Diagnostic approach to chronic kidney disease
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) can be considered to be present if a patient has a glomerular filtration rate <60 mL/min or markers of kidney disease that have been present for >3 months. These include proteinuria, haematuria and radiological abnormalities. Regardless of the stage of CKD, the approach is mainly similar. As stated in the South African Renal Society Guidelines for the early detection and management of CKD, early and appropriate investigation and timeous referral of these patients enable one to establish a specific diagnosis; treat reversible diseases; optimise management to slow the progression of CKD; identify and optimally manage comorbid conditions; and plan renal replacement therapy well before the patient develops end-stage kidney disease.