Dialysis is used to treat patients with end stage kidney failure defined as a loss of 85 to 90 percent of kidney function and a glomerular filtration rate (GFR) of less than 15. GFR is determined by blood creatinine test, age, body size and gender and helps you and your physician understand your stage of kidney disease. In addition, patients awaiting a kidney transplant often get dialysis treatment.
In rare cases, some kinds of acute kidney failure get better after treatment. In these cases, dialysis may only be needed until the kidneys get better.