Acute Renal Failure (ARF) : The sudden and temporary inability of a kidney to remove excess bodily fluid, minerals and wastes. This abrupt change in kidney performance can be the result of a surgical procedure, trauma or poisoning. Patients are often extremely catabolic, generating toxins at a much faster rate than those with chronic renal failure. In this condition, acute inpatient therapy is required and patients receive renal replacement therapies until kidney function returns.
Chronic Renal Failure (CRF): Also known as end-stage renal disease (ESRD), it is the slow, progressive and permanent inability of a kidney to remove excess bodily fluid, minerals and wastes. Chronic therapy or transplant is required to maintain life and the condition affects more than 400,000 people in the U.S.
Continuous Cycling Peritoneal Dialysis (CCPD): The most common form of peritoneal dialysis which involves the process of exchanging dialysate into and out of the patient’s peritoneal (abdominal) cavity with the help of an automated machine. This treatment is delivered overnight (8-10 hours) while the patient sleeps, seven days per week.
Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis (CAPD): Another method of peritoneal dialysis in which dialysate is manually exchanged into and out of the peritoneal (abdominal) cavity four or five times daily, 7 days per week.
Dialysate: A fluid used in both peritoneal dialysis and hemodialysis that cleanses the blood and replaces needed electrolytes.
Dialysis: The treatment for renal failure when a kidney has lost its ability to regulate fluids, electrolytes, acid/base balance and toxin removal from the blood. Dialysis is usually sought when a kidney is working at just 10 to 15 percent or less of its capacity.
End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD): Also known as chronic renal failure (CRF), it is the slow, progressive and permanent inability of a kidney to remove excess bodily fluid, minerals and wastes. Chronic therapy or transplant is required to maintain life and the condition affects more than 400,000 people in the U.S.
Fluid Overload: A state of the body in which the kidneys do not adequately remove excess fluid volume. This can lead to a number of health issues, including hypertension and congestive heart failure.
Fistula: Created by a surgeon by joining an artery to a vein under skin, this allows access into a patient’s blood vessels in order to receive hemodialysis treatment.
Graft: An entrance into a patient’s blood vessel in order to receive hemodialysis treatment. If a patient’s blood vessels are not adequate for a fistula, a doctor may use a soft plastic tube to join an artery and a vein under the skin.
Hemodialysis: Hemodialysis is the most commonly used method to treat kidney failure with approximately 90% of ESRD dialysis patients in the U.S. receiving this treatment. Using a machine and artificial kidney to remove toxins and water from a patient’s blood, patients receiving hemodialysis typically travel to a dialysis clinic three times per week for 3-4 hours per session.
Hemodialyzer: The artificial kidney, which removes toxins and water from a patient’s blood during hemodialysis.
Hemofiltration: An alternative method to dialysis of cleansing the blood. Based on convective removal of wastes (vs. diffusion in dialysis), hemofiltration more closely mimics the action of the functioning kidney.
Nephrology: The medical specialty that deals with kidneys, their functions and diseases.
Nephrologist: A physician who specializes in kidney diseases, kidney transplantation and dialysis therapy.
Peritoneal Dialysis: Peritoneal dialysis is a maintenance therapy where blood is constantly cleaned inside the body rather than in a machine. There are two principal forms of peritoneal dialysis: Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis (CAPD) and Continuous Cycling Peritoneal Dialysis (CCPD). Both forms use the patient’s peritoneum, a large membrane rich in blood vessels in the abdomen, as a filter to eliminate toxins and excess fluids from the patient’s blood. Dialysate, a blood-cleansing electrolyte solution, is infused through a catheter into the patient’s peritoneal cavity. Once this fluid absorbs the toxins and excess water that are filtered from the blood through the peritoneum, it is drained from the peritoneal cavity through a catheter.
Renal Failure: Renal failure, or kidney failure, is the inability of a kidney to remove excess bodily fluid, minerals and wastes causing a build-up that is harmful to the body. It can be either acute or chronic. Some of the more common complications resulting from kidney failure include fatigue, nausea, bone and joint problems and itching. More progressive and severe cases of renal failure can result in excessive urination, skin abnormalities, seizures and possibly death. Treatment includes either inpatient therapy or chronic dialysis.
Ultrafiltration: A commonly used therapy for the treatment of fluid overload, ultrafiltration is a blood management method that removes non-cellular water and low molecular weight solutes from anti-coagulated blood through an extracorporeal filter. The therapy is controlled and predictable and allows significant fluid removal while avoiding electrolyte disturbances in the patient.