Aetiology and a clinical picture of chronic renal failure

Authors: J. Zadražil
Authors‘ workplace: III. interní nefrologická, revmatologická a endokrinologická klinika Lékařské fakulty UP a FN Olomouc, přednosta prof. MUDr. Vlastimil Ščudla, CSc.
Published in: Vnitř Lék 2011; 57(7&8): 607-613
Category: 136th internal medicine day, XXIV. Vanýskův den, Brno 2011


The term chronic renal failure (CRF) usually means the final stage of chronic kidney disease (CKD) with a decline in glomerular filtration rate (GF) below 0.25 mL/s. CRF is a world-wide serious health and economic issue with an increasing incidence and prevalence. CRF patients are, in comparison to other patients, hospitalized more often and for longer and, despite improvements in care, their qua­lity of life is usually low and morbidity and mortality high. We present an overview of the most important CKD risk factors and the diseases most likely to result in CRF. Diabetic nephropathy, followed by various forms of ischemic renal disease and primary and secondary glomerulopathy, chronic tubulointerstitial nephritis and autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease are the leading causes of CRF. We provide a brief overview of other disease states that may result in renal failure. Clinical manifestations of CRF are discussed, mainly cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, haematological and neurological symptoms. Breathlessness is a consequence of hypervolaemia, metabolic acidosis and anaemia. The disease often presents with symptoms, such as headache and visual disturbances, resulting from arterial hypertension. Gastrointestinal symptoms and fatigue, usually caused by anaemia, are frequent. Platelet dysfunction is manifested as an increased bleeding time. Paradoxically, apart form tendency to abnormal bleeding, CRF also tends to be associated with thromboembolic complications. Patients may experience itching, bone, joint and muscle aches, are more prone to infections. They may suffer from insomnia, concentration disorders and apathy. The signs of peripheral mixed sensory-motor neuropathy include paraesthesia, paresis and restless leg syndrome. However, renal failure may also be oligosymptomatic or asymptomatic. Cardiovascular complications are the most frequent cause of morbidity and mortality of CRF patients.

Key words:
chronic kidney disease – glomerular filtration rate – MDRD formula – renal failure – cardiovascular complications – anaemia – trombocytopathy – uremia


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