The goal of the present study was to identify variables associated with the outcome of patients with acute renal failure (ARF) of septic origin, using multivariate analysis. The records of 168 patients were reviewed retrospectively and a crude mortality of 74% was found. Both univariate as well as multivariate analysis demonstrated an association between mortality and variables which depended on patient related factors. These included age over 60 years and several underlying diseases such as pneumonia, peritonitis, and organ dysfunction. Only one variable (late oliguria) related to the ARF itself. Thus, outcome seems related to underlying disease more than to severity of ARF.