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Partial or complete loss of kidney function. Acute failure causes reduced urine output and blood chemical imbalance, including uremia. Most patients recover within six weeks. Damage to various kidney structures can result from chemical exposure, major blood loss, crush injury, hypertension, severe burns, severe kidney infections, diabetes mellitus, renal artery or urinary tract blockage, and liver diseases. Complications include heart failure, pulmonary edema, and high potassium levels. Chronic failure usually results from long-term kidney diseases. The blood becomes too acidic, bones can lose calcium, and nerves can degenerate. The kidneys can sustain life until they lose about 90% of their function. If one is removed, the other increases in size and function to compensate. Failure of both usually requires dialysis or kidney transplant.
Variants of KIDNEY FAILURE
kidney failure or renal failure
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on kidney failure, visit Britannica.com.
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