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Kidney failure occurs when the kidneys lose their ability to function. To treat kidney failure effectively, it is important to know whether kidney disease has developed suddenly (acute) or over the long term (chronic). Many conditions, diseases, and medicines can create situations that lead to acute and chronic kidney disease. Acute kidney injury, also called acute renal failure, is more commonly reversible than chronic kidney failure.
The presence or lack of symptoms may help your doctor determine whether acute kidney injury or chronic kidney disease is present.
Most cases of acute kidney injury occur in people who are already in the hospital for other reasons. In these people, acute kidney injury is usually diagnosed when routine tests show a sudden increase in creatinine and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) levels. A buildup of these waste products in the blood points to a loss of kidney function. Your doctor will compare these levels to previous tests to find out if kidney disease is acute or chronic.
An ultrasound of the kidneys also may help determine whether kidney problems are acute or chronic. Normal-sized kidneys may be present in either condition, but when both kidneys are smaller than normal, chronic kidney disease is usually the problem.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical Reviewer Tushar J Vachharajani, MD, FASN, FACP - Nephrology
Current as ofMarch 15, 2018
Current as of:
March 15, 2018
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Tushar J Vachharajani, MD, FASN, FACP - Nephrology
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Children's Hospital's main campus is located in the Lawrenceville neighborhood. Our main hospital address is:
UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
One Children’s Hospital Way
4401 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
In addition to the main hospital, Children's has many convenient locations in other neighborhoods throughout the greater Pittsburgh region.
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Interested in giving to Children's Hospital? Visit Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation's website to make a donation online.