[en] OBJECTIVES: To assess whether acute renal failure, due to total or subtotal renal artery occlusion, can be reversed by kidney revascularisation. DESIGN: A retrospective review of surgery for kidney salvage in anuric patients at a University Hospital. METHODS: From 1983 to 1993, eight patients were operated on for occlusive renal artery disease as a cause of acute renal failure, requiring preoperative haemodialysis. On admission the mean serum creatinine was 40 mg/l (354 mumol/dl). The oligoanuria lasted from 12 h to 3 weeks. Renal length of 8 cm or more and visualisation of a patent distal renal artery branches on aortography were arguments that return of renal function could be expected after revascularisation of these non-functioning kidneys. RESULTS: Revascularisation restored immediate urine flow in six cases, with no further need for dialysis in four. Two patients remained oliguric despite successful reperfusion. One of them could be weaned from dialysis after 1 month. Two patients died postoperatively. Five of the eight patients left the hospital with restored renal function. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with acute renal function deterioration due to ischemia of a single or both kidneys can benefit from prompt revascularisation, with significant recovery of renal function in most of them.