Kidney (Renal) Dialysis and Transplant

Author: Shelley Ensz. Scleroderma is highly variable. See Types of Scleroderma. Read Disclaimer
Renal Dialysis
Peritoneal Dialysis
Anemia and Erythropoietin
Diet and Dialysis
Kidney Transplant
Research Articles
Patient Support
Patient Stories


There are two primary treatment options for end stage renal disease, dialysis and transplant. Dialysis is an artificial system for cleansing the blood. Kidney transplantation is a surgical procedure that places a healthy, donated kidney into the patient with kidney failure.

The question of the best method of treatment is a difficult one to answer. There are several issues that need to be addressed. The advantages and disadvantages of each kind of treatment affect each person differently. Renal patients should learn all they can about each method of treatment. Treatment should be tailored to meet the individual's need so that she/he can remain as self-sufficient as possible and continue to be a productive member of society. Emory Transplant Center

Flu season may play a role in kidney failure deaths. When influenza–like illnesses spread in the community, death rates go up for patients on dialysis, a new study shows. Reuters Health, 02/21/2019.

Renal Dialysis

When the kidneys fail, dialysis of some form must be instituted to take over the work of the failed kidneys. There are two types of kidney dialysis: hemodialysis and peritoneal.

FAQ about Dialysis Dialysis is a treatment that does some of the things done by healthy kidneys. It is needed when your own kidneys can no longer take care of your body's needs. You need dialysis when you develop end stage kidney failure — usually by the time you lose about 85 to 90 percent of your kidney function. NKFI.


Home Hemodialysis. In 1960, Dr. Belding Scribner and his colleagues in Seattle demonstrated for the first time that patients with chronic kidney failure could be kept alive for long periods with the use of an artificial kidney. Within a few years, the idea was developed to treat patients with the artificial kidney in their homes. Home hemodialysis is now accepted as an excellent method of caring for patients with kidney failure. NKFI.

The impact of pain on the quality of life (QOL) of patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) undergoing hemodialysis (HD): a multicenter cross-sectional study from Palestine. Pain has a significant negative impact on QOL in ESRD patients undergoing HD and our findings provide reliable data for educators and clinicians working with HD patients. PubMed, Health Qual Life Outcomes, 2021 Feb 2;19(1):39.

Peritoneal Dialysis

Peritoneal Dialysis. With peritoneal dialysis (PD), you have some choices in treating advanced and permanent kidney failure. Since you don't have to schedule dialysis sessions at a center, PD gives you more control. You can give yourself treatments at home, at work, or on trips. NIH.

Management of Scleroderma-related End-stage Renal Disease With Automated Peritoneal Dialysis. We report a patient with scleroderma-related end-stage renal disease treated with automated peritoneal dialysis with steady state control of uremia and hypertension at 18 months of follow-up. PubMed, Iran J Kidney Dis.

The cycler — which automatically fills and drains your abdomen, usually at night while you sleep — can be programmed to deliver specified volumes of dialysis solution on a specified schedule. NIDDK.

Anemia and Erythropoietin

Anemia in Kidney Disease and Dialysis Anemia is common in people with kidney disease. Healthy kidneys produce a hormone called erythropoietin, or EPO, which stimulates the bone marrow to produce the proper number of red blood cells needed to carry oxygen to vital organs. Diseased kidneys, however, often do not make enough EPO. As a result, the bone marrow makes fewer red blood cells. If no other cause for EPO deficiency is found, it can be treated with a genetically engineered form of the hormone, which is usually injected under the skin two or three times a week. NIDDK. (Also see Anemia)

Diet and Dialysis

Well Nourished Patient Once a patient begins dialysis treatments, there are four main restrictions to their "renal diet": Fluids, Sodium (Na), Potassium (K), and Phosphorus (P). RenalWEB.

Kidney Transplant

Kidney Transplant. End-stage renal disease is the name for kidney failure so advanced that it cannot be reversed. End-stage renal disease cannot be treated with conventional medical treatments such as drugs. Only 2 treatments allow you to continue living when your kidneys stop functioning: dialysis and kidney transplantation. Medscape.

Transplant outcomes in kidney recipients with lupus nephritis (LN), and systematic review. Kidney transplantation is an acceptable option in patients with concurrent LN and end-stage renal disease. PubMed, Lupus, 2020 Mar;29(3):248-255. (Also see Symptoms and Complications of Lupus)

Characteristics and Outcomes of Patients With Systemic Sclerosis (Scleroderma) Requiring Renal Replacement Therapy in Europe. Patients with scleroderma had a higher rate of recovery from renal replacement therapy dependence than controls. PubMed, Am J Kidney Dis, 08/16/2018.


Monocytes in Uremia. This review aims to provide an overview about the impairment and activation of monocytes by uremia and the resulting clinical consequences for renal failure patients. PubMed, Toxins (Basel), 2020 May 21;12(5):340.

When pure is not so pure: chloramine-related hemolytic anemia in home hemodialysis patients. Worldwide, chloramines are used as the preferred disinfectant for city water supplies. Although they have distinct advantages compared with chlorine and are deemed harmless to the general population, hemodialysis (HD) patients are at risk from chloramine-induced hemolytic anemia. Junglee NA. (PubMed) Hemodial Int.

Far-infrared (FIR) therapy: a novel treatment to improve access blood flow and unassisted patency of arteriovenous fistula in hemodialysis (HD) patients. FIR therapy, a noninvasive and convenient therapeutic modality, can improve access flow (Qa) and survival of the arteriovenous fistula (AVF) in HD patients through both its thermal and its nonthermal effects. J Am Soc Nephrol.

Patient Support

National Kidney Foundation Inc. The National Kidney Foundation, Inc., a major voluntary health organization, seeks to prevent kidney and urinary tract diseases, improve the health and well-being of individuals and families affected by these diseases, and increase the availability of all organs for transplantation. NKFI.

Personal Stories

Anita A: Sister of Systemic Scleroderma Patient She has had a heart transplant and a kidney transplant. It has been amazing to our family the courage and stamina that she has through all that she has endured…

Archie Bailey: Scleroderma: Sue's Story Time has passed since Sue's death. Only those who have experienced the grieving process can understand…

Corey C: Surviving Daughter of Scleroderma Patient It was a very long process and scary because she really did not know what to expect next…

Judy Dee: Diffuse Scleroderma My skin began to harden and turn a shade of brown…

Robin H: End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD)/Transplant Recipient It has been almost two years now since my kidney transplant. I am doing better than ever…

(Turkish) Ruko: Sistemik Skleroz Mart itibari ile sistemik skeleroz tanisi ile Cerrahpasa Tip Fakultesi Romotoloji servisinden taburcu oldum…

Sandy: Diffuse Scleroderma After years of complaining about various symptoms to doctors, I was diagnosed with Diffuse Scleroderma in 1993…

Sherrill: Diffuse Systemic Scleroderma (New Zealand) I could no longer walk, due to knee contractures. My hands resembled claws. I had elbow contractures and neck contractures, and could not straighten my arms…

Sherrill: My Experience with Anemia Since I became ill with diffuse scleroderma just over eight years ago, I have found that anemia is a quite complex subject…

Susan H: Eosinophilic Fasciitis While I was in the hospital and starting dialysis, my right arm became hard as a rock and swollen…

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