End-stage renal disease, also called end-stage kidney disease, occurs when chronic kidney disease — the gradual loss of kidney function — reaches an advanced state. In end-stage renal disease, your kidneys are no longer able to work as they should to meet your body's needs.

Your kidneys filter wastes and excess fluids from your blood, which are then excreted in your urine. When your kidneys lose their filtering capabilities, dangerous levels of fluid, electrolytes and wastes can build up in your body.

With end-stage renal disease, you need dialysis or a kidney transplant to stay alive. But you may also choose to forgo dialysis or transplant and opt for conservative care to manage your symptoms — aiming for the best quality of life possible during your remaining time.

End-stage renal disease care at Mayo Clinic

Aug. 23, 2016
  1. Goldman L, et al., eds. Chronic kidney disease. In: Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2016. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed April 21, 2016.
  2. Skorecki K, et al., eds. A stepped care approach to the management of chronic kidney disease. In: Brenner & Rector's The Kidney. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2016. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed May 25, 2016.
  3. Kidney failure: Choosing a treatment that's right for you. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/kidney-disease/kidney-failure-choosing-a-treatment-thats-right-for-you/Pages/facts.aspx. Accessed May 26, 2016.
  4. Ferri FF. Chronic kidney disease. In: Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2016. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2016. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed April 21, 2016.
  5. Bope ET, et al. The urogenital tract. In: Conn's Current Therapy 2016. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2016. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed May 3, 2016.
  6. AskMayoExpert. Chronic kidney disease (adult). Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2015.
  7. Rosenberg M. Overview of the management of chronic kidney disease in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 21, 2016.
  8. About chronic kidney disease: A guide for patients and their families. National Kidney Foundation. http://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/aboutckd.cfm. Accessed May 3, 2016.
  9. Coping effectively: A guide for patients and their families. The National Kidney Foundation. https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/coping_effectively_guide. Accessed May 3, 2016.
  10. Inker LA, et al. KDOQI US commentary on the 2012 clinical practice guideline for the evaluation and management of CKD. American Journal of Kidney Diseases. 2014;63:713.
  11. Treatment methods for kidney failure: Transplantation. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/kidney-disease/treatment-methods-for-kidney-failure-transplantation/Pages/facts.aspx. Accessed June 2, 2016.
  12. Chronic kidney disease: What does it mean for me? National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-communication-programs/nkdep/a-z/kidney-disease-mean-for-me/Pages/default.aspx. Accessed April 28, 2016.
  13. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) and diet: Assessment, management and treatment. National Kidney Disease Education Program. http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-communication-programs/nkdep/a-z/Documents/ckd-diet-assess-manage-treat-508.pdf. Accessed April 28, 2016.
  14. Cook AJ. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 23, 2016.
  15. Heilman RL (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Phoenix, Ariz. May 12, 2016.
  16. Oshel K (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Fla. June 21, 2016.
  17. Kidney disease: Causes. National Kidney Foundation. https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/kidneydiscauses. Accessed June 8, 2016.
  18. Glomerular filtration rate (GFR). National Kidney Foundation. https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/gfr. Accessed July 12, 2016.