Acute renal failure. I. Relative importance of proximal vs. distal tubular injury

Am J Physiol. 1998 Nov;275(5):F623-31. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.1998.275.5.F623.


For more than 15 years, there has been an ongoing debate regarding the nephron segment(s) most severely injured in acute renal failure (ARF) induced by an ischemic or toxic insult. Although some investigators have argued that the proximal tubule (and particularly the S3 segment) is the major target of injury in ARF, others have held the view that damage to the distal nephron [particularly the medullary thick ascending limb (MTAL) segment] plays a more important role in this disease. In this discussion, the first of three on different aspects of ARF that have been hotly debated, we have invited several experts to discuss their opinions on this issue. The goals of this first discussion (and the subsequent two articles in this forum) are to establish areas of consensus in each area of controversy and also to identify unanswered questions that represent important areas for future research.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Kidney Tubules / pathology*
  • Renal Insufficiency / pathology*