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Chronic kidney disease

What's new

Updated 2024 KDIGO guidelines for the diagnosis and management of chronic kidney disease.

Background

Overview

Definition
CKD is defined as the presence of kidney damage persisting for > 3 months, which is manifested by decreased kidney function or albuminuria, measured by eGFR.
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Pathophysiology
The most common causes of CKD include diabetes and hypertension. Other causes include infectious glomerulonephritis, renal vasculitis, ureteral obstruction, genetic alterations, and autoimmune diseases.
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Disease course
CKD may be asymptomatic or result in vague symptoms, such as excessive tiredness, itching, sleep disturbance, lack of concentration, bone/joint pain, loss of appetite, loss of muscle strength, dyspnea, muscle spasm, and restless legs. Disease progression may lead to ESRD with uremic symptoms, and death.
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Prognosis and risk of recurrence
The mortality of patients ≤ 60 years and > 60 years with CKD requiring hospital admission is 13.9% and 41.0%, respectively.
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Guidelines

Key sources

The following summarized guidelines for the evaluation and management of chronic kidney disease are prepared by our editorial team based on guidelines from the American Diabetes Association (ADA 2024), the International Collaboration for Transfusion Medicine Guidelines (ICTMG 2024), the Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes Foundation (KDIGO 2024,2022,2021,2020,2017,2013,2012,2009,2008), the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP 2023), the American College of Radiology ...
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Screening and diagnosis

Indications for screening, asymptomatic patients: as per ACP 2013 guidelines, do not obtain screening for CKD in asymptomatic adults without risk factors for CKD.
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  • Indications for screening (diabetic patients)

  • Indications for screening (pediatric patients)

  • Diagnostic criteria

Classification and risk stratification

Risk prediction: as per KDIGO 2024 guidelines, use an externally validated risk equation to estimate the absolute risk of kidney failure in patients with CKD stages 3-5.
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  • Classification

Diagnostic investigations

Initial evaluation, GFR: as per KDIGO 2024 guidelines, obtain both urine albumin measurement and assessment of GFR in patients at risk for and with CKD.
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  • Initial evaluation (point-of-care testing)

  • Initial evaluation (assessment of chronicity)

  • Renal ultrasound

  • Evaluation of albuminuria

  • Evaluation of hypertension

  • Evaluation of dyslipidemia

  • Evaluation of mineral and bone disorders

  • Evaluation for etiology

  • Screening for anemia

  • Screening for HCV infection

Medical management

General principles: as per KDIGO 2024 guidelines, enable access to a patient-centered multidisciplinary care team consisting of dietary counseling, medication management, education, and counseling about different renal replacement modalities, transplant options, dialysis access surgery, and ethical, psychological, and social care for patients with CKD.
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  • Drug dose adjustments

  • Renin-angiotensin system inhibitors

  • Mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists

  • SGLT-2 inhibitors

  • Uric acid-lowering agents

  • Management of hypertension (BP targets)

  • Management of hypertension (physical activity)

  • Management of hypertension (sodium intake)

  • Management of hypertension (RAAS inhibitors)

  • Management of hypertension (CCBs)

  • Management of hypertension (diuretics)

  • Management of hypertension (potassium binders)

  • Management of hypertension (SGLT-2 inhibitors)

  • Management of hypertension (kidney transplant recipients)

  • Management of hypertension (pediatric patients)

  • Management of hypertension (patients with CVD)

  • Management of hypertension (patients with nephrosclerosis and renal artery stenosis)

  • Management of dyslipidemia

  • Management of electrolyte derangements

  • Management of hyperphosphatemia

  • Management of hyperparathyroidism

  • Management of anemia (iron therapy)

  • Management of anemia (ESA therapy, initiation)

  • Management of anemia (ESA therapy, choice of agent)

  • Management of anemia (ESA therapy, route of administration)

  • Management of anemia (ESA therapy, dosing)

  • Management of anemia (ESA therapy, maintenance)

  • Management of anemia (ESA therapy, RBC transfusion)

  • Symptomatic management

Nonpharmacologic interventions

Weight loss: as per KDIGO 2024 guidelines, consider advising/encouraging weight loss and achieving an optimal BMI in patients with CKD and obesity.
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  • Physical activity

