A retrospective study of 500 consecutive cases of acute renal failure (ARF) in a period covering 1978 through 1991 is presented. A total of 316 females and 182 males with an average age of 46.4 years (14 to 84) had a global survival rate of 68%. Oligoanuric ARF was present in 77% of the patients and, except in 13 cases, all were dialyzed with varied techniques. The treatment plan consisted of early and repetitive dialysis, rational use of antibiotics, and parenteral and/or oral nutritional support. The patients have been divided into three main categories according to etiology: gyneco-obstetric, medical, and postsurgical cases, the latter having the poorest survival rate. With regard to ARF post-septic abortion, we strongly believe that a hysterectomy should not be carried out except in the presence of gangrene or proven uterine perforation, as surgery increases the morbomortality rate in these septic patients.