Uremia (uremic syndrome) is a serious complication of
chronic kidney disease and
acute kidney injury (which used to be known as acute renal failure). It occurs when
urea and other waste products build up in the body
because the kidneys are unable to eliminate them. These substances can become
poisonous (toxic) to the body if they reach high levels.
Prolonged or severe fluid buildup (edema) may make the uremic
Uremic syndrome may affect any part of the body and can cause:
Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and weight
Changes in mental status, such as confusion, reduced
awareness, agitation, psychosis, seizures, and coma.
bleeding, such as bleeding spontaneously or profusely from a very minor
Heart problems, such as an irregular heartbeat,
inflammation in the sac that surrounds the heart
(pericarditis), and increased pressure on the heart.
breath from fluid buildup in the space between the lungs and the chest wall
dialysis is usually needed to relieve the symptoms of
uremic syndrome until normal kidney function can be restored.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerAnne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerTushar J. Vachharajani, MD, FASN, FACP - Nephrology