Kidney disorders

The kidneys are susceptible to a wide range of disorders. However, since only 1 normal kidney is needed for good health, disease is rarely life-threatening unless it affects both kidneys and is at an advanced stage. Congenital abnormalities, such as horseshoe kidney, are fairly common and usually harmless. Serious inherited disorders include polycystic kidney disease (see kidney, polycystic), Fanconi’s syndrome, and renal tubular acidosis. Blood vessels in the kidneys can be damaged by shock, haemolytic–uraemic syndrome, polyarteritis nodosa, diabetes mellitus, and systemic lupus erythematosus. The filtering units may be inflamed (see glomerulonephritis). Allergic reactions to drugs, prolonged treatment with analgesic drugs, and some antibiotics can damage kidney tubules. Noncancerous kidney tumours are rare, as is kidney cancer. Metabolic disorders, such as hyperuricaemia, may cause kidney stones (see calculus, urinary tract). Infection of the kidney is called pyelonephritis. Hydronephrosis is caused by urinary tract obstruction. In crush syndrome, kidney function is disrupted by proteins released into the blood from damaged muscle. Hypertension can be a cause and an effect of kidney damage. Other effects of serious damage include nephrotic syndrome and kidney failure.


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