Jan 03 2009
The primary differences between acute kidney failure and chronic kidney failure become apparent when you look at how the process of kidney failure occurs, the cause of the kidney failure itself, and the duration of the kidney failure.
Acute Kidney Failure
Rapid stopping of kidney function during a period of a few hours to a few days is referred to as acute kidney failure. Possible causes of acute kidney failure include:
- Severe shock and loss of blood
- Burn injury
- Gunshot wounds
- Some types of poisoning
- Injury to or blockage of the blood vessels that lead to the kidneys
During the period of time in which normal kidney function has failed, some form of dialysis may be necessary. Normal kidney function may return after a few weeks to several months, at which point dialysis is no longer required.
Chronic Kidney Failure
When normal kidney tissues are destroyed over a longer length of time, it may cause what is known as chronic kidney failure. It is not uncommon for those who become victims of chronic kidney failure to not experience any side effects until as much as half of their kidney function is already lost (or more). When kidney function is severely reduced, doctors will likely recommend some form of dialysis if not kidney transplantation to save the life of the patient. In the vast majority of cases of chronic kidney failure, kidney function does not return to normal.