Rare Infectious Disease News

Disease Profile

Hepatorenal syndrome

Prevalence estimates on Rare Medical Network websites are calculated based on data available from numerous sources, including US and European government statistics, the NIH, Orphanet, and published epidemiologic studies. Rare disease population data is recognized to be highly variable, and based on a wide variety of source data and methodologies, so the prevalence data on this site should be assumed to be estimated and cannot be considered to be absolutely correct.


US Estimated

Europe Estimated

Age of onset





Autosomal dominant A pathogenic variant in only one gene copy in each cell is sufficient to cause an autosomal dominant disease.


Autosomal recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of each gene of the chromosome are needed to cause an autosomal recessive disease and observe the mutant phenotype.


dominant X-linked dominant inheritance, sometimes referred to as X-linked dominance, is a mode of genetic inheritance by which a dominant gene is carried on the X chromosome.


recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of a gene on the X chromosome cause an X-linked recessive disorder.


Mitochondrial or multigenic Mitochondrial genetic disorders can be caused by changes (mutations) in either the mitochondrial DNA or nuclear DNA that lead to dysfunction of the mitochondria and inadequate production of energy.


Multigenic or multifactor Inheritance involving many factors, of which at least one is genetic but none is of overwhelming importance, as in the causation of a disease by multiple genetic and environmental factors.


Not applicable


Other names (AKA)

Hepato-renal syndrome


Hepatorenal syndrome is a form of impaired kidney function that occurs in individuals with advanced chronic liver disease.[1][2] As many as 40% of individuals with cirrhosis and ascites will develop hepatorenal syndrome.[3] Symptoms may include fatigue, abdominal pain, and a general feeling of ill health (malaise).[1][2] There are two distinct types of hepatorenal syndrome. Type I progresses quickly (within days), leading to kidney failure. Individuals with type I typically have dramatically reduced urine output, edema, and jaundice, and often suffer from hepatic encephalopathy. Type II progresses more slowly, over weeks or months, and the symptoms are less severe. The cause of hepatorenal syndrome is unknown. A contributing factor seems to be a narrowing of the blood vessels that connect into the kidneys. This causes a decrease in blood flow to the kidneys, impairing their function.[1] In some cases, triggers or precipitating factors (infections, blood loss from the gastrointestinal tract, low blood pressure) are involved. Treatment is aimed at helping the liver work better and maintaining kidney function.[1][2] In many cases, a liver transplant is needed.[1][3] In some cases, individuals also need a kidney transplant.[1]

Learn more

These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.

Where to Start

  • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
  • The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) has a report for patients and families about this condition. NORD is a patient advocacy organization for individuals with rare diseases and the organizations that serve them.

In-Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Hepatorenal syndrome. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.


  1. Gonwa TA. Hepatorenal Syndrome. National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). 2015; https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/hepatorenal-syndrome/.
  2. Lehrer JK, Zieve D. Hepatorenal syndrome. MedlinePlus. May 15, 2014; https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000489.htm.
  3. Devuni D. Hepatorenal Syndrome. Medscape Reference. January 13, 2016; https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/178208-overview.