Potential complications of acute kidney failure include:

  • Fluid buildup. Acute kidney failure may lead to a buildup of fluid in your chest, which can cause shortness of breath.
  • Chest pain. If the lining that covers your heart becomes inflamed, you may experience chest pain.
  • Muscle weakness. When your body's fluids and electrolytes — your body's blood chemistry — are out of balance, muscle weakness can result. Elevated levels of potassium in your blood are particularly dangerous.
  • Permanent kidney damage. Occasionally, acute kidney failure causes permanent loss of kidney function, or end-stage renal disease. People with end-stage renal disease require either permanent dialysis — a mechanical filtration process used to remove toxins and wastes from your body — or a kidney transplant to survive.
  • Death. Acute kidney failure can lead to loss of kidney function and, ultimately, death. The risk of death is highest in people who had kidney problems before acute kidney failure.
Jul. 06, 2012