Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome

Also known as: HUS.

What is hemolytic uremic syndrome?

Hemolytic uremic syndrome is a fairly uncommon life-threatening form of kidney disease which can result in kidney failure (uremia). It occurs when too many damaged red blood cells (hemolyzed) clog the blood vessels of the kidneys leading to problems with the kidney’s filtering abilities.

What causes hemolytic uremic syndrome?

Hemolytic uremic syndrome may have known or unknown causes. Typically it occurs after a child gets an E. coli infection, however, it can occur after taking certain medications or from the presence of cancer somewhere in the body.

Rarely is may be genetic occurring in families and when no existing disease is present is called atypical HUS.

What are the symptoms of hemolytic uremic syndrome?

Symptoms of hemolytic uremic syndrome include:

  • bloody/watery diarrhea
  • abdominal pain
  • vomiting
  • fever
  • pale skin
  • unusual bruising or bleeding
  • fatigue
  • irritability
  • seizures
  • high blood pressure
  • swelling of hands and feet
  • little urine output

What are hemolytic uremic syndrome care options?

Hemolytic uremic syndrome is a serious condition that requires supportive treatment with hospitalization and/or Critical Care department (ICU) admission.

Intravenous fluid/nutrition, platelet and red blood cell transfusions, plasma exchange, medications to control a high blood pressure, and kidney dialysis are all possible treatment options.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: August 03, 2022 10:28 AM

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