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Kidney Transplant (cont.)

Kidney Failure

Various conditions can damage the kidneys, including both primary kidney diseases and other conditions that affect the kidneys.

  • If kidney damage becomes too severe, the kidneys lose their ability to function normally. This is called kidney failure.
  • Kidney failure can happen rapidly (acute kidney failure), usually in response to a severe acute (sudden, short-term) illness in another body system or in the kidneys. It is a very common complication in patients hospitalized for other reasons. It is often completely reversible with resolution of the underlying condition.
  • Kidney failure can also happen very slowly and gradually (chronic kidney failure), usually in response to a chronic (ongoing, long-term) disease such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
  • Both types of kidney failure can occur in response to primary kidney disease as well. In some cases, this kidney disease is hereditary.
  • Infections and substances such as drugs and toxins can permanently scar the kidneys and lead to their failure.

People with the following conditions are at greater-than-normal risk of developing kidney failure and end-stage renal disease:

Chronic kidney failure is associated with complications that can be debilitating or have a negative effect on quality of life.
  • Anemia
  • Fluid retention
  • Pulmonary edema (This is fluid retention in the lungs that can cause breathing problems.)
  • High blood pressure from chemical imbalances and fluid retention
  • Renal osteodystrophy (This is weakening of the bones from calcium depletion, which can cause bones to fracture easily.)
  • Amyloidosis (This is deposition of abnormal proteins in the joints, which causes arthritis-like symptoms.)
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Bleeding problems
  • Neurological damage
  • Sleeping problems related to dialysis
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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Renal Transplantation (Medical) »

Kidney transplantation should be strongly considered for all patients who are medically suitable with chronic and end-stage renal disease (ESRD).

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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