Acute tubular necrosis (ATN) is a medical condition that occurs when there is damage to the tubular cells of the kidneys. The tubular cells are responsible for filtering and reabsorbing substances from the blood. In ATN, the tubular cells die and slough off into the urine, leading to impaired kidney function.
ATN can be caused by a variety of factors including prolonged hypotension, sepsis, medications (such as antibiotics and contrast agents), and kidney injury. The condition can occur in both hospitalized and non-hospitalized patients.
The symptoms of ATN may include decreased urine output, swelling in the legs and feet, nausea, vomiting, and confusion. Blood tests may also show elevated levels of creatinine and urea, which are markers of impaired kidney function.
Treatment for ATN typically involves identifying and treating the underlying cause, such as discontinuing medications that may be contributing to the condition. Supportive measures may also be necessary, including fluid and electrolyte replacement, dialysis, and management of complications such as infections.
While ATN can be a serious condition, with proper management, many patients are able to recover normal kidney function over time.