Treatments

Currently Browsing:Nephrology

  • Renal Associates Clinic

    Renal Associates provides services in general nephrology including diabetes, water and electrolyte disorders, kidney disease in pregnancy, urinary tract infections, and primary and secondary diseases of the kidney.

  • Center for Renal Education

    The Center for Renal Education provides education about Chronic Kidney Disease and its management and individualized plans of care that include nutritional counseling, blood pressure management, medication review and supportive services.

Currently Browsing:Pediatrics

  • Pediatric Transplant Surgery

    The Pediatric Transplant Program at MassGeneral Hospital for Children is a major referral center for organ transplants for children.

    Contact the Pediatric Transplant Program at: 617-724-1218

Currently Browsing:Surgery

Currently Browsing:Transplant Center

  • Kidney Transplant Program

    The Adult Kidney Transplant Program at Massachusetts General Hospital provides individualized, ongoing care for patients with end-stage renal disease (kidney failure).

    Request an appointment Refer a patient

    Call to make a referral 877-644-2860

  • Pancreas/Islet Transplant Program

    The Pancreas/Islet Transplant Program at the Massachusetts General Hospital Transplant Center provides innovative treatment, transplant and management options for patients with type 1 diabetes, including recent kidney transplant recipients.

    Request an appointment Refer a patient

    Call to request an appointment or refer a patient: 877-644-2860

  • Pediatric Transplant Surgery

    The Pediatric Transplant Program at MassGeneral Hospital for Children is a major referral center for organ transplants for children.

    Contact the Pediatric Transplant Program at: 617-724-1218

Currently Browsing:Transplant Surgery

About This Condition

Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS)

Illustration of the anatomy of the kidney
Click Image to Enlarge

What is HUS?

Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) is a rare condition that mainly affects children younger than 10 years old. It often causes:

  • Damage to the lining of blood vessel walls

  • Destruction of red blood cells

  • Kidney failure

What causes HUS?

Most cases of HUS occur after an infection in the digestive tract caused by a certain type of E. coli bacteria. Diarrhea and upper respiratory infections are the most common factors leading to HUS. This type of E. coli can be found in undercooked meat. It is one of the causes of restaurant-related food poisoning outbreaks. HUS is less common in adults. But it may occur more often in women who:

  • Are pregnant

  • Have been taking birth control pills

  • Have recently had a baby or have birth-related problems

How might HUS get worse?

The first stage of HUS often lasts from 1 to 15 days. It may include gastrointestinal symptoms, such as:

  • Belly pain

  • Bloody diarrhea

  • Fever and chills

  • Vomiting

Severe problems in the bowel and colon may develop in some cases. In these cases, even if the gastroenteritis has stopped, a child may still have these symptoms:

  • Irritability

  • Extreme tiredness (fatigue)

  • Small, unexplained bruises or small, clot-sized hemorrhages visible in the mucous lining of the mouth

  • Paleness

The child may produce little urine. This is because damaged red blood cells and other factors may clog the tiny blood vessels in the kidneys or cause scars in the kidneys. This makes the kidneys work harder to remove wastes and extra fluid from the blood.

The body can't get rid of extra fluid and waste. This may cause:

  • High blood pressure

  • Swelling of the hands and feet

  • Fluid buildup (edema)

The symptoms of HUS may look like other conditions or health problems. See your healthcare provider for diagnosis.

How is HUS treated?

No known treatment can stop the progress of the syndrome once it has started.

Most treatments are aimed at easing symptoms and preventing further complications. This may include:

  • Treating high blood pressure

  • Maintaining specific levels of fluids and salts

  • IV (intravenous) fluids and nutritional supplements with feeding tubes

  • Blood transfusions

  • Kidney dialysis

  • Medicine

What is the prognosis for HUS?

Most children with HUS recover fully. But a few will have lasting kidney damage.