Acute and Chronic Renal Failure and Pharmacotherapy

Acute and chronic renal failure are diseases of the kidney that develop because of the failure of the kidney tissue to receive adequate oxygen. Acute renal failure has a sudden occurrence, unlike the chronic type of the disease that develops gradually. The primary cause of the acute form of the disease occurs due to ischemia or nephrotoxicity (Kellum, Leblanc, & Venkataraman, 2007). Hypoxia results when the kidneys fail to receive adequate oxygenated blood, causing hypoxia and death of cells as a consequence of the inadequate blood supply. In the end, tubular and glomerular cells begin to die, resulting in further damage to renal cells. Conversely, chronic renal failure develops mainly due to hypertension and diabetes (Arora, 2016). In diabetes, blood sugar is too high, causing damage to both the blood vessels and nerves. Hypertension causes immense damage to cause renal vascular damage that occurs gradually. Glomerulonephritis and other diseases can also cause chronic renal failure due to their impact on tubular and glomerular cells, causing their death.

The implications of pharmacotherapy vary depending on whether the condition is acute or chronic. Pharmacotherapy is effective in treating acute renal failure, especially if the cause of kidney failure involves infections such as glomerulonephritis (Kellum, Leblanc, & Venkataraman, 2007). However, most of the treatments correct abnormalities created by the disease. Pharmacotherapy corrects fluid overload, severe acidosis, correction of hyperkalemia, and correction of hematologic abnormalities such as anemia (Kellum, Leblanc, & Venkataraman, 2007). Conversely, treatment of chronic renal failure is purely supportive because the renal cells cannot recover. Implications of pharmacotherapy in chronic disease include halting or delaying chronic renal failure progression and treating symptoms (Arora, 2016). This treatment helps in planning for long-term replacement therapy, such as kidney transplantation.


Arora, P. (2016). Medscape. Web.

Kellum, J., Leblanc, M., & Venkataraman, R. (2007). Clinical evidence concise: acute renal failure. American Family Physician, 76(3), 418-422.

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