What is nephrology?
Nephrology is the branch of medicine in which nephrologists investigate, diagnose, prevent and treat kidney problems. These include:
- Chronic kidney disease, or CKD: a reduction in the overall health and function of the kidneys. Some CKD may be progressive.
- Acute kidney failure, which leads to a sudden loss of kidney function due to an acute insult or disease process.
- Hypertension (or high blood pressure).
- Specific renal diseases such as glomerulonephritis, polycystic kidney disease, diabetic nephropathy, HIV-related kidney disease, drug toxicity or renal tubular disease
- Electrolyte and acid-base abnormalities: disorders that cause an imbalance of the salts in the blood and problems with the regulation of acid excretion from the kidneys.
- Medical management of kidney stones: people who develop kidney stones often require surgical removal of their stones, and also a medical evaluation to determine the cause of stone formation and whether preventive therapy can help them to avoid kidney stones in the future.
- Haematuria (blood in the urine) or proteinuria (protein in the urine): both are often detected on routine health screening and require expert assessment.
- Care for people who have had a kidney transplant.
Nephrology: diagnostic tests available at The Physicians’ Clinic
All of our nephrology testing is done on our premises; you can often have a consultation with one of our nephrologists and then have your diagnostic procedure before returning to your consultant for a discussion and treatment plan. Our range of diagnostic services for nephrology problems includes:
- Renal ultrasound.
- CT scans of the kidneys.
- Magnetic resonance imaging of the kidneys or kidney blood vessels.
- Kidney biopsy: this is sometimes necessary to diagnose and stage kidney disease.
- Urine microscopy and cytology.
- 24 hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring.
- Specialist diagnostics for hypertension, including hormonal profiling and imaging of the adrenal glands.
- Specialist diagnostics for kidney stones, including dietetic assessment, blood and urinary biochemical profiling.
Nephrology: treatments available
- Consultant nephrologists at The Physicians’ Clinic offer lifestyle advice, drug treatments and specialist interventions to patients with specific kidney diseases. These include:
- Medical and supportive care for patients with chronic kidney disease. These interventions are aimed at reducing or halting CKD progression and minimising associated complications.
- Therapies for specific kidney diseases such as glomerulonephritis, polycystic kidney disease, HIV-related kidney disease or diabetic nephropathy.
- Blood pressure lowering. Through close collaboration between renal, endocrine and cardiology specialists we will reduce blood pressure both by treating any underlying cause and through tailored antihypertensive therapy.
- Acute kidney failure therapies. We, and critical care colleagues, provide comprehensive therapy for acute kidney failure, including acute kidney support (dialysis), plasma exchange and disease-specific therapy.
- Treatment of kidney stones. In combination with our associated urologists we provide a comprehensive package of care for the kidney stone patient. Medical interventions include lifestyle advice, dietary modification and drug therapy including specific pharmacological therapies for oxaluria and cystinuria.