What Is Hepatorenal Syndrome (HRS)?
HRS occurs when the kidneys start to fail in a person with advanced liver disease.
In HRS, the blood vessels that feed the kidneys become narrow, making it harder for these veins to transport blood.
Because the kidneys don't get enough blood, they can't do their job of filtering waste and maintaining blood pressure.
HRS is life-threatening, and people should seek treatment as soon as possible.
About 10% of people in the hospital with liver failure have HRS. The exact rate of occurrence is unknown.
Types of hepatorenal syndrome
There are two types of HRS.
- Type 1 (Acute). Also called HRS1, symptoms come on fast as the kidneys stop working.
- Type 2. In HRS2, the symptoms are the same, but the disease progresses at a slower pace. With type 2, it takes months (instead of days or weeks) for the kidneys to fail.
Hepatorenal syndrome complications and risk factors
Doctors don't know the exact cause of HRS, but it's always a complication of liver disease.
Anyone with advanced liver disease is at risk for HRS.
That includes people with:
Other risk factors include:
- Gastrointestinal bleeding.
- Unstable blood pressure.
- Use of water pills.
How to prevent HRS
The only sure way to prevent HRS is to keep your liver healthy. People who drink too much or contract hepatitis are at risk for liver disease.
If you already have liver disease, avoid:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including aspirin, ibuprofen (such as Advil and Motrin), and naproxen (Aleve).
- Contrast dyes in imaging tests, such as MRIs and CT scans.
- Excessive amounts of alcohol.
Why Choose UPMC for Hepatorenal Syndrome Care?
The UPMC Center for Liver Diseases:
- Focuses on early diagnosis and treatment for HRS.
- Offers expert care for people with advanced liver disease.
- Is at the forefront of liver research. This means you have access to clinical trials and the latest advancements in care.
And UPMC in Pittsburgh, Pa., is home to one of the oldest and most experienced transplant centers in the country. We are also a leader in living-donor liver transplants.