Acute kidney failure may happen due to various reasons, such as reduced blood flow to the kidneys because of an underlying condition, direct kidney damage, or blockage in the urine drainage tubes (ureters), which can prevent the elimination of waste from the body through urine.
Impaired blood flow to the kidneys
Diseases and conditions that may slow blood flow to the kidneys and lead to kidney injury include:
Blood or fluid loss
Blood pressure medications
Use of aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), naproxen sodium (Aleve, others) or related drugs
Severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)
Damage to the kidneys
Various diseases, conditions, and agents can potentially harm the kidneys and cause acute kidney failure. Some of these include blood clots in the veins and arteries around the kidneys, cholesterol buildup that obstructs blood flow, inflammation of the tiny filters in the kidneys (glomeruli), hemolytic uremic syndrome, infections like COVID-19, lupus, medications such as chemotherapy drugs, antibiotics, and dyes used in imaging tests, scleroderma, thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, toxins like heavy metals, alcohol, and cocaine, muscle tissue breakdown resulting in kidney damage due to toxins from tissue destruction, and tumour lysis syndrome that involves the release of harmful toxins from the breakdown of tumour cells.
Urine blockage in the kidneys
Diseases and conditions that block the passage of urine out of the body (urinary obstructions) and can lead to acute kidney injury include:
Blood clots in the urinary tract
Nerve damage involving the nerves that control the bladder