Renal failure, or kidney failure, occurs when the kidneys are no longer able to effectively filter waste products from the blood. The resulting build-up of waste products in the body can cause symptoms such as weakness, fatigue, shortness of breath, lethargy, and confusion. The inability to remove potassium from the bloodstream may lead to abnormal heart rhythms and sudden death. Initially, kidney failure may not produce obvious symptoms. There are many causes of kidney failure, and treatment of the underlying disease may be the first step in correcting the kidney problem. Some causes of kidney failure are treatable and the kidney function may return to normal, but it may be progressive and irreversible in other cases. Kidney failure may eventually require dialysis (blood filtering) or a kidney transplant to maintain life.
The UAB Nephrology program features a multidisciplinary team that provides state-of-the-art clinical care, research, teaching, and disease management for patients with diverse types of kidney disease. Consistently ranked among the top 50 of its kind in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, our program has earned a reputation for clinical excellence. Our integrated program features highly skilled physicians and transplant surgeons and is dedicated to delivering exceptional patient care and outstanding outcomes.
UAB’s Division of Nephrology was designated a George M. O’Brien Kidney Research Center by the National Institutes of Health, making us one of just eight such federally funded centers in the country dedicated to the study of acute kidney injury and kidney failure. Our research programs put us at the forefront in the development of new methods to treat, prevent, and cure diabetes and its complications. In addition, UAB’s participation in clinical trials increases the chances of providing our patients with cutting-edge therapies not available at other medical centers.
The UAB Hepato/Renal Fibrocystic Diseases Core Center, sponsored by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, calls UAB home. The North American Autosomal Recessive Polycystic Kidney Disease Clinical Database, a compilation of case histories from across the continent, also is housed at UAB and serves as an important resource for genetic research related to kidney disease.
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