Florence Wong, MD, Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto, gives an overview of hepatorenal syndrome type 1 (HRS-1).

As Dr. Wong explains, HRS-1 is a life-threatening syndrome involving acute kidney failure in patients with cirrhosis and ascites. It is often caused by a precipitating event that affects the patient’s hemodynamics such as infection, over-diuresis, GI bleeding, surgery, drug-induced liver injury, or alcoholic hepatitis. HRS-1 has a median survival time of approximately two weeks and greater than 80% mortality within three months if left untreated. 

Due to the severity of this rare condition, diagnosis must be swift. Dr. Wong notes that patients with cirrhosis and ascites usually have blood work done regularly. If a patient with these conditions is feeling unwell, daily monitoring of a patients’ kidney functioning may be warranted to assess if there is an upward rise of serum creatinine. Keeping a close eye on the kidney function of this patient early on is important as failing to do may lead to high serum creatinine levels. Additionally, Dr. Wong advises that physicians should avoid prescribing high doses of diuretics and should closely monitor for infections in patients with a history of renal dysfunction. 

To learn more about HRS-1 and other rare kidney disorders, visit checkrare.com/diseases/kidney-and-urinary-diseases/