Renal failure

Synonyms: Kidney failure

Medical Specialties: Endocrinology, Internal medicine

Clinical Definition

Renal failure, more commonly called kidney failure, is often the end result of chronic kidney disease caused by diabetes, high blood pressure and other conditions. Chronic kidney disease is characterized by a gradual loss of functioning of the kidneys. When kidney disease progressively leads to kidney failure, dialysis (the process of cleaning the blood with the aid specialized machinery machine) or a kidney transplant may be necessary.

In Our Own Words

Renal failure, commonly called kidney failure, may be acute or chronic (progressive, over a long period of time). Acute renal failure is associated with many grave conditions, including the loss of large volumes of blood, harsh bloodstream infections and complete urinary tract blockage.

Chronic renal failure is a more gradual process, and occurs when the kidneys are so diseased that they can no longer function properly. Diabetes and high blood pressure account for most causes of chronic kidney disease that can lead to renal failure. As kidney disease worsens, waste products build up in the bloodstream because the kidneys are not able to efficiently filter the blood.

Common Types
  • Acute
  • Chronic
Side Effects
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  • Cleveland Clinic. "Kidney Disease." Diseases and Conditions 2013. Accessed Aug. 2013.
  • National Kidney Foundation. "Diabetes and Kidney Disease." A to Z Health Guide 2013. Accessed Aug. 2013.
  • National Kidney Foundation. "About Chronic Kidney Disease." Kidney Disease 2013. Accessed Aug. 2013.
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