Acute Tubular Necrosis Specialist

Southland Renal Medical Group -  - Nephrologist

Southland Renal Medical Group

Nephrologists located in the Greater Long Beach and Orange County, CA Area

Acute tubular necrosis (ATN) may be reversed with early treatment, but the longer the condition lasts without medical care, the more likely you are to develop kidney failure. As experts in kidney disease, the doctors at Southland Renal Medical Group, with kidney treatment centers in Long Beach, Downey, Fountain Valley, and Los Alamitos, California, can identify subtle signs and symptoms, run the proper tests to determine the underlying problem, and start treatment that can protect the health of your kidneys. To learn more, schedule an appointment online or by phone today.

Acute Tubular Necrosis Q & A

What is acute tubular necrosis?

Acute tubular necrosis occurs when the tubules in your kidneys are damaged due to the loss of blood and oxygen. The tubules are essential for filtering out wastes and fluids. When they’re damaged, you can develop acute kidney failure.


What causes acute tubular necrosis?

The top two causes of acute tubular necrosis are a drop in blood flow with the subsequent loss of oxygen, and a toxic medication that damages the tubules. Conditions that may contribute to the condition include:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Heart failure or heart attack
  • Bleeding
  • Sepsis
  • Major surgery
  • Liver disease
  • Muscle damage

Acute tubular necrosis often affects patients who already have a severe illness.


What symptoms develop due to acute tubular necrosis?

Producing an abnormally small amount of urine, a problem called oliguria, is the key symptom of acute tubular necrosis. You may not have any symptoms other than oliguria until the acute tubular necrosis is so severe that kidney failure occurs.

If you go into kidney failure, you’ll experience symptoms such as shortness of breath, nausea, weakness, an irregular heartbeat, and swelling in your legs, ankles, or feet.

Beyond oliguria, other possible symptoms of acute tubular necrosis include:

  • Dehydration
  • Excessive thirst
  • Swelling or edema
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Confusion

If you were healthy before you developed acute tubular necrosis, chances are you’ll fully recuperate after the underlying problem is treated. However, patients who were sick before developing the problem are more likely to face future kidney complications.


How is acute tubular necrosis treated?

The primary goal is to diagnose and treat the underlying cause so that the damage to your tubules stops and your kidneys can heal and return to normal function. In severe cases, you may need dialysis until your acute tubular necrosis improves.  

You can promote your healing by following a kidney-friendly diet that limits fluids and reduces your sodium intake. Your doctor at Southland Renal Medical Group provides detailed diet and exercise recommendations to support your kidneys.

If you’ve noticed that your need to urinate has significantly declined or other signs of acute tubular necrosis, call Southland Renal Medical Group or book an appointment online today.