End-stage kidney disease : Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors

Alternate Names : Renal failure – end stage, Kidney failure – end stage, ESRD

Definition

End-stage kidney disease is the complete, or almost complete failure of the kidneys to function. The kidneys can no longer remove wastes, concentrate urine, and regulate many other important body functions.

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors

End-stage kidney disease occurs when the kidneys are no longer able to function at a level needed for day-to-day life. It usually occurs when chronic kidney disease has worsened to the point at which kidney function is less than 10% of normal.

ESRD almost always follows chronic kidney disease. A person may have gradual worsening of kidney function for 10 – 20 years or more before progressing to ESRD.

Patients who have reached this stage need dialysis or a kidney transplant.

The most common causes of ESRD in the U.S. are diabetes and high blood pressure. See Chronic kidney disease for a complete list of causes.

Pictures & Images

Kidney anatomy

The kidneys are responsible for removing wastes from the body, regulating electrolyte balance and blood pressure, and stimulating�red blood cell production.


Review Date : 8/12/2009
Reviewed By : Parul Patel, MD, Private practice specializing in Nephrology, Kidney and Pancreas Transplantation, affiliated with California Pacific Medical Center Department of Transplantation, San Francisco, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only — they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2010 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

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