nb The term “renal”, from the Latin word renes meaning kidney, is often used interchangeably with the word “kidney”.
ACR (Albumin:Creatinine Ratio) is a urine test (into a small sample pot) best done in the morning. It helps check if the nephrons (kidney filters) are damaged and leaking albumin, which is a type of protein normally in the blood. (See also Albuminuria and Proteinuria) This test contributes to the Kidney Health Check
Acute Kidney Injury (previously known as Acute Renal Failure) is a sudden loss of kidney function which is often reversible. However, sometimes it can lead to Chronic Kidney Disease. Causes of acute kidney injury can be from dehydration (most common), a toxin or illness that damages the kidney, or a blockage such as a kidney stone. Dialysis is sometimes used but is stopped once the kidney recovers.
Albuminuria occurs when a protein called albumin, which is normally in your blood, is found in your urine. When the nephrons (kidney filters) are damaged and the kidneys aren’t working as they should, they let this protein leak into the urine. (see also Proteinuria)
Microalbuminuria is when only a small amount of this protein has leaked into the urine. (Micro = small)
Macroalbuminuria is when a larger amount of this protein has leaked into the urine. (Macro = large)
Chronic Kidney Disease (commonly called CKD) is defined by altered kidney structure (shape) or reduced kidney function lasting more than 3 months. There are many different causes of CKD including diabetes, inflammation in the kidney and high blood pressure. There are 5 stages of CKD based on the level of function of the kidneys. If CKD progresses, then it can lead to End Stage Kidney Disease. (Also called Stage 5 CKD or Kidney Failure)
Creatinine is a waste product from the breakdown of muscles and is measured using a blood test. When the kidneys are working well, creatinine is filtered out of the blood and into the urine. When the kidneys aren’t working as well as they should then the amount of creatinine builds up in the blood. It is used to calculate the eGFR (Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate) which is like a percentage of kidney function.
Dialysis may be used if your kidneys stop working properly. During dialysis, a different filter or machine does the kidneys’ job by filtering out the waste and excess fluid. Dialysis may be done in a hospital or at home.
Haemodialysis is where the blood is filtered through a dialysis machine and returned to the patient. Sometimes this occurs at home or at a dialysis unit at a hospital.
Peritoneal dialysis (PD) is a filtering process using the peritoneum in the abdomen. The peritoneum is a thin sac that surrounds the abdominal organs.