tubular necrosis, acute

Sudden loss of kidney tubules, with resultant kidney failure. Acute tubule necrosis can be caused by a reduction in the supply of blood and oxygen to the kidneys, and also by poisonous substances such as mercury, carbon tetrachloride and some antibiotics. The excretion of large quantities of haemoglobin in the urine, such as after the failure of a blood transfusion, can also be a cause, as can the elimination of the muscle protein myoglobin in crush syndrome. Anuria or oliguria initially develops, lasting for 1 to 3 weeks, and there are symptoms of uraemia. Treatment on a dialysis machine may be necessary at this stage. Depending on the cause, kidney function may be gradually restored.