Hepatorenal syndrome

What is hepatorenal syndrome? 


Hepatorenal syndrome (HRS) is a form of progression of renal failure. It is generally present in the people who have critical liver damage which is often caused by cirrhosis. After the kidneys stop performing its functions, waste and toxic materials of the body start settling down in the body. At last it may result in complete kidney failure. 


Two types of hepatorenal syndrome are there. Type 1 hepatorenal syndrome (HRS) is linked with rapid loss of the kidney functions and overabundance of creatinine productions. Type 2 hepatorenal syndrome (HRS) is linked with much moderate kidney damage and usually it is a slow and gradual loss of kidney functions. 


Hepatorenal syndrome (HRS) is typically a critical condition. It is observed that this condition results in death in most of the cases. In the research performed by Clinical biochemist review it was found that the patients of type 1 hepatorenal syndrome (HRS) get the average time of two weeks for their survival. Approximately every patient of type 1 hepatorenal syndrome (HRS) dies within the time period of eight to ten weeks, if the liver transplant surgery will not be performed as soon as possible. The patients with type 2 hepatorenal syndrome (HRS) get the average time of six months. 


What are the symptoms of hepatorenal syndrome? 


Hepatorenal syndrome (HRS) consists of many symptoms and they should be treated as a case of medical emergency. Some symptoms of hepatorenal syndrome (HRS) are mentioned below, you should immediately contact your health care provider if any of these symptoms are visible in you. If you are currently getting treatment for kidney problems then the need for treatment will be specifically urgent. 


General symptoms of hepatorenal syndrome (HRS) are: 

  • Obesity 
  • Jaundice 
  • Decrease amount of urine 
  • Swollen abdomen  
  • Vomiting 
  • Dementia 
  • Nausea 
  • Confusion 
  • Delirium 
  • Red urination 


Causes and risk factors of hepatorenal syndrome? 


One of the most common causes of hepatorenal syndrome (HRS) is liver disease. Cirrhosis of the liver is very much responsible for causing this symptom. If you are suffering from cirrhosis then there will be various factors which will increase your risk of hepatorenal syndrome (HRS). These factors includes: 

  • Overuse of diuretics. 
  • Uncontrolled blood pressure 
  • Infections particularly in the kidneys 
  • Acute alcoholic hepatitis. 
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding 
  • Spontaneous bacterial peritonitis. 


Hepatorenal syndrome diagnosis 


It is possible that your doctor will know that you are suffering from hepatorenal syndrome after performing some types of physical examinations on you. They will also try to notice the visible signs of hepatorenal syndrome in you such as: 


  • Swelling in your breast tissue
  • Jaundice 
  • Sores on the skin
  • Fluid buildup in abdomen 


Hepatorenal syndrome can be diagnosed by excluding other reasons for kidney failure. It needs a number of blood and urine tests. These tests will help your doctor determine the functions of your kidney and liver. In a few rare cases, hepatorenal syndrome can also occur in people whose liver is damaged because of any other reasons except cirrhosis. If you are not suffering from cirrhosis then your doctors may suggest you some tests of alcoholic hepatitis or viral. 


How to treat hepatorenal syndrome? 


The low blood pressure caused due to hepatorenal syndrome can be normalized by the help of vasoconstrictors medications. Kidney symptoms can be improved by dialysis treatment. Dialysis is a treatment which helps your body in artificially filtering dangerous wastes, excess salts as well as extra water from your blood. This treatment is performed at the hospital or either in a dialysis clinic. The most appropriate and effective way for the treatment of hepatorenal syndrome is liver transplant. Your chance of survival will be greatly improved if you get a liver transplant. 


What are the complications and long term outcomes of hepatorenal syndrome? 


Usually all hepatorenal syndrome cases are fatal. Still, to extend your life you can go for liver transplantation. Mostly the complications of hepatorenal syndrome are visible in the end-stage renal failure disease. These complications are mentioned below: 


  • Vital organ damage 
  • Coma 
  • Fluid overload 
  • Infections 


How to prevent hepatorenal syndrome?


 The best way for preventing the risk of hepatorenal syndrome is keeping your liver healthy. For reducing the chances of cirrhosis development you should avoid drinking excess amounts of alcohol. 


It is also necessary to avoid the infections of hepatitis disease for staying safe. Vaccination can also be an effective way for preventing  the risks of hepatitis A and B, but presently hepatitis C did not have any vaccine. Some steps which will help you to keep yourself safe from hepatitis C are: 


  • Avoiding uses of illegal drugs 
  • Practicing safe sex 
  • Avoid using anybody’s needle or blade. 
  • Washing hands after shaking hands with anyone. 
  • Make your sex partner tested for hepatitis C. 


It is not possible to prevent all the causes of cirrhosis. If you feel that you are at high risk of cirrhosis development then you should consult a doctor and attend frequent check ups of your liver functions. Your doctors may also order you to give your blood samples so that they determine the early signs of the condition by performing several tests on your blood samples. 

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