Diagnosis and Management of Chronic Kidney Disease

Graves, John W.
September 2008
Mayo Clinic Proceedings;Sep2008, Vol. 83 Issue 9, p1064
Academic Journal
As the US population has continued to age, the number of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) has dramatically increased. Faced with this increase, clinicians need a better understanding of what an elevated serum creatinine level represents and a simple codified approach to evaluating renal failure. Creatinine, a muscle waste product, has an imperfect but predictable association with the glomerular filtration rate (GFR). Although other markers of GFR exist, including cystatin C, urea, inulin, and radioisotopic methods, their role in estimating GFR remains a matter for debate, especially that of cystatin C. Diagnosis and management of CKD are challenges for the nonspecialist. We describe a systematic approach that can be used by the nonspecialist to identify most but not all causes of renal insufficiency. Although this approach should allow for earlier recognition of treatable causes of CKD, it does not eliminate the involvement of a nephrologist in the care and management of the conditions causing the renal insufficiency. The nonspecialist should also be able to recognize the 9 therapies that are helpful in preservation of renal function in all patients with CKD.


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