salts. If kidney function largely ceases, a kidney replacement procedure must be started. This involves filtering the blood through a dialysis machine to eliminate waste products.

Responsible departments

Intensive Care Medicine


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