Hemolytic uremic syndrome
- Acute renal failure, thrombocytopenia, and microangiopathic hemolytic anemia associated with distorted erythrocytes ('burr cells')
Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) is a disorder that usually occurs when an E. coli bacterial infection in the digestive system produces toxic substances that destroy red blood cells. Symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea, fever, lethargy, and weakness. In severe cases it can lead to kidney failure or death. While this condition is most common in children, it often has a more complicated presentation in adults. Treatment may include dialysis, corticosteroids, transfusions of packed red blood cells and plasmapheresis.
Hemolytic uremic syndrome should be distinguished from atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS). The two conditions have different causes and different signs and symptoms.
- Gersten T. Hemolytic-uremic syndrome. MedlinePlus. February 24, 2014; http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000510.htm. Accessed 1/3/2015.
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- The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC), part of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), offers information on this condition. Click on the link to view information on this topic.
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