Overview of Chronic
Renal Failure (CRF)
Chronic renal failure (CRF)
is the progressive loss of kidney function. The kidneys attempt to
compensate for renal damage by hyperfiltration (excessive straining of
the blood) within the remaining functional nephrons (filtering units
that consist of a glomerulus and corresponding tubule). Over
time, hyperfiltration causes further loss of function.
Chronic loss of
function causes generalized wasting (shrinking in size) and progressive
scarring within all parts of the kidneys. In time, overall scarring
obscures the site of the initial damage. Yet, it is not until over 70%
of the normal combined function of both kidneys is lost that most
patients begin to experience symptoms of kidney failure.