NEPHROLOGY DEPARTMENT HEAD Doctor Michel Delahousse
What is nephrology?
Nephrology is the medical speciality which seeks to prevent, diagnose and treat conditions affecting the kidneys.
What pathologies does the department cover?
The Hôpital Foch Nephrology department treats and monitors patients suffering from kidney diseases, kidney failure, hypertension and haemodialysis. This department also carries out kidney transplants.
The Nephrology and Urology departments have developed an active live donor transplantation program. 80 to 100 grafts are completed annually, 20 to 30% of these involving live donors.
More specifically the Nephrology department proposes 3 main activity sectors:
Diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic kidney diseases, terminal kidney failure, kidney dialysis and transplants.
Dialysis: various dialysis methods are available to patients such as haemodialysis or outpatient peritoneal dialysis.
Kidney transplants: preparation for the graft procedure and inscription on the national kidney transplant waiting list, treatment of patients who have received transplants as of the post-operative phase, including outpatient monitoring and external consultations.
Treatment of severe treatment-resistant hypertension.
Nephrology and organ transplant instruction via the VSQ Medical Faculty.
Research into graft procedure risk factors and rejection mechanisms: the Centre for Translation Research into Organ Transplants works with the transplant teams of the Necker, Saint Louis et Foch hospitals.
What do the kidneys do?
Their main function is to eliminate final products of the metabolism before they accumulate to toxic levels in the body. Kidneys also maintain the mineral content of the water inside our bodies, which is essential to cell function and life itself. Kidneys also produce a number of the hormones which regulate arterial blood pressure, mineral and bone metabolisms (calcium, phosphor) and bone marrow production of red blood cells.
Kidney diseases or nephropathies
Correct kidney function can be threatened in a number of different circumstances.
The most common modern causes for chronic kidney disease are diabetes and hypertension. Around 3 million people currently suffer from chronic kidney diseases in France.
Kidney diseases involve the risk of developing towards a definitive kidney function alteration which will thus require collateral treatment such as dialysis or transplant. In France terminal kidney failure can occur in 1/1000 cases.
Just under 10,000 persons start receiving collateral treatment every year. This risk can be reduced by screening for chronic kidney disease and specialised treatment as early as possible.
How is kidney disease detected?
The first signs of kidney disease can be swelling to upper limbs, hypertension, changes to the quantity or aspect or urine. In most cases kidney diseases are silent. This is why they must be screened through strip tests to detect blood or albumin in urine samples and measuring the levels of urea and creatinine in the blood. These tests must be completed annually for all patients that present risk of chronic kidney disease.
What situations present a risk of chronic kidney disease?
Age over 60 years,
Cardiovascular disease or atherosclerosis,
Conditions affecting the autoimmune system,
Hereditary kidney disease background,
Acute nephropathy background,
Exposure to industrial toxins (lead, cadmium, mercury) or nephrotoxic medication treatments.