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Semin Nephrol. 2001 May;21(3):251-6.

Edema and acute renal failure.

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Department of Nephrology, School of Medicine, University Federico II of Naples, Naples, Italy.


Acute renal failure (ARF) with overhydration and edematous state may follow Acute endocapillary proliferative glomerulonephritis and extracapillary glomerulonephritis, because of reduction of the glomerular capillary area available for filtration. But ARF may also be observed in edematous patients with minimal change nephrotic syndrome; it may require dialysis until recovery and is attributable to some of the following factors: (1) ischemic renal injury, (2) hypovolemia, (3) interstitial edema with tubular collapse, (4) redistribution of renal blood flow (RBF) from cortical to juxtaglomerular nephrons, (5) decrease of capillary filtration coefficient (Kf), (6) use of nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs. Congestive heart failure also leads to prerenal azotemia and edema formation secondary to salt retention. Multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) is frequently associated with ARF; but edema occurs even without ARF in septic patients with severe inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS). ARF may follow severe burns; burned patients are frequently edematous because of a rapid leak of fluid from the vascular bed into the wound; edema in undamaged areas occurs in the 'flow phase', because of a fall of oncotic pressure because of massive loss of plasma proteins into the wound. Edema must be treated with diuretics or by dialysis.

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