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Hemolytic-uremic syndrome

  • Definition

    Hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS) is a disorder that usually occurs when an infection in the digestive system produces toxic substances that destroy red blood cells, causing kidney injury.


    Alternative Names

    HUS


    Causes, incidence, and risk factors

    Hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS) often occurs after a gastrointestinal infection with E. coli bacteria (Escherichia coli O157:H7). However, the condition has also been linked to other gastrointestinal infections, including shigella and salmonella, as well as nongastrointestinal infections.

    HUS is most common in children. It is the most common cause of acute kidney failure in children. Several large outbreaks in 1992 and 1993 were linked to undercooked hamburger meat contaminated with E. coli.

    Other risk factors for HUS are unknown, although some cases are due to a familial form of the disease. HUS may occur with a variety of other diseases and infections, and after taking certain medications such as mitomycin C or ticlopidine.

    HUS is more complicated in adults. It is similar to another disease called thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP).