In many ways this book is a team effort. Many people have helped me in writing it. Firstly, I thank my wife who read the manuscript twice correcting grammatical errors and spelling and clarifying many sentences. Secondly, I thank friends and colleagues at St. Mary's Hospital, including Mrs Jean Emerson, Renal Unit Social Worker and Mrs June Morgan, Senior Dietician, both of whom contributed technical information; Sisters Christine Holmes and Malinie Polpitiye who read and criticized some chapters; Miss Mary Williams, Mr Robert Minor and Mr Richard Viner who as patients read some sections and made useful suggestions. My thanks are due to Miss Veronica Adams who typed most of the manuscript and also to Mrs June Marshall and Miss Joyce Meadows who helped with typing and much photocopying. I must thank Travenol Laboratories Limited whose generous financial support enabled this book to be published. The editorial staff of MTP Press have been very helpful, rapid and efficient in publishing the text. If any reader wants to know more about renal disease, there 7 PREFACE are several good introductory books on renal medicine available. I am sure that the local public library will be pleased to help. Any parts of this book that are wrong or misleading are my responsibility. If anyone has the energy to point out errors to me I will try to correct them in any subsequent edition.