Chronic kidney renal disease

In the past, the phrase “kidney failure” has been used to mean end-stage renal disease (ESRD) - when dialysis or a kidney transplant is necessary because the kidneys have lost around 85 percent of their function. Now the phrase “kidney failure” is falling out of favor, and being replaced with chronic kidney disease (CKD).

  • ‘Chronic kidney disease’ can be used to refer to people in the earliest stages of the disease, people who have moderate degrees of the disease, and people who already have end stage renal disease.
  • Chronic kidney disease is progressive, and ends in ESRD.
  • ESRD can be treated effectively by either dialysis or a kidney transplant.

How Boston Children’s Hospital approaches chronic kidney disease

Our Division of Nephrology is the largest pediatric nephrology service in the United States. We care for patients with a wide range of kidney disorders, and we are home to the largest kidney transplant program in New England dedicated to caring for children.

Our seven-bed dialysis unit is the only full-service pediatric dialysis unit in New England. If your child requires dialysis, our dialysis nurses, dieticians, tutors and Child Life specialists will do everything they can to make sure your child is comfortable during her treatments. Read more about dialysis.

Our compassionate caregivers know that your child is a person, not just a patient, and depending on your particular situation, we provide support services for your child and your family throughout all stages of treatment and recovery.