The Department of Nephrology at the Samsung Medical Center seeks the comprehensive cure of renal diseases based on respect for patients and value of life. Renal diseases include various inflammatory, infectious, and metabolic diseases of the kidney and the urinary tract. If they are not managed properly at an early stage, they may lead to end-stage renal disease, requiring dialysis or kidney transplantation, which leads to pain to the individual and social loss. The Department of Nephrology provides patient-centered medical care based on expertise, experience, and a well-organized practice system to promote the happiness of patients through effective diagnosis and early treatment. In addition, we are striving to conduct research on the development of novel and superior treatment methods, and to provide education for training experts in the field of nephrology.

Major areas of treatment / Clinics

  • Diagnosis and treatment of abnormal urinalysis, acute kidney injury, chronic kidney disease, and electrolyte imbalance
  • Diagnosis and treatment of diseases that can lead to chronic kidney diseases such as diabetic nephropathy, hypertensive nephropathy, polycystic kidney disease, glomerular disease, systemic lupus erythematosus, tubular disorder, renovascular disease, and urinary tract infections, and the systemic complications of chronic kidney diseases
  • Kidney transplantation center: living donor & deceased donor kidney transplantation, donor exchange program, and kidney donor clinic
  • Hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis clinics

Strong points

The Department of Nephrology at the Samsung Medical Center actively pursues early diagnosis and adequate treatment for renal complications in critically ill patients based on its broad experience in treating these patients with various conditions. We also provide systematic education programs for patients with end-stage renal disease to help them select individualized optimal renal replacement therapy methods in a timely manner. In the recently renovated hemodialysis unit, we provide optimized hemodialysis therapy and comprehensive management for each patient. In the peritoneal dialysis unit, meticulous medical care is provided for both inpatients and outpatients, including phone counseling and home visits. We also run a world-class kidney transplantation center using an integrated medical care system composed of a team of experts from the Departments of Nephrology, Transplantation Surgery, Pathology, and Laboratory Medicine. There is also a kidney donor clinic for pre-operative and post-operative health management of kidney donors.

Diagnostic tests

The Department of Nephrology provides state-of-the-art diagnostic tests to patients in collaboration with the Departments of Laboratory Medicine, Pathology, and Radiology.

Latest treatments

We have performed successful kidney transplantations for immunologically high-risk patients such as blood type incompatible patients using the latest protocols of immunosuppression in the kidney transplantation center. In particular, immunologically high-risk patients have been carefully screened and most appropriate transplantation methods including desensitization and kidney paired donation program (kidney transplantations between multiple pairs of donor-recipients through donor exchange) have been applied. Immune tolerance (maintaining transplanted kidney function without immunosuppression) is also under investigation using simultaneous transplantation of kidney and bone marrow. In the dialysis unit, we are attempting combined dialysis treatment with peritoneal dialysis and hemodialysis in patients with difficulties coming to the hospital three times a week for hemodialysis but peritoneal dialysis by itself is insufficient. For critically ill patients with renal insufficiency, continuous renal replacement therapy is actively performed in the intensive care unit. There is also a day ward for preventing contrast-induced nephropathy from contrast-enhanced CT-scans or procedures by administration of fluids and preventive agents (N-acetylcysteine).

Recent trends in clinical research

We are performing research on the mechanisms of renal injury from glomerulonephritis and diabetic nephropathy, which are the major causes of chronic kidney diseases, and we anticipate that the accumulation of this research data will help in finding a new treatment. We are actively performing clinical studies on the development of new arteriovenous grafts for hemodialysis patients, combination therapy of peritoneal dialysis and hemodialysis, and continuous renal replacement therapy in critically ill patients. We are also working closely with the Department of Transplantation Surgery to perform clinical research on non-invasive diagnostic methods using blood or urine in kidney transplantation patients.