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Excellent Links
Doctors and staff - Information primarily for healthcare workers
Patients and diseases - Information primarily for patients and about specific diseases or treatments
Renal links - Renal organizations
Local links - in Edinburgh and Scotland - mostly to medicine
Teaching resources - for students and postgraduates, renal and other


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Links for healthcare workers 


The textbook that is never out of date

  UpToDate - The resource to beat. For a price, but one comparable with a large textbook. Comes both on CD and online.
  MDConsult - a general medical portals that aim to present information for all physicians. Offering medical news, many online textbooks (although these often don't adapt naturally to the Web) and other resources. Previously not so nephrology-oriented but not re-examined recently.

Rare disease information

  OMIM - Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man - all you ever wanted to know about any inherited condition, on your desktop in a few mouse-clicks, and it's free. An astonishing resource. Click on OMIM at the top of the page. You can also search the literature using PubMed from here.

The resource centre

  Many of the best sites on the Net for nephrology, as for other subjects, are the products of individual enthusiasts. Here are some examples.
  The Kidney Information Centre - ( Quirky and good. By Steve Fadem. Non-commercial and free, and really excellent in parts. Good physicians resources, unusually good Urology links section. Note particularly the newly added patients information section on Diet.
  HDCN - By John Daugirdas, so not surprisingly this site is particularly strong on dialysis-related topics. Most things you want turn out to be in the pay-only zone. Strong on recent literature (possibly too much?). Educational content as a series of well-produced multimedia presentations but lectures are slow, aren't they. Ones with patient info are free. Good calculators.

Links to electronic journals, guidelines, prescribing information and other resources

  NOTE - Many professional society sites (ASN, ISN, etc, listed below) as well as 'Resource Centres' above provide long lists of links.
  Renalnet - A particularly well maintained list with short (but non-critical) descriptions of each site. - The ultimate links list, only for the brave, and it is only a list.
  USRDS - the definitive source of info about dialysis in the USA.
  K/DOQI - K/DOQI guidelines are available from the NKF (USA) website. Both are for those who like a heavy wine.
  KDIGO - compares renal management guidelines from different countries around the world.

A source of advice

  The idea of talking to people to find their experiences is very attractive in theory, but following the larger or more general discussion groups, email lists, bulletin boards takes a lot of time. In practice the people answering the questions aren't necessarily the best qualified to do so. The smaller, subject or disease-specific sites often work much better.
  Cybernephrology - Discussion groups for doctors and patients are listed under 'Communication'. The rest of this site (tended by Kim Solez, for the ISN) has yet to develop substantially. Some other links can be picked up from the Portals, such as The Kidney Information Centre, HDCN, Renalnet

Patients and diseases


Portals (gateways)

  OMNI - Non-commercial attempt at quality-controlling information. Catalogue of screened and recommended medically related internet sites with short descriptions of each. Hasn't really caught on?

Renal replacement therapy

  Also see the sites under Renal Diseases below.
  RenalInfo - From Baxter Healthcare but non-partisan. Amongst the best sites providing information on dialysis, with good comparisons of peritoneal versus haemo. Even covers 'no dialysis' briefly. Illustrated with patients' and carers' stories. Rather complicated to negotiate though - those new to the Net would probably find it confusing.
  RenalWEBA portal devoted to dialysis from a fairly technical viewpoint, with an excellent collection of patients' resources, under 'If you're learning about dialysis'. The rest of the content is good for professionals too.
  Kidney Patient Guide - Educational and entertaining animations of dialysis, vascular access, fluid balance, and a bulletin board enliven this well-produced site.
  Dialysis Facility Compare - To be read with very great caution, but if you want to know, you can look up detailed outcomes data on US dialysis units on the Medicare website. Other information too.
  Kidney Patients Library from the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff, UK, also provides excellent information on a number of kidney diseases, presented very simply from leaflets. This is a more comprehensive site than most but is largely text. Particularly good are Sexuality and Kidney Disease, which isn't well dealt with in many other places, and the compilation of patients' and carers' experiences. (Currenly gone offline ... ?expected back?)
  Global Dialysis is a useful international travel resource for dialysis patients.
  Home dialysis central - has a lot of useful resources to support home treatment

Renal diseases

  This is something the web can do really well - provide good information on individual uncommon diseases. The general medical portals usually provide inadequate information. The problem is finding the reliable sites - it is hard to find good information on many quite common renal diseases. All of these sites attempt to provide it themselves or direct you to other reliable sites.
  EdRenINFO - The part of this site produced with patient information in mind.
  NIDDK - Each subject covered is clearly laid out but subject list is not comprehensive.
  NKF (UK) - This British site has particularly good patient information and goes beyond ESRD. Go to Medical Info and keep following links. They also have a Telephone Helpline, 0845 601 0209.
  NKF (USA) - The US equivalent just isn't as clearly put together for patients, but there is an 'A to Z index' of diseases.

A source of advice and support, and patients' experiences

  Advice and discussion There are a number of bulletin boards and email lists for patients. Cybernephrology has one list, but there are others at NKF (UK) and the Kidney Patient Guide (UK) - both described above.
  Stories We have some links on our own page. The Singapore Kidney Dialysis Foundation site has some good stories that pull no punches: click on Patients. The RENALNET site (described above) is also good for this, as is RenalInfo (above). Individual tales are all over the web, and in discussion groups.
  Dodgy treatments? Check them out at Dr Stephen Barrett's - an excellent list.


