What Is the Pathophysiology of End-Stage Renal Disease?

pathophysiology-end-stage-renal-disease Credit: Science Photo LIbrary - Steve STEVE GSCHMEISSNER/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

Patients with end-stage renal disease develop uremic syndrome, and they are unable to properly regulate body fluids. Functional changes include high blood pressure, build up of toxins in the bloodstream and kidney failure. These symptoms are most prevalent in kidney-transplant patients.

Statistics from 2000 show that three major maladies lead to end-stage renal disease. These include diabetic nephropathy, glomerulonephritides and polycystic kidney disease, according to Sultan Qaboos University in Oman.

WebMD explains diabetic nephropathy is damage to the kidneys caused by diabetes. Proteins such as albumin appear in urine when the kidneys are damaged. Smoking, high blood pressure and high cholesterol can make diabetic nephropathy worse. Severe cases of diabetic nephropathy can result in complete kidney failure.

Glomerulonephritides refers to the inflammation of tissues in the kidneys, where the body fluids are filtered. Scarring and hardening of kidney tissue occurs, and the kidneys can no longer filter toxins out properly. The National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse explains that waste products build up in the bloodstream as the kidneys start to fail.

Polycystic kidney disease is an inherited disorder wherein cysts develop in the kidneys. These fluid-filled sacs can grow large and migrate to other organs, such as the liver. The Mayo Clinic notes that high blood pressure and kidney failure are serious complications of polycystic kidney disease.

Pathophysiology is the study of functional changes in an organ or body system that is exposed to disease. The term originated in medical science in the 1950s.