Internal and Emergency Medicine

, Volume 6, Supplement 1, pp 77-83

First online:

Management of patients with chronic kidney disease

  • Francesco P. SchenaAffiliated withRenal, Dialysis and Transplant Unit, University of Bari Email author 

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Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a silent disease which worsens gradually to end-stage kidney disease (ESKD). US kidney disease outcomes quality initiative (KDOQI) guidelines indicate five stages of CKD based on the severity of kidney function which is assessed by estimating the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) by the modification of diet in renal disease (MDRD) formula. The management of CKD patients with mild renal damage (stage 1–2 KDOQI) is articulated on the reduction of proteinuria (<500 mg/day), reduction of sitting systolic and diastolic blood pressure (<130/80 mmHg), salt restriction diet, diuretics (furosemide, spironolactone), antihypertensive agents (ACE inhibitors or ARBs (angiotensin II receptor blockers) or both as first-line therapy), additional other antihypertensives (aliskiren, non-dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers, beta blockers), body weight reduction, cigarette smoking stopping, allopurinol therapy and non-use of some drugs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents, acetaminophen, bisphosphonates, oral estrogens) and herbals. The management of CKD patients with moderate-severe renal damage (stage 3–5 KDOQI) is based on the above recommendations plus low protein diet, correction of hyperkalaemia, metabolic acidosis, and administration of vitamin D derivates and erythropoietin for the correction of mineral metabolism disorders and anemia, respectively. In conclusion, patients with CKD (stage 1–2 KDOQI) may be correctly managed by primary care physicians, individuals in stage 3–5 KDOQI need the supervision of nephrologists to assess those patients who progress to ESKD and require renal replacement therapy.


Chronic kidney disease Therapy End-stage kidney disease Renal replacement therapy