  • Nutritional support

  • Salt and water intake

  • Protein intake

  • Alcohol intake

  • Smoking cessation

Therapeutic procedures

RRT, indications
As per KDIGO 2024 guidelines:
Initiate dialysis based on a composite assessment of patient's symptoms, signs, QoL, preferences, level of GFR, and laboratory abnormalities.
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Initiate dialysis in the presence ≥ 1 of the following, often but not invariably occurring in the glomerular filtration range of 5-10 mL/min/1.73 m²:
symptoms or signs attributable to kidney failure, such as neurological signs and symptoms attributable to uremia, pericarditis, anorexia, medically resistant acid-based or electrolyte abnormalities, intractable pruritus, serositis, and acid-base or electrolyte abnormalities
inability to control volume status or BP
progressive deterioration in nutritional status refractory to dietary intervention, or cognitive impairment
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  • RRT (counseling)

  • RRT (evaluation of fistula malfunction)

  • RRT (management of fistula malfunction)

  • RRT (management of intradialytic hypotension)

Surgical interventions

Kidney transplantation: as per KDIGO 2024 guidelines, consider planning for preemptive kidney transplantation and/or dialysis access in adult patients with a GFR < 15-20 mL/min/1.73 m² or when the risk of RRT is > 40% over 2 years.
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Specific circumstances

Pediatric patients, screening: as per JSN 2019 guidelines, consider obtaining urinary screening at 3 years of age and throughout school age to detect CKD at an early stage, thus, facilitating early management and improving the renal prognosis in pediatric populations.
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  • Pediatric patients (risk assessment)

  • Pediatric patients (evaluation)

  • Pediatric patients (indications for referral)

  • Pediatric patients (physical activity)

  • Pediatric patients (protein intake)

  • Pediatric patients (salt intake)

  • Pediatric patients (immunizations)

  • Pediatric patients (management of hypertension)

  • Pediatric patients (management of mineral and bone disorder)

  • Pediatric patients (management of growth stunting)

  • Pediatric patients (RRT)

  • Pediatric patients (kidney transplantation)

  • Pediatric patients (patients with HIV infection)

  • Elderly patients (evaluation)

  • Elderly patients (prognostic scores)

  • Elderly patients (physical activity)

  • Elderly patients (nutritional support)

  • Elderly patients (glycemic targets)

  • Elderly patients (renal adjustment of medications)

  • Elderly patients (BP targets)

  • Elderly patients (lipid-lowering therapy)

  • Elderly patients (RRT)

  • Elderly patients (management of anemia)

  • Elderly patients (management of hyperphosphatemia)

  • Elderly patients (management of hyperparathyroidism)

  • Pregnant patients

  • Patients with diabetes mellitus (primary prevention)

  • Patients with diabetes mellitus (general principles of management)

  • Patients with diabetes mellitus (team-based care)

  • Patients with diabetes mellitus (self-management programs)

  • Patients with diabetes mellitus (indications for specialist referral)

  • Patients with diabetes mellitus (treatment goals)

  • Patients with diabetes mellitus (glycemic monitoring)

  • Patients with diabetes mellitus (monitoring of renal function)

  • Patients with diabetes mellitus (weight loss)

  • Patients with diabetes mellitus (physical activity)

  • Patients with diabetes mellitus (dietary modifications)

  • Patients with diabetes mellitus (protein intake)

  • Patients with diabetes mellitus (sodium intake)

  • Patients with diabetes mellitus (smoking cessation)

  • Patients with diabetes mellitus (metformin)

  • Patients with diabetes mellitus (renin-angiotensin system inhibitors)

  • Patients with diabetes mellitus (mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists)

  • Patients with diabetes mellitus (beta-blockers)

  • Patients with diabetes mellitus (SGLT-2 inhibitors)

  • Patients with diabetes mellitus (GLP-1 receptor agonists)

  • Patients with diabetes mellitus (statin therapy)

  • Patients with diabetes mellitus (antiplatelet therapy)

  • Patients with diabetes mellitus (RRT)

  • Patients with diabetes mellitus (kidney transplantation)

