Anuria is a lack of urine production or the inability to pass anything more than a very small amount of urine. This is a very serious medical symptom, and immediate treatment is needed to prevent complications. Causes can include kidney failure and kidney stones, and treatment options can include dialysis, surgery, and medications, depending on what is causing the anuria. Follow-up care is usually needed to confirm the success of treatment and provide the patient with tips on preventing future episodes.
When people experience this condition, they may feel an urge to urinate and be unable to do so. The abdomen can feel tender and swollen, and if urine can be passed, it may be cloudy or bloody. In cases where the kidneys are not producing urine, patients may start to experience symptoms associated with buildups of compounds in the blood, because the body cannot eliminate them by urinating.
Acute urinary tract infections can cause anuria if they are not treated in a timely fashion, as a result of inflammation and the collection of debris in the bladder or urinary tract. Other potential causes are tumors or stones blocking the urinary tract. In these cases, small amounts of bloody urine are common as the urinary tract struggles to pass at least some urine. The bladder can also appear swollen as a result of a backup of urine.
Kidney problems can also be associated with this condition. Kidney stones may block the ducts used to conduct urine to the bladder, or the kidneys can go into failure and stop producing urine or produce only limited amounts. Patients are usually very ill and in pain as a result of the kidney failure, and the anuria will be one among a constellation of symptoms.
Diagnostic steps to learn more about anuria can include an attempt to collect a urine sample using a syringe directed into the bladder, along with medical imaging of the bladder and kidneys. A quick ultrasound or x-ray can show blockages like stones and tumors and may also reveal signs of inflammation like thickening of the bladder wall. Once the cause has been determined, the doctor can discuss treatment options with the patient. In an emergency where urine is rapidly building up, the patient may be fitted with a urinary catheter to drain the bladder before it ruptures, buying time for more substantive treatment to address the blockage causing the buildup in the first place.