Pigment nephropathy accounts for approximately 3% of all cases of acute renal failure (ARF) in children. Studies of risk factors associated with ARF and the need for renal replacement therapy (RRT) in children with rhabdomyolysis-associated pigment nephropathy consist of retrospective case series with variable inclusion criteria. Our objective was to evaluate clinical and laboratory characteristics, etiology, initial fluid therapy, prevalence of ARF and the requirement for RRT in pediatric patients with acute rhabdomyolysis. Twenty-eight patients (19 male) with a mean age of 11.1 ± 5.6 years were studied. Acute renal failure occurred in 11 patients (39%), seven of whom (64%) required RRT. Features associated with the need for RRT included history of fever, persistent oliguria, admission blood urea nitrogen level, creatinine, Ca2+, K+, bicarbonate and aspartate aminotransferase. Most of these factors are related to the level of renal insufficiency and degree of muscle injury. There was no difference in admission and peak creatine kinase (CK) levels between those who did or did not require RRT. However, all who required RRT had a peak CK level > 5000 U/L.