  • Patients with coronary artery disease

  • Patients with AF

  • Patients with osteoporosis (bisphosphonates)

  • Patients with HCV infection (liver testing)

  • Patients with HCV infection (screening for other infections)

  • Patients with HCV infection (antiviral regimens)

  • Patients with HCV infection (management of glomerular disease)

  • Patients with HCV infection (kidney transplantation)

  • Patients with HCV infection (kidney transplant recipients)

  • Patients with HCV infection (follow-up)

  • Patients with HIV infection (monitoring of renal function)

  • Patients with HIV infection (evaluation for kidney disease)

  • Patients with HIV infection (ART)

  • Patients with HIV infection (RAAS blockers)

  • Patients with HIV infection (statins)

  • Patients with HIV infection (aspirin)

  • Patients with HIV infection (BP targets)

  • Patients with HIV infection (corticosteroids)

  • Patients with HIV infection (RRT)

  • Patients with HIV infection (kidney transplantation)

  • Patients with HIV infection (pediatric patients)

Patient education

Education programs
As per KDIGO 2024 guidelines:
Incorporate education programs that also involve care partners where appropriate to promote informed, proactive patients with CKD.
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Consider using telehealth technologies such as web-based platforms, mobile applications, virtual visits, and wearable devices in the provision of education and care.
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Preventative measures

Immunizations: as per JSN 2019 guidelines, consider offering pneumococcal and influenza vaccination in patients with CKD.
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  • Use of contrast media (iodine-containing)

  • Use of contrast media (gadolinium-containing)

Follow-up and surveillance

Indications for specialist referral: as per KDIGO 2024 guidelines, refer adult patients with CKD to specialist kidney care services in the following circumstances:
Situation
Guidance
Causes
Cause of CKD is uncertain
Hereditary kidney disease
Recurrent extensive nephrolithiasis
EGFR/risk of RRT
A >3-5% 5-year risk of requiring RRT measured using a validated risk equation
EGFR < 30 mL/min/1.73 m²
A sustained fall in GFR of > 20% or > 30% in patients initiating hemodynamically active therapies
Albuminuria and microscopic hematuria
Consistent finding of significant albuminuria (albumin-to-creatinine ratio ≥ 300 mg/g or albumin excretion rate ≥ 300 mg/24 hours, approximately equivalent to protein-to-creatinine ratio ≥ 500 mg/g or protein excretion rate ≥ 500 mg/24 hours) in combination with hematuria
2-fold increase in albuminuria in patients with significant albuminuria undergoing monitoring
A consistent finding of albumin-to-creatinine ratio > 700 mg/g
Urinary red cell casts, RBCs > 20 per hpf sustained and not readily explained
Others
CKD and hypertension refractory to treatment
≥ 4 antihypertensive agents
Persistent abnormalities of serum potassium
Acidosis
Anemia
Bone disease
Malnutrition
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  • Monitoring for disease progression

Quality improvement

Requirements for laboratories: as per KDIGO 2024 guidelines, implement the following laboratory standards of care to ensure precision and reliability in GFR assessment using creatinine and cystatin C:
report EGFR in addition to the serum concentrations of filtration markers using validated equations
report EGFR rounded to the nearest whole number and relative to a body surface area of 1.73 m² in adults using the units mL/min/1.73 m²
flag reported EGFR levels < 60 mL/min/1.73 m² as low
report serum creatinine concentration rounded to the nearest whole number when expressed as standard IUs (mcmol/L) and rounded to the nearest 100th of a whole number when expressed as conventional units (mg/dL), and serum cystatin C concentration rounded to the nearest 100th of a whole number when expressed as conventional units (mg/L)
measure filtration markers using a specific, precise (coefficient of variation < 2.3% for creatinine and < 2.0% for cystatin C) assay with calibration traceable to the international standard reference materials and desirable bias (< 3.7% for creatinine and < 3.2% for cystatin C) compared with reference methodology (or appropriate international standard reference method group target in external quality assessment for cystatin C)
use an enzymatic method to assay creatinine, where possible
separate serum/plasma from RBCs by centrifugation within 12 hours of venipuncture
measure creatinine on the same sample used to measure cystatin C to enable calculation of EGFR by creatinine and cystatin C.
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