This figure shows a comparison of the percentages of the different types of acute renal failure (ARF) in a western European country in 1977-1980 and 1991: A, distribution in a typical Madrid hospital; B, the Madrid ARF Study [1]. There are two main differences: 1) the appearance of a new group in 1991, "acute on chronic ARF," in which only mild forms (serum creatinine concentrations between 1.5 and 3.0 mg/dL) were considered, for methodological reasons; 2) the decrease in prerenal ARF suggests improved medical care. This low rate of prerenal ARF has been observed by other workers in an intensive care setting [2]. The other types of ARF remain unchanged.


Incidence (per million persons per year)

95% CI

Acute tubular necrosis

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