Acute kidney failure
Acute kidney failure develops rapidly over days or weeks in response to a disorder that directly affects the kidneys, the kidney's blood supply, or urine flow from the kidneys.
Acute kidney failure does not usually cause permanent organ damage or loss of excretion capacity, and with appropriate treatment it is often reversible, resulting in complete recovery. In some cases, however, acute kidney failure may progress to chronic kidney disease.
Chronic kidney disease
On the one hand the kidneys are influenced by numerous physiological functions to enable their effective work, but on the other hand they are profoundly affected when metabolic systems run into disorder. Thus the most common causes of chronic kidney failure are underlying long-term deleterious conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure or chronic inflammation. These chronic diseases negatively affect the highly efficient but also very sensitive anatomical units, the "glomeruli", and can lead to an irreversible loss of kidney function. Such a chronic impairment can also be caused by genetic disorders.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) develops gradually over time, usually over months or years. Unfortunately, this progressive loss of function may often go unnoticed for long periods if no screening is performed on patients at risk or if renal failure is not detected accidentally.