The management of acute renal failure in the critically ill patient is extremely variable and there are no published standards for the provision of renal replacement therapy in this population. Continuous renal replacement therapy seems to be the treatment of choice because of its superior metabolic and hemodynamic control. There is better organ protection by continuous treatment but no evidence for better survival or renal recovery due to continuous treatment. The debate about optimal membrane as well as about optimal dialysis dose is ongoing. An effluent flow rate of at least 35 ml/kg/h as well as lower BUN level at treatment initiation seem to be necessary to provide better survival rate. Peritoneal dialysis is a less suitable option in continuous renal replacement of the adult intensive care patient but hybrid methods such as extended daily dialysis and sustained low efficient daily dialysis need consideration with respect to continuous hemofiltration/dialysis.