Diagnosis of End-stage Renal Disease (ESRD)
The doctor will ask about symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done.
Tests may include:
- Blood tests to look for:
- Glomerular filtration rate (GFR)—Measures how well the kidneys are filtering wastes. GFR drops as the kidneys fail.
- Increase in wastes in the blood. Items measured may include creatine and urea. The amount of wastes in the blood goes higher as the kidneys fail.
- Changes of substances in the blood that are normally controlled by the kidneys. This may include calcium, phosphorus, parathyroid hormone, blood electrolytes, and potassium.
- Urine tests to look for:
- Excess protein in the urine. Damaged kidneys let more protein pass into urine than healthy kidneys.
- Amount of urine that is made. Little or no urine is made as the kidneys fail.
Imaging tests look for a cause of sudden changes in how the kidneys work. They can also look at the size and shape of the kidneys. Tests may be done with:
- Choosing a treatment for kidney failure. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/kidney-failure/choosing-treatment.
- Chronic kidney disease (CKD) in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/chronic-kidney-disease-ckd-in-adults.
- Complications of chronic kidney disease. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/complications-of-chronic-kidney-disease.
- What is kidney failure? National Kidney Foundation website. Available at: https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/KidneyFailure.
- Mark S. Itzkowitz, MD, JD
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