International Urology and Nephrology

, Volume 32, Issue 4, pp 559–565

Multi-organ renal failure in the elderly

  • Guy H. Neild

DOI: 10.1023/A:1014474305423

Cite this article as:
Neild, G.H. Int Urol Nephrol (2001) 32: 559. doi:10.1023/A:1014474305423


Periodically the question is posed “Why the persistently high mortality in acute renal failure?”. By 1986, little progress seemed to have been made in improving outcome and it was stated that once oliguria was resistant to volume replacement and cardiac support, the patient had at best only a 50% chance of surviving. During the period 1960–1985, it can be shown that although outcome was not improving, older and sicker patients were being treated. Reviewing the literature of the past decade, the age and case mix of patients appears stable, but there is no suggestion of improvement in outcome. ARF with sepsis continues to have a mortality of 65 to 80%, and the outcome remains poor in elderly patients with failure of two or more organs. Progress has been slow in Intensive Care Units, and the past 20 years has seen little more than a move away from parenteral towards enteral feeding. Recent advances, however, in ventilatory techniques and the use of supra-physiological doses of glucocorticoids may lead to some improvement in outcome.

Acute renal failureElderlyEpidemiologyIntensive care unitMultiple organ failureOutcomeMortality

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guy H. Neild
    • 1
  1. 1.Middlesex HospitalLondonUK