Nephrology is a speciality of medicine and paediatrics that focuses on the kidneys: the study of normal kidney function, the preservation of kidney health and the treatment of kidney disease, from diet and medication to renal replacement therapy and transplantation.

Chronic Kidney disease is a very widespread and progressively expanding disease all over the world, affecting about 10% of the world’s population. It can affect all ages with a frequency of 30%, especially in individuals with more primary kidney diseases.

Chronic kidney disease is an independent cardiovascular (CV) risk factor and is often associated with other CV risk factors (arterial hypertension, dyslipidemia, type II diabetes mellitus, etc.), which are also frequent causes of the disease. In the final stage, it can only be treated with dialysis or kidney transplantation.

Diagnosis of kidney problems is arrived at after the following tests:

  • Blood tests which reveal raised or altered levels of urea, creatinine and electrolytes including sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphates, blood urea nitrogen, etc.
  • Urine analysis.
  • Ultrasound scanning is one of the most commonest and most used non-invasive imaging studies for kidney diseases such as hydronephrosis, polycystic kidney disease, kidney stones, etc.
  • Other imaging studies, including:
    • Computed Tomography scan (CT scan) or Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. This can also help detect renal tumours and cancer.
    • MR angiography to detect abnormalities in the blood vessels within the kidneys.
    • Renal biopsy: If a kidney lesion is detected, a small amount of renal tissue is taken using long thin hollow needles under the guidance of ultrasound or other imaging studies.
    • In patients with normal kidney function, Intravenous urography (IVU), a test where an iodinated contrast dye is injected into the veins of the person, which is then imaged using X-rays or other imaging studies like CT scan to detect the flow of the blood and formation of urine in the kidneys as well as its outflow as it traverses through the kidneys.
    • Scintigraphy, another test using radioactive isotopes that helps detect abnormal functions of the kidney and its vessels.
    • Renal Arteriography involves the insertion of a thin catheter into the femoral artery and under guidance through an imaging study.

Medical Team

Dr. Enrica Falbo
Consultant Nephrologist

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