Identification, management and referral of adults with chronic kidney disease

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Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is often thought to be a relatively rare condition requiring specialist care. However, early CKD is common and referral of all patients would completely overwhelm existing specialist services.

Established renal failure (ERF) is uncommon but its treatment with dialysis or transplantation is very expensive, costing over 2% of the total NHS budget. The number of patients receiving renal replacement therapy (RRT) in the UK is rising and is unlikely to reach steady state for another 25 years. It follows that any improvement in the cost-effective treatment of early kidney disease is highly desirable.

This concise guideline will inform general physicians, general practitioners and other healthcare professionals working in diabetes, geriatrics or cardiovascular subspecialties about the identification and management of CKD, and which patients to refer for specialist care.

Reviewed 2012, superseded by NICE guideline