Hannover Medical School (MHH)

location_on Hannover, Germany
9.8/10 from 43 Votes

Department of Pediatric Nephrology, Hepatology, Gastroenterology, Neurology and Endocrinology (390077)

Dieter Haffner

Prof. Dr. med.

Dieter Haffner

Specialized in: pediatric nephrology, hepatology, gastroenterology, neurology, endocrinology

About the Department of Pediatric Nephrology, Hepatology, Gastroenterology, Neurology and Endocrinology at Hannover Medical School (MHH)

The Department of Pediatric Nephrology, Hepatology, Gastroenterology, Neurology and Endocrinology at the Hannover Medical School offers the full range of services in these medical fields. The department specializes in the diagnostics and treatment of kidney, endocrine, gastrointestinal and liver diseases, as well as in the treatment of metabolic disorders and neurological diseases in children and adolescents. Of particular interest to the specialists are interdisciplinary treatment and diagnostics of complex diseases, kidney and liver transplant. The department is also part of the Center for Rare Diseases. The medical facility has 30 beds. The department's competent doctors annually admit more than 1,600 young inpatients, while about 10,000 children receive outpatient medical care. In addition, the department annually performs about 20 kidney and 30 liver transplants in collaboration with pediatric surgeons. The team of the department's doctors consists of 15 highly specialized physicians who deal with the treatment of a particular group of diseases. The department is headed by Prof. Dr. med. Dieter Haffner.

An important place in the department's clinical practice is given to the detection and treatment of kidney diseases, arterial hypertension and urinary tract pathologies in children of all age groups. Pediatric nephrologists have rich experience in the treatment of chronic kidney failure. The treatment involves the use of dialysis (renal replacement therapy), as well as diet therapy. The competence of doctors also includes care for children after kidney transplantation and for those children who are going to have such an operation soon.

The department often admits children with diseases of endocrine glands and hormonal disorders. The key attention is paid to the treatment of diseases of the thyroid gland, parathyroid glands, pituitary gland and adrenal glands, as well as to the treatment of growth and puberty impairments. To correct the work of endocrine glands, doctors most often use an individually selected drug therapy regimen.

In the field of pediatric gastroenterology and hepatology, the department's specialists provide the effective treatment of gastrointestinal and liver diseases. Children and adolescents are most often admitted with stomach, bowel, pancreatic and liver diseases. In addition, the specialists of this medical sphere take care of the preparation of small patients for liver transplant surgery and provide follow-up care for the child to prevent transplant rejection. It is worth noting that the department has the status of one of the leading pediatric centers of this kind in the European medical arena. To diagnose digestive and liver diseases, both laboratory and instrumental, as well as endoscopic procedures are used. In most cases, the first-line treatment is drug therapy, but pediatric gastroenterologists can also resort to therapeutic endoscopic interventions (for example, polyp removal, stenosis elimination, gastrointestinal bleeding treatment) in complex cases.

The department's therapeutic offer includes the treatment of diseases of the nervous system and metabolic disorders (protein metabolism disorders, carbohydrate and lipid metabolism disorders) in children. The medical team has long experience in the treatment of congenital malformations of the central and peripheral nervous system, genetic neurological disorders, epilepsy, inflammatory diseases of the nervous system, paralysis, neuromuscular diseases, chronic headaches. The specialists of the medical facility use drug therapy for the treatment of most of the above pathologies. A particular complex of drugs is prescribed individually, based on the  child's diagnostic results.

The department's range of medical services includes:

  • Pediatric nephrology
    • Diagnostics and treatment of acute and chronic kidney diseases
    • Examination and treatment of children and adolescents with urinary tract malformations or kidney malformations (in cooperation with the Department of Pediatric Surgery)
    • Examination and treatment of children and adolescents with excretion of blood or protein in the urine
    • Diagnostics and treatment of water-electrolyte imbalance 
    • Diagnostics and treatment of kidney calcification and kidney stones
    • Outpatient infusion therapy for kidney diseases and after kidney transplantation
    • Diagnostics and drug therapy of high blood pressure (hypertension) in children with kidney diseases
    • Prevention of complications in chronic kidney diseases, including growth hormone therapy
    • Outpatient care of young patients before dialysis
    • Preparation and administration of dialysis, with a particular focus on home dialysis in the form of ambulatory peritoneal dialysis or home hemodialysis
    • Preparation for kidney transplantation and monitoring after surgery
    • Kidney transplantation (in collaboration with pediatric surgeons)
  • Pediatric endocrinology
    • Diagnostics and treatment of thyroid, parathyroid, pituitary and adrenal diseases
    • Diagnostics and treatment of puberty disorders
    • Diagnostics and treatment of growth disorders (especially after organ transplantation and appropriate drug therapy, in chronic diseases)
    • Diagnostics and treatment of endocrine disorders after kidney, liver, heart and lung, bone marrow transplantation
    • Interdisciplinary treatment of severe clinical cases
  • Pediatric gastroenterology and hepatology
    • Diagnostics and treatment of stomach, bowel, pancreatic and liver diseases
    • Caring for young patients before and after liver transplant
    • Liver transplantation and combined liver/kidney/lung /pancreas transplantation
    • Gastroscopy, duodenoscopy and colonoscopy
    • Liver biopsy and percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy
  • Metabolic disorders in children
    • Diagnostics and treatment of all congenital metabolic diseases (protein, carbohydrate, lipid metabolism disorders)
      • Treatment of metabolic disorders with diets (for example, low-protein, low-fat, carbohydrate-rich diet)
      • Drug therapy
      • Substrate reduction therapy
  • Pediatric neurology
    • Diagnostics and treatment of epilepsy
    • Diagnostics and treatment of neuromuscular diseases
    • Diagnostics and treatment of infantile cerebral palsy
    • Diagnostics and treatment of motor disorders in children (for example, ataxia, dystonia, chorea)
    • Diagnostics and treatment of acute and chronic inflammatory nervous system diseases (for example, meningitis, encephalitis, optic neuritis, Guillain-Barre syndrome, etc.)
    • Diagnostics and treatment of congenital malformations of the nervous system in children (for example, spina bifida, hydrocephalus)
    • Diagnostics and treatment of headaches in children
  • Other diagnostic and therapeutic services

