We treat all aspects of renal disease, and offer preventive care to slow its progression and keep your kidneys healthy longer. We can refer you to the right specialists for treatment of kidney stones. If you have kidney failure, we provide the latest inpatient, outpatient and home dialysis options, as well as kidney transplants. Learn more about our pediatric kidney disease program.
Kidney disease care at Duke: Why choose us
- National reputation. Our kidney disease program is consistently ranked among the top programs by U.S. News & World Report.
- Active research team. For more than 50 years, our nephrologists have been leaders in innovative clinical research, contributing to major advances in the treatment of chronic kidney disease and better outcomes for our patients.
- Optimal renal disease care. Although there is no cure yet for chronic kidney disease, our experts use the latest treatments to slow its progression, combat the underlying causes of disease - including high blood pressure, immune system disorders and diabetes - and work with you to ensure your kidneys remain healthy longer. If you have developed kidney failure, we offer the newest, most advanced dialysis and kidney transplant techniques.
- Team approach. Our nephrologists work closely with our transplant surgeons, dialysis specialists, nurse coordinators, dieticians, and other experts to provide comprehensive care for all aspects of renal disease. In addition, if you suffer from other medical conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes, we coordinate your care with specialists throughout Duke Medicine.
- Leading researchers. In 2012, we were awarded one of two new, competitive National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) grants. Only seven researchers nationally have received funding through this program, aimed at developing new approaches to treating and preventing kidney disease. Our new Duke O’Brien Center for Kidney Research uses leading-edge science, including genetics, to explore the link between CKD, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
Knowing which foods to choose and which to avoid can help you avoid or reduce further kidney damage. Our nutritional experts help you develop an individualized eating plan that includes delicious, wholesome and filling foods to keep your kidneys as healthy as possible.
Two types of blood-pressure drugs--angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) and ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitors--help protect your kidney function by slowing the progression of chronic kidney disease and postponing kidney failure. ARBs and ACE inhibitors are also used to treat other types of kidney disease, as well as diabetes and high blood pressure. If you have complications of kidney disease, such as fluid retention, bone disease, or anemia, we prescribe appropriate therapies for these conditions as well.
Because uncontrolled high blood pressure can damage your kidneys (and your heart), we aim to reduce your blood pressure to safe levels, typically through lifestyle modification, weight loss, and in many cases, medications.
Our eight outpatient dialysis clinics provide a full spectrum of options, including home hemodialysis, nocturnal dialysis and peritoneal dialysis. We also offer acute dialysis services for inpatients, including continuous renal placement therapy (a gradual method of removing fluid and wastes from the blood for patients too ill to be treated with dialysis). We use leading-edge vascular (blood vessel) access procedures to make dialysis more convenient and efficient. Learn more about kidney dialysis.
We work closely with our kidney transplant team to manage your care with the latest treatments available while you are on the transplant wait list. Our transplant surgeons are nationally recognized leaders in treating chronic kidney disease. Our transplant center offers a strong living donor program for shorter waiting times and better outcomes, compared to organs from deceased donors. Learn more about kidney transplants.
To pinpoint your diagnosis, check for kidney damage and evaluate how well your kidneys are working, we typically use several sophisticated tests, including:
Measure how much blood your kidneys filter per minute (glomerular filtration rate) and check for buildup of waste products (such as creatinine or nitrogen) in your blood. Results of these tests can also reveal the stage of your kidney disease.
Checks a sample of your urine for excess protein (a sign of kidney disease), and other abnormalities, including sugar, red or white blood cells, and bacteria.
Ultrasound and CT scans may be used to measure the size of your kidneys and look for structural abnormalities and blockages, such as kidney stones or tumors.
A small sample of kidney tissue may be removed through a thin needle to check for damage and signs of certain diseases. Biopsy findings may also help us determine the best treatment for your kidney disease.