Do you know of other sites that we should include? ..... please let us know at


Renal organisations


Major renal associations for professionals

  Sorry if you've been omitted even if you're major. These are really the ones that we are members of, so it's useful to us to have links. Please tell us if you feel offended. At
  ASN The American Society of Nephrology
  ERA-EDTA The European RA/ European Dialysis and Transplant Association
  ISN The International Society of Nephrology
  Renal Association (UK)

Broader 'mainstream' renal groups and charities

  NKF (USA) which has links to K/DOQI
  Kidney Research UK - (formerly the National Kidney Research Fund) also has patient info
  Scottish Renal Registry - The UK Renal Association site lists more registries
  UK Renal Registry - data from some British renal units, and all of those in Scotland
  USRDS - huge volumes of data from US renal units

Local links


Major health bodies in Edinburgh

  Lothian Health Board is the NHS body overseeing healthcare in the local region. Unfortunately it doesn't provide a phone directory or lots of information about each unit.

Resources within the acute hospitals

  All of these sites have been made by individuals within the hospitals, not by the hospital administration. Several are the product of individual enthusiasts and are impressive.
  Cardiology at the Western General Hospital - not including the Unit at the Royal Infirmary, but with useful background patient information about different tests.
  Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Royal Infirmary and Western General Hospital.
  Dermatology at the Royal Infirmary. Predominantly research-related but with some patient info, very well presented.
  Endoscopy Unit for doctors and students mostly, but includes some patient information.
  Infectious Diseases Unit at the Western General Hospital.
  Intensive care unit at the Royal Infirmary.
  Medical Physics at the Royal Infirmary.
  Orthopaedics An excellent departmental site made by an enthusiastic trauma and orthopaedic surgeon, Chris Oliver. The list of links is an education in itself.
  Psychiatry At the Royal Edinburgh Hospital. Mostly research interests.
  Renal Unit (EdREN) This site - includes kidney transplantation.
  Sleep Centre The Scottish National Sleep Centre is based at the Royal Infirmary.
  Transplant Unit (liver) The Scottish Liver Transplant Unit at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. Useful information but could benefit from revision. The renal and liver transplant services are one unit.
  Transplant Unit (renal) Part of this site. The renal and liver transplant services are one unit.

Local education and health resources

  University of Edinburgh From which this site is hosted
  HEBSWeb Health Education Board Scotland - a 5-star beautifully produced site with really excellent educational material - for example on stopping smoking, eating a healthy diet, drug abuse, and about common diseases - notably heart disease. Click on Public Site for this info. Although Cyberschool is aimed at teenagers, this information is worth reading by anybody - eg try then O2
  RCP EdinburghThe Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
  RCS EdinburghThe Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
  RCP and S Glasgow The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
  SHOW Scottish Health on the web - the site for links to almost all health resources within Scotland.
  SIGN The SIGN guidelines have caught on as one of the most imaginative projects in developing clinical guidelines in medicine since their inception in 1998.

Information about Edinburgh

  Edinburgh Festivals This is particularly about the Edinburgh Festivals, but click on City Guide for information about the city at any time.
  Gateway to Scotland Information about Scotland from the Department of Geography, University of Edinburgh. Many other resources about Scotland may be reached from here - or by searching.

Do you know of other sites that we should include? ..... please let us know at

Renal teaching resources

  Help! I need to find some pictures for my lecture! The Google image search option is excellent for this. It is also an excellent way of picking up good sites on any topic. You must remember to ask permission/ give credit for any public use of images.
  Anatomy The American Association of Anatomists is one of several sites listing locations of anatomical, radiological and other images. There are many others. If it's a particular image you're after, try the Google image search option.
  Atlas of Renal Pathology from the American Journal of Kidney Diseases
  Analysis of the urinary sediment is particularly good; the site also has other images from the Italian Society of Nephrology.
  Books and Other Resources for Students from elsewhere on our site.
  British National Formulary an excellent source of drug information, although the use of frames on its site is rather complex. Limited advice on renal dosing; go to the full data sheets in the electronic Medicines Compendium if necessary . More resources from
  Pathology Tutorial by Charles Jennette, a pathologist at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, is just that, and is excellent for beginners to work through. It's annoying that the illustrations are in separate pages from the text: use the right click (or Apple-click on a Mac) to open them in a separate window.
  WebPath including renal pathology, plus some tutorials (including urine sediment), from the University of Utah
  Glomerulopathies Dr Helmut Rennke's collection of 37 cases, from the ISN website
  WebPath Guy has an extraordinary quantity of mostly reliable information, a mix of lecture notes for medical students, pathology images for nephrologists, pathologists, radiologists etc, along with personal mission statements and essays on quackery, chess, this and that, and also the other. His pages are extremely long though, and tedious to download and scroll through. How does he find time to do any work?



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This page last modified 21.02.2017 12:18 by Emma Farrell. edren and edrep are produced by the Renal Unit at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and the University of Edinburgh. CAUTIONS and Contact us.