DefinitionBy Mayo Clinic staff
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|Kidney cross section|
Chronic kidney failure, also called chronic kidney disease, describes the gradual loss of kidney function. Your kidneys filter wastes and excess fluids from your blood, which are then excreted in your urine. When chronic kidney failure reaches an advanced stage, dangerous levels of fluid, electrolytes and wastes can accumulate in your body.
In the early stages of chronic kidney failure, you may have few signs or symptoms. Chronic kidney failure may not become apparent until your kidney function is significantly impaired.
Treatment for chronic kidney failure focuses on slowing the progression of the kidney damage, usually by controlling the underlying cause. Chronic kidney failure can progress to end-stage kidney disease, which is fatal without artificial filtering (dialysis) or a kidney transplant.
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