Clinical investigations from the RACP

Early detection and treatment of chronic kidney disease

Rachel Preece, Grant Luxton



Chronic kidney disease is common and often asymptomatic, and screening is therefore essential in patients with risk factors. Blood pressure control is the most important intervention to slow progression of the condition.

Key Points

  • Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is common and often asymptomatic.
  • CKD is associated with significant morbidity and mortality; prompt recognition and treatment can improve outcome.
  • Estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) is more sensitive than serum creatinine level alone in detecting early CKD.
  • Treatment aims to reduce cardiovascular risk and slow CKD progression.
  • Presence of one or more ‘red flags’ necessitates prompt referral to a nephrologist.