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End-stage kidney disease

Murtagh, Fliss



Nathan I. Cherny

Marie T. Fallon

Stein Kaasa

Russell K. Portenoy

David C. Currow


End-stage kidney disease accounts for 1–2% of all deaths. With ageing of the population, this proportion will grow steadily over the coming years. Symptom burden in end-stage kidney disease exceeds advanced cancer, with added renal-specific symptoms, such as itch and restless legs. Pain and depression are also more prevalent. Many renal symptoms go under-recognized and undertreated, especially as they arise from comorbid conditions, rather than the renal disease itself. The most useful intervention to address symptoms is regular assessment, followed by pharmacological interventions that take account of the constraints on using renally cleared drugs and the high risk of toxicity from accumulation of parent compounds or metabolites. The population with end-stage kidney disease have extensive palliative care needs, and require significant medical, nursing, psychological, and social care to address these as their illness advances towards the end of life.


Murtagh, F. (2021). End-stage kidney disease. In N. I. Cherny, M. T. Fallon, S. Kaasa, R. K. Portenoy, & D. C. Currow (Eds.), Oxford Textbook of Palliative Medicine (1010-1019). (6th ed.). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Acceptance Date Jul 19, 2019
Online Publication Date Aug 1, 2021
Publication Date Sep 2, 2021
Deposit Date Sep 2, 2021
Publicly Available Date Aug 2, 2022
Publisher Oxford University Press
Pages 1010-1019
Edition 6th ed.
Book Title Oxford Textbook of Palliative Medicine
Chapter Number 15.7
ISBN 9780198821328
Public URL


Accepted manuscript (234 Kb)

Copyright Statement
Copyright © 2021. All rights reserved.
End-stage kidney disease by Fliss Murtagh, 2021, reproduced by permission of Oxford University Press:

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