Kidney Disease

Kidney Disease

Nephrology

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We offer the latest treatments for people with kidney disease and kidney disorders, including preventive care to slow disease progression and keep your kidneys healthy longer. We routinely treat patients with end-stage renal disease, vasculitis, glomerulonephritis, HIV-related kidney disease, hereditary kidney disease, and electrolyte disorders. If you have kidney failure, we provide the latest inpatient, outpatient, and home dialysis options, as well as kidney transplants. We also help women manage chronic kidney disease during pregnancy.

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Treatments

Dietary Counseling

Knowing which foods to choose and which to avoid can help you avoid or reduce further kidney damage. Our nutritional experts help you develop an individualized eating plan that includes delicious, wholesome, and filling foods to keep your kidneys as healthy as possible.

Medication

Two types of blood-pressure drugs -- angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) and ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitors -- help protect your kidney function by slowing the progression of chronic kidney disease and postponing kidney failure. ARBs and ACE inhibitors are also used to treat other types of kidney disease, as well as diabetes and high blood pressure. If you have complications of kidney disease, such as fluid retention, bone disease, or anemia, we prescribe appropriate therapies for these conditions as well.

Blood Pressure Management

Because uncontrolled high blood pressure can damage your kidneys (and your heart), we aim to reduce your blood pressure to safe levels, typically through lifestyle modification, weight loss, and in many cases, medications.

Kidney Dialysis

Our dialysis clinics provide a full spectrum of options, including home hemodialysis, nocturnal dialysis, and peritoneal dialysis. We also offer acute dialysis services for inpatients, including continuous renal placement therapy -- a gradual method of removing fluid and wastes from the blood of patients too ill to be treated with dialysis. We use leading-edge vascular (blood vessel) access procedures to make dialysis more convenient and efficient.

Kidney Transplant

We work closely with our kidney transplant team to manage your care with the latest treatments available while you are on the transplant wait list. Our transplant surgeons are nationally recognized leaders in treating chronic kidney disease. Our transplant center offers a strong living donor program for shorter waiting times and better outcomes compared to transplants with organs from deceased donors.

Our Locations
Duke Health offers locations throughout the Triangle. Find one near you.

Tests

To pinpoint your diagnosis, check for kidney damage, and evaluate how well your kidneys are working, we typically use several sophisticated tests, including:

Blood Tests

Measure how much blood your kidneys filter per minute (glomerular filtration rate) and check for buildup of waste products (such as creatinine or nitrogen) in your blood. Results of these tests can also reveal the stage of your kidney disease.

Urine Tests

Checks a sample of your urine for excess protein (a sign of kidney disease) as well as for other abnormalities, including sugar, red or white blood cells, and bacteria.

Imaging Scans

Ultrasound and CT scans may be used to measure the size of your kidneys and look for blockages or structural abnormalities, such as kidney stones or tumors.

Kidney Biopsy

A small sample of kidney tissue may be removed through a thin needle to check for damage and signs of certain diseases. Biopsy findings may also help us determine the best treatment for your kidney disease.

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Comprehensive Kidney Disease Care

Optimal Renal Disease Care
Although there is no cure yet for chronic kidney disease, our experts use the latest treatments to slow its progression, combat the underlying causes of disease -- including high blood pressure, immune system disorders and diabetes -- and work with you to ensure your kidneys remain healthy longer. If you have developed kidney failure, we offer the newest, most advanced dialysis and kidney transplant techniques.

Team Approach
Our nephrologists work closely with our transplant surgeons, dialysis specialists, nurse coordinators, dietitians, and other experts to provide comprehensive care for all aspects of renal disease. In addition, if you suffer from other medical conditions such as heart disease or diabetes, we coordinate your care with specialists throughout Duke Health.

Leading Researchers
For more than 50 years, our nephrologists have been leaders in innovative clinical research, contributing to major advances in the treatment of chronic kidney disease and better outcomes for our patients. Our Duke O’Brien Center for Kidney Research uses leading-edge science, including genetics, to explore the link between chronic kidney disease, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

Best Hospital for Nephrology in North Carolina
Where you receive your care matters. Duke University Hospital’s nationally ranked nephrology program was named best in North Carolina by U.S. News & World Report for 2019–2020.