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Kidney [Description of the kidney]

Functions of the Kidney

The kidneys are a pair of reddish-brown organs located on either side of the spine just below the diaphragm, behind the liver and stomach. They are bean-shaped and measure about 4 and one half inches long, 2 and one half inches wide, and 1 inch thick. The primary function of the kidneys is to remove waste from the body through the production of urine. They also help to regulate blood pressure, blood volume, and the chemical (electrolyte) composition of the blood.

Renal failure is the inability of the kidneys to remove wastes and maintain electrolyte balance. Acute renal failure, characterized by inability to produce urine and an accumulation of wastes, is often associated with trauma, burns, acute infection, or obstruction of the urinary tract; its treatment depends on the cause and often includes antibiotics and reduced fluid intake. Chronic kidney failure, which may occur as a result of many systemic disorders, causes fatigue and sluggishness, diminished urine output, anemia, and often complications of hypertension and congestive heart failure. The treatment depends on the cause, often involving the use of diuretics, restricted protein intake, and, if the kidney failure cannot be otherwise treated, dialysis and/or transplantation.

Kidney Transplant Procedures

A kidney transplant may involve one or both kidneys if the donor is deceased and only one kidney if the donor is living. In most transplants, only one kidney is transplanted. But, in certain circumstances, particularly if the donor is less than ideal, two kidneys may be transplanted. There is also some experimental work being done on splitting kidneys prior to transplanting them, resulting in two recipients per kidney, but this is still extremely rare in practice.

Reasons for Kidney Transplants

Kidney Diagnosis Categories>Kidney Diagnoses
GLOMERULAR DISEASES
Anti-GBM
Chronic Glomerulonephritis: Unspecified
Chronic Glomerulosclerosis: Unspecified
Focal Glomerularsclerosis
Idio/Post-Inf Crescentic Glomerulonephritis
IGA Nephropathy
Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome
Membranous Glomerulonephritis
Mesangio-Capillary 1 Glomerulonephritis
Mesangio-Capillary 2 Glomerulonephritis
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
Alport's Syndrome
Amyloidosis
Membranous Nephropathy
Goodpasture's Syndrome
Henoch-Schoenlein Purpura
Sickle Cell Anemia
Wegeners Granulomatosis
DIABETES
Diabetes: Type I Insulin Dep/Juvenile Onset
Diabetes: Type II Insulin Dep/Adult Onset
Diabetes: Type I Non-insulin Dep/Juv Onset
Diabetes: Type II Non-insulin Dep/Adult Onset
POLYCYSTIC KIDNEYS
Polycystic Kidneys
HYPERTENSIVE NEPHROSCLEROSIS
Hypertensive Nephrosclerosis
RENOVASCULAR AND OTHER VASCULAR DISEASES
Chronic Nephrosclerosis: Unspecified
Malignant Hypertension
Polyarteritis
Progressive Systemic Sclerosis
Renal Artery Thrombosis
Scleroderma
CONGENITAL, RARE FAMILIAL, AND METABOLIC DISORDERS
Congenital Obstructive Uropathy
Cystinosis
Fabry's Disease
Hypoplasia/Dysplasia/Dysgenesis/Agenesis
Medullary Cystic Disease
Nephrophthisis
Prune Belly Syndrome
TUBULAR AND INTERSTITIAL DISEASES
Acquired Obstructive Nephropathy
Analgesic Nephropathy
Antibiotic-induced Nephritis
Cancer Chemotherapy-Induced Nephritis
Chronic Pyelonephritis/Reflex Nephropathy
Gout
Nephritis
Nephrolithiasis
Oxalate Nephropathy
Radiation Nephritis
Acute Tubular Necrosis
Cortical Necrosis
Cyclosporin Nephrotoxicity
Heroin Nephrotoxicity
Sarcoidosis
Urolithiasis
NEOPLASMS
Incidental Carcinoma
Lymphoma
Myeloma
Renal Cell Carcinoma
Wilms' Tumor
RETRANSPLANT/GRAFT FAILURE
Retransplant/Graft Failure
OTHER
Other Rheumatoid Arthritis
Other Familial Nephropathy