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Kidney Failure


Kidney failure, also known as renal failure, is a condition in which the kidneys are no longer able to function properly. The kidneys are responsible for filtering waste products and excess fluids from the blood, regulating electrolyte balance, and controlling blood pressure. When these functions are impaired, it can lead to a buildup of toxins in the body and a host of serious health problems.


There are two main types of kidney failure: acute and chronic. Acute kidney failure occurs suddenly and is usually caused by a sudden injury or illness, such as a severe infection or a blockage in the urinary tract. This type of kidney failure can be reversible if the underlying cause is treated quickly.


Chronic kidney failure, on the other hand, develops slowly over time and is usually caused by a long-term disease, such as diabetes or hypertension. This type of kidney failure is not reversible and can lead to permanent damage to the kidneys.


Symptoms of kidney failure include fatigue, weakness, decreased urine output, swelling in the legs, feet, or ankles, and difficulty concentrating. If left untreated, kidney failure can lead to complications such as anemia, high blood pressure, and a buildup of toxins in the blood, which can lead to coma or death.


Treatment for kidney failure varies depending on the underlying cause and the stage of the disease. In the early stages, treatment may involve lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise, to slow the progression of the disease. Medications may also be used to control blood pressure and manage symptoms.


In more advanced stages of kidney failure, dialysis or a kidney transplant may be necessary. Dialysis is a procedure in which a machine is used to filter the blood and remove waste products and excess fluids. A kidney transplant involves the surgical removal of the failing kidneys and replacement with a healthy kidney from a donor.


It is important to note that the best way to prevent kidney failure is to manage and treat underlying conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension, as well as to maintain a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise and a balanced diet. Additionally, getting regular check-ups and screenings, especially if you have a family history of kidney disease or risk factors such as hypertension or diabetes, can help detect the disease early and improve outcomes.


ICD-10-CM codes are codes used to classify diseases and medical conditions for reimbursement purposes in the United States. The codes in the N18 series specifically refer to chronic kidney disease (CKD) and are used to indicate the stage of the disease.

  • N18.1 refers to stage 1 CKD, which is characterized by normal or high glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and the presence of kidney damage.

  • N18.2 refers to stage 2 CKD, which is characterized by mild reduction in GFR and the presence of kidney damage.

  • N18.30, N18.31, and N18.32 refer to stages 3 unspecified, 3A, and 3B CKD, respectively. These stages are characterized by moderate reduction in GFR and the presence of kidney damage.

  • N18.4 refers to stage 4 CKD, which is characterized by severe reduction in GFR and the presence of kidney damage.

  • N18.5 refers to stage 5 CKD, also known as end-stage renal disease (ESRD), which is characterized by a very low GFR and the presence of kidney damage.

  • N18.6 refers to CKD with unspecified GFR.

  • N18.9 refers to CKD, unspecified stage.

It's important to note that CKD is a progressive disease, and as such, patients may move through the different stages over time. These codes are used to indicate the current stage of the disease at the time of diagnosis or treatment.


Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a slow and progressive loss of kidney function over a period of months or years. This can lead to permanent kidney damage and eventually kidney failure. Early detection and management of CKD can help slow the progression of the disease and prevent complications. Common causes of CKD include diabetes, high blood pressure, and chronic glomerulonephritis (inflammation of the small blood vessels in the kidneys).


Patients with CKD often require ongoing medical management, including monitoring of GFR, blood pressure, and kidney function, as well as management of any underlying causes of the disease. In advanced stages of CKD, patients may require dialysis or kidney transplantation.

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