Documentation Tip of the Week: Acute Tubular Necrosis (ATN)

Posted on Wed, Oct 07, 2015
Documentation Tip of the Week: Acute Tubular Necrosis (ATN)

Our weekly documentation tip for clinicians.

By Timothy Brundage, MD

Documentation which captures ATN adds to the severity of illness of your patient. Consider documenting ATN when acute renal failure lasts > 3 days after fluid resuscitation.

Causes of ATN:

  • Contrast nephropathy (following CT scan, cardiac catheterization)
  • Medications (Gentamicin, Aminoglycosides)
  • Prolonged ischemia, shock
  • Hypotension
  • Rhabdomyolysis
  • Hypovolemia

Documentation Examples:
  • "Acute renal failure secondary to probable ATN”

Dr. Timothy Brundage is a hospitalist for EmCare at St. Petersburg General Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla. Dr. Brundage earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry and molecular biology at the University of Michigan, his M.D. at the Wayne State University School of Medicine and completed his residency in internal medicine at the University of South Florida College of Medicine. Subscribe to Dr. Brundage’s weekly documentation tips, or ask him about specific documentation issues, by emailing him at

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