Last reviewed 08/2021

Most cases of haemolytic uraemic syndrome are associated with diarrhoea and occur in children. These cases, in general, have a natural history where there is complete recovery and there is usually no renal biopsy taken.

Diarrhoea-associated HUS characterised by:

  • glomerular capillary thrombosis
  • some arteriolar thrombosis and necrosis

Idiopathic HUS:

  • generally occurs in adults
  • show a preglomerular pathology with intimal proliferation and luminal stenosis affecting arterioles and small arteries
  • in 10% of adult cases there are no pathological changes seen in the glomeruli or vessels and the only lesion seen is acute tubular necrosis (1)


  • (1) Neild GH (1993). Haemolytic uraemic syndrome in practice. Lancet, 343, 398-402.