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So renal failure is a term that has fallen by the wayside of late but is still used. There are two types:
- Acute kidney injury (AKI) - formerly known as "acute renal failure" (ARF), this is the acutely unwell patient whose kidneys have packed up. It's caused mostly by hypovolaemia but can be caused by obstruction.
- Chronic kidney disease (CKD) - formerly know as "chronic renal failure", this is a longstanding deterioration of the kidneys that is split into 5 stages (CKD1-5) in increasing severity.
So you need to know about both but they are very different beasts.