Nephrology – Original Paper

International Urology and Nephrology

, Volume 44, Issue 5, pp 1461-1466

First online:

Variability in CKD stage in outpatients followed in two large renal clinics

  • Tabo SikanetaAffiliated withRenal Division, Scarborough Hospital Email author 
  • , Mohamed AbdolellAffiliated withFaculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University
  • , Hulya TaskapanAffiliated withScarborough Hospital
  • , Janet RoscoeAffiliated withRenal Division, Scarborough Hospital
  • , Jason FungAffiliated withRenal Division, Scarborough Hospital
  • , Gordon NagaiAffiliated withRenal Division, Scarborough Hospital
  • , Robert H. TingAffiliated withRenal Division, Scarborough Hospital
  • , Paul NgAffiliated withRenal Division, Scarborough Hospital
  • , George WuAffiliated withRenal Program, Credit Valley Hospital
    • , Dimitrios OreopoulosAffiliated withDivision of Nephrology, Toronto Western Hospital
    • , Paul Y. TamAffiliated withRenal Division, Scarborough Hospital

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Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is staged by glomerular filtration rate (GFR). CKD stages sometimes vary between routine office visits, and it is unknown if this impacts renal and patient survival separately from a cross-sectional CKD stage value. We quantified and categorized CKD stage variability in a large group of outpatients and correlated this with clinical and demographic features and with renal and patient survival.


All estimated GFRs were staged in the first observation period. CKD stages were then categorized as static, improving, worsening, or fluctuating. Logistic regression analysis was performed to identify clinical variables associated with CKD stage variability. Death and dialysis progression rates were then collected and analyzed using Cox proportional regression.


During a 1.1-year observation period, 1,262 patients (mean age 71.25 years) had a mean 5 eGFR’s. CKD stages were static in 60.4%, worsened in 14.4%, improved in 7.4%, and fluctuated in 17.2% of patients. Secondary analysis revealed heavy proteinuria and East Asian ethnicity to be negatively, and diabetes mellitus and previous acute kidney injury to be positively associated with improving CKD stages. Cox proportional regression of 902 patients analyzed 2.3 years later revealed a negative association with improving CKD stage and subsequent need for dialysis.


CKD stage changed in 40% of 1,262 elderly patients when determined 5 times in just over 1 year. Improving CKD stage was the only variability pattern significantly associated with any of the clinical outcomes when assessed 2.3 years later, being unlikely to be linked with subsequent need for dialysis.


Estimated GFR CKD staging CKD outcomes