haemolytic-uraemic syndrome (HUS)The combination acute kidney insufficiency, haemolytic anaemia and a low platelet count (thrombocytopenia). Biopsy of kidney tissue shows a blood vessel disorder with thrombosis of the glomerular and other small vessels. In spite of the thrombocytopenia, blood clotting times are normal. The syndrome has many causes including Shiga toxin-producing E. coli infection in post-diarrhoea cases, other infections, pregnancy, drugs, cancers, systemic lupus erythematosus and organ transplants, but most probably relate ultimately to endothelial injury. Its effects may be very serious as almost any system of the body may be involved.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005