Who’s at Risk
15% of adults in the US have chronic kidney disease (CKD)—though most don’t realize it. One challenge in detecting CKD is that there are virtually no kidney disease symptoms until later stages, when kidney damage has already occurred. Know your risk factors, learn the symptoms and get tested for CKD—especially if you have one of the known causes, like diabetes or high blood pressure.
Diagnosis and Testing for Chronic Kidney Disease
If you’ve been diagnosed with CKD, you will also be tested regularly to track any progression in your condition. Make testing a priority! The more you and your doctor know, the better care you can receive.
What GFR values mean in CKD
Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is a test that estimates how well your kidneys are functioning in order to determine your stage of chronic kidney disease. Your estimated GFR (eGFR) is calculated from the results of your serum creatinine blood test, using age, weight, body size and gender.
|Stage||eGFR value||Possible clinical symptoms associated with CKD|
|Stage 1 – Kidney damage with normal kidney function||From 90-120||High blood pressure, urinary tract infections, abnormal urinalysis|
|Stage 2 – Kidney damage with mild loss of kidney function||From 60–89||High blood pressure, urinary tract infections, abnormal urinalysis|
|Stage 3a – Mild to moderate loss of kidney function||From 45–59||High blood pressure, urinary tract infections, abnormal urinalysis|
|Stage 3b – Moderate to severe loss of kidney function||From 30–44||Low blood count, malnutrition, bone pain, abnormal nerve sensations, reduced mental functioning, feeling unwell|
|Stage 4 – Severe loss of kidney function||From 15–29||Swelling, anemia, decreased appetite and other lab abnormalities|
|Stage 5 – Kidney failure, also known as end stage renal disease (ESRD)||Less than 15||Shortness of breath, decreased appetite, fatigue, mental slowing and lab abnormalities|
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Additional tests for assessing CKD
|What it measures||How it’s performed||What results mean|
|Albuminuria-to-creatinine ratio (ACR)||Measures a type of protein called albumin in the urine||Spot urine sample test||30 mg/gm or less = normal
Higher than 30 mg/gm = a possible sign of kidney disease
|Blood pressure||Presence of high blood pressure (hypertension), a leading cause of kidney disease||In the doctor’s office with an inflatable cuff, pressure gauge and stethoscope||High blood pressure may indicate elevated risk of CKD and requires further diagnostic testing|
|Serum creatinine||Levels of creatinine, a waste product from normal muscle use||Blood analysis||Serum creatinine results of greater than 1.2 for women or greater than 1.4 for men = early sign that kidneys are not working properly|
|Blood urea nitrogen (BUN)||Levels of urea nitrogen from the breakdown of protein in food eaten||Blood analysis||BUN levels of 7-19 = normal
BUN levels of 20 or greater may be an indication of decreasing kidney function (or dehydration)
|Your doctor may perform other tests, including a kidney biopsy, ultrasound imaging or CT scan.|