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Can Acute Tubular Necrosis Cause Kidney Failure?

Written and reviewed by
Dr. D.K. Agarwal 90% (211 ratings)
MBBS, MD - General Medicine, DM - Nephrology, DNB (Nephrology)
Nephrologist, Delhi  •  35 years experience
Can Acute Tubular Necrosis Cause Kidney Failure?

Causes and symptoms of acute tubular necrosis

Damage or destruction to tube-like structures known as tubules in the kidneys can bring about the development of acute tubular necrosis (ATN) and subsequently, acute kidney failure.

What causes acute tubular necrosis (ATN)?

A lack of supply of oxygen to the cells in the kidney is the most common cause of this condition. The reason as to why oxygen may not reach the cells and tissues of this organ could be restriction or blockage of the pathways. When this happens, the kidneys get damaged. Dehydration is the most important cause of ATN which may be because of loose motions, vomitings, heat stroke etc.

Health conditions such as diabetes, heart attack, and stroke can bring about a decrease in blood flow to the organs resulting in ATN and death of cells. Similarly, the presence of toxic substances in the blood can also lead to tubules damage and change the way the cells function in the tubules.

Other causes that may lead you to develop ATN may be medications, radiology dyes, anesthetics and chemicals that cause your body to react adversely.

In addition to these causes, a number of factors can put you at risk of ATN and there are:


- An injury to the body, more specifically your kidneys can cause clotting of the blood vessels
- An adverse response to blood transfusion
- Instances of septic shock can slow down blood flow to the organs
- A major surgery that can interrupt blood supply to the organs

What are the symptoms of the condition?

The symptoms associated with the condition can vary depending on the severity of the problem.

You may experience:

- Troubles in waking up
- Drowsy feeling even during daytime
- Feelings of lethargy
- Feelings of excessive thirstiness
- Problems with urination
- Fluid retention problems
- Instances of confusion
- Feelings of nausea

'Consult'.

Related Tip: 3 Causes of Acute Kidney Failure

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