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Hemolytic uremic syndrome, see there.
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

hemolytic uremic syndrome



An acute condition consisting of microangiopathic hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia, and acute nephropathy. Escherichia coli 0157:H7 (and E. Coli 0111) are causative agents that may be acquired from eating contaminated raw or rare hamburger or other meats. Children are most often affected. Onset may initially involve gastroenteritis and diarrhea or an upper respiratory tract infection. Hallmarks of the acute phase are a purpuric rash, irritability, and lethargy. Findings include oliguria, splenomegaly, mild jaundice, seizures (in some patients), hepatomegaly, pulmonary edema, and renal failure. The acute phase may last from 1 to 2 weeks in mild cases and much longer in severe cases.


The treatment of this syndrome is management of the renal failure and anemia. Antibiotics are ineffective.


The usual outcome is complete recovery, but about 5% of affected persons die, and 10% develop end-stage renal disease and require lifelong hemodialysis.

Patient care

If the child has been anuric for 24 hr or demonstrates oliguria with seizures and hypertension, the physician places a peritoneal catheter and the nurse institutes peritoneal dialysis as prescribed, with fluid replacement based on estimated sensible and insensible losses. Fluid and electrolyte balance, complete blood count, body weight, sensorium, and vital signs are carefully monitored, and blood urea nitrogen and azotemia levels are followed to evaluate therapy. Hypertension is reported and controlled with antihypertensive drugs. Severe anemia is treated with fresh, washed packed red blood cells; careful assessment is required throughout the transfusion to prevent circulatory overload, hypertension, and hyperkalemia. Seizures are managed by treating specific causes when known (hypertension, hyponatremia, hypocalcemia), and with anticonvulsant drugs as required. The patient is protected from injury during seizure activity, with the airway guarded. Heart and breath sounds are auscultated periodically, as cardiac failure with pulmonary edema can occur in association with hypervolemia. Prevention and treatment include water and sodium restriction and diuretic therapy, if prescribed. Meeting the child's nutritional needs can be difficult, as concentrated foods must be ingested without fluids and the child may be nauseated. The dietitian should be consulted for nutrition management. The child who is quite ill also may be irritable, restless, anxious, and frightened by frequent painful and stress-producing tests and treatments. Comfort and stability are provided in this threatening environment. Whenever possible, arrangements are made for one or both parents to remain with their child at all times. Support and reassurance are given to the parents and significant others, who are stressed by the severity of the illness and who may experience a degree of guilt if the illness resulted from ingestion of contaminated or raw foods. The family benefits not only from explanations about tests and treatments and information about their child's progress but also from sympathetic listening.

Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners

Hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS)

A potentially fatal complication of E. coli infections characterized by kidney failure and destruction of red blood cells.
Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
HUS is a Joint Authority formed by 24 municipalities.
J Hus's mother was 25 when she emigrated to London from Gambia, the small West African nation.
Traditionally, HUS was classified as diarrhea positive HUS (D+HUS) and diarrhea negative HUS (D-HUS) and D+HUS was considered equivalent to typical HUS and D-HUS was considered equivalent to atypical HUS.
Many complications with CNS involvement in HUS have been reported earlier including hemorrhagic and non hemorrhagic infarctions, cerebral edema, gliosis, (11) but no case has been reported in the literature with obstructive hydrocephalus.
J, a five-year-old boy who was previously well, with no family history of renal disease, presented with microangiopathic haemolytic anaemia, thrombocytopenia and AKI (non-dialysis requiring) and was diagnosed with atypical HUS. One week prior to this admission to hospital, J had a viral URTI, with a moist cough and sore throat, for which he was treated with amoxycillin by his general practitioner.
Only antibiotic exposures during the first 7 days of illness or before HUS onset were included in the analysis.
In Scotland, HUS is more commonly associated with E.
Country HUS *** EHEC *** Comments *** ***Cases Deaths ***Cases ***Deaths *** Austria 1 ***0 3 0 *** Canada ***0 0 ***1 ***0 *** Czech Republic 0 ***0 1 ***0 A tourist from the United States who had travelled in Germany Denmark 8 0 12 ***0 *** France 0 0 2 0 *** Germany ***773 ***22 ***2374 12 *** Greece 0 ***0 ***1 0 A German tourist Luxembourg 0 ***0 2 0 *** Netherlands 4 ***0 4 0 *** Norway 0 0 1 0 Contact with a German in Norway Poland 2 0 1 ***0 *** Spain 1 ***0 1 0 *** Sweden 17 1 30 0 *** Switzerland 0 0 5 0 *** United Kingdom 3 0 3 0 *** United States of America ***3 0 ***2 0 3 HUS cases (1 confirmed and 2 suspected) and 2 suspected EHEC cases ***Total ***812 ***23 ***2443 ***12 *** Note: There are 3255 HUS and EHEC cases in total, including 35 fatalities.
About 70% of people who develop HUS as a result of E.coli poisoning will recover completely and have no further recurrence.
The main limitation of the metaanalysis is the inability to adjust for severity of illness and analyze the risk of HUS with different classes of antibiotics, duration of treatment, and timing of therapy.
In this article I focus on Hus's major work, De Ecclesia, first briefly describing its historical context, contents, and methodology, then outlining key dimensions of Hus's ecclesiology.