Curriculum vitae of Prof. Dr. med. Dieter Haffner

After studying medicine at the Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg for 2 years, Dr. Haffner was a Scholar of the German Research Foundation in the Research Group "Experimental Studies of Kidney and Circulation" at the Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg. This contributed to the formation of the foundations of his research activities in the field of growth disorders and bone metabolism in children with chronic kidney disease. He received education in the field of pediatric and adolescent medicine, pediatric nephrology and neonatology in Heidelberg and London. In 2000, Prof. Haffner defended his doctoral thesis at the Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg. The subject was "Pathophysiology, kinetics of elimination and long-term effects of growth hormone in children with kidney hypoplasia''. Since 2000, he has been Senior Physician in the Department of Pediatrics (main focus – nephrology) at the Charite University Hospital Berlin. In 2005, he became the Head of the Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine at the University Hospital Rostock. Since 2006, Prof. Haffner has been the Head of the Department of Pediatric Nephrology, Hepatology, Gastroenterology, Neurology and Endocrinology, as well as the Head of the KfH Center of Pediatric Nephrology at the Hannover Medical School. In addition to his clinical, research and teaching duties, he is also a Representative of the Center for Congenital Kidney Diseases, a Board Member of the Center for Research and Treatment in Transplantation (IB-Tx) at the Hannover Medical School and the Head of the Working Groups "Chronic kidney disease – mineral and bone metabolism disorders" (CKDS-MBD), the European Society for Pediatric Nephrology and Lupus Nephritis and the German Society of Pediatric Nephrology. He is a Co-Editor of "Children's Nephrology" and a Board Member of the European Society of Pediatric Nephrology, as well as a Member of the International Pediatric Nephrology Association. The main scientific interest of Dieter Haffner is the study of the pathophysiological foundations and the further development of treatment methods for acute and chronic kidney diseases, especially in terms of their influence on growth, bone metabolism and the state of the cardiovascular system. His purpose is to optimize the treatment of children with kidney diseases through the introduction of the results of fundamental clinical research into practice.

Research Interests

  • Pathophysiology and treatment (dialysis/transplantation) of chronic kidney failure in children:
    • Renal osteodystrophy
    • Disorders of bone longitudinal growth and state of the epiphyseal cartilage
    • Uremic vasculopathy/cardiomyopathy (endothelial dysfunction and ectopic calcification)
  • Autosomal recessive kidney scleropolyakistosis
    • Cell proliferation and apoptosis
    • Inhibition of mTOR in an animal model (treatment with Rapamune)
  • X-chromosomal dominant hypophosphatemic rickets
    • Growth disorder (anthropometry/pathophysiological tests)
    • rhGH and cinacalcet therapy
  • Treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus

Memberships in Professional Societies

  • German Society of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.
  • Working Group on Pediatric Nephrology.
  • Working Group on Pediatric Endocrinology.
  • European Dialysis and Transplant Association.
  • European Society for Paediatric Nephrology.
  • International Pediatric Nephrology Association.

Awards, Prizes and Honors

  • 1993 Else Kröner Fresenius Prize of the Working Group on Pediatric Nephrology for the Best Poster Presentation at the 23rd Meeting of the Working Group on Pediatric Nephrology, Hamburg. Subject "Secondary hyperparathyroidism caused by treatment with a growth hormone in patients with hypophosphatemic rickets resistant to vitamin D".
  • 1994 Award in Honor of the Memory of Jürgen Bierich of the Working Group on Pediatric Endocrinology. Subject: "Clearance of a recombinant hormone of human growth in healthy volunteers and patients with chronic kidney failure".
  • 1994 Prize for the Best Summary of the 31st Congress of the European Renal Association, the European Dialysis and Transplant Association in Vienna. Subject: "Growth hormone therapy of young children with chronic kidney failure: 5-year experience".
  • 1998 Poster Award of the Faculty of Medicine of the Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg as part of the Research Funding Program. Subject: "The combined influence of the parathyroid hormone and glucocorticoids on the proliferation of chondrocytes of the epiphyseal plate of growth."

Photo of the doctor: (c) Medizinische Hochschule Hannover (MHH)

Department of Pediatric Nephrology, Hepatology, Gastroenterology, Neurology and Endocrinology.
Hannover Medical School (MHH):

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