Uremia Differential Diagnoses

Updated: Jan 06, 2022
  • Author: A Brent Alper, Jr, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
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Diagnostic Considerations

Undertake an evaluation for the cause of renal disease if the etiology is not clear. Slowly deteriorating renal function and uremia may be observed in a patient who has bilateral renal artery stenosis who was placed on angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs). Renal failure secondary to renal artery stenosis may be a reversible cause of renal failure.

Other conditions to consider in the differential diagnosis of uremia include the following:

  • Obstruction due to an enlarged prostate may cause uremia and renal failure and may be easily treatable with Foley catheter placement.
  • Rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis - If this is not diagnosed early in its course, irreversible renal failure occurs, resulting in the need for lifelong dialysis
  • Hyperchloremic acidosis

  • Hyperkalemia

  • Hypermagnesemia

  • Hyperparathyroidism

  • Hyperphosphatemia

  • Hypertension

  • Malignant hypertension

  • Hypoalbuminemia

  • Hypocalcemia

  • Immunoglobulin A (IgA) nephropathy

  • Iron deficiency anemia

  • Metabolic acidosis

  • Pericardial effusion

  • Pleural effusion

Differential Diagnoses