Hematopoietic cell transplantation is a common procedure for the treatment of malignancies and some non-malignant hematologic disorders. In addition to other transplant-related organ toxicities, acute renal failure is a common complication following transplantation. This review discusses the incidence, timing, etiologies, risk factors, and prognosis of renal failure associated with three commonly used transplantation procedures - myeloablative autologous, myeloablative allogeneic, and non-myeloablative allogeneic transplantation. It is important to note that the epidemiology and prognosis of renal failure are distinct with these three transplantation procedures. However, the common theme is that mortality increases with worsening renal failure with all three procedures. Moreover, mortality is >80% for patients with renal failure requiring dialysis. It also appears that surviving patients have an increased risk of chronic kidney disease after renal failure. The reduction of acute renal failure will have several advantages, including reducing mortality and the burden of chronic kidney disease following transplantation.