Kidney : Stages of Chronic Kidney Disease

Tests and Diagnosis

In chronic kidney disease (CKD), the kidneys do not usually fail all at once. The kidney disease often progresses slowly, over a period of years. If chronic kidney disease (CKD) is caught early, medications and lifestyle changes may help slow its progress. With early diagnosis, it may be possible to slow, stop, or even reverse CKD, depending on the cause.

The stages of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) can be determined by calculating the “GFR level,” or glomerular filtration rate,which is a measure of how well the kidneys are cleaning the blood. Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR) calculated from creatinine, age, sex and race

Stages of Chronic Kidney Disease Stage Description GFR Level

Normal kidney function Healthy kidneys 90 mL/min or more

Stage 1 Kidney damage with normal or high GFR 90 mL/min or more

Stage 2 Kidney damage and mild decrease in GFR 60 to 89 mL/min

Stage 3 Moderate decrease in GFR 30 to 59 mL/min

Stage 4 Severe decrease in GFR 15 to 29 mL/min

Stage 5 Kidney failure Less than 15 mL/min or on dialysis

In Stage 1 and Stage 2 CKD, there are often few symptoms. Hence detection is difficult but if diagnosed favorable results can be achieved.

In Stage 3 CKD, anemia (a shortage of red blood cells) and/or early bone disease may appear and should be treated to help you feel your best and reduce problems down the road. When CKD has progressed to Stage 4, it’s time to begin preparing for dialysis and/or a kidney transplant.

Laboratory Test Values Showing Kidney Failure

If Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR) is 15 ml/min or lower, a nephrologist should be contacted. If creatinine clearance, a measure of the kidney function, is 30 mL/min or lower it indicates a stage 4 chronic kidney disease (CKD).

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