Screening for End-stage Renal Disease (ESRD)
by Debra Wood, RN
The purpose of screening is early diagnosis and treatment. Screening tests are given to people without current symptoms, but who may be at high risk for certain diseases or conditions. Screening for follows someone in renal failure to screen for evidence that they are getting close to ESRD.
Blood tests to see if your kidneys are working properly. If they are not filtering the blood properly, the blood will contain excess amounts of creatinine and urea. Creatinine is a byproduct of muscle function. Urea is a waste product of protein metabolism.
Urine tests to see if the kidneys are working properly. If they are not working properly, urine will contain protein. You may be asked to collect urine in a special container over a 24-hour period. This test will also show if your kidneys are clearing creatinine at a normal rate. The amount of urine produced during this test is also important. If your kidneys are failing, your urine output may be low or even completely absent. If you have diabetes, your doctor will likely check your urine every year for small amounts of protein.
The glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is a measurement of how well the kidneys are processing wastes. Your doctor can calculate the GFR based on your:
The National Kidney Foundation provides screening for people with high blood pressure, diabetes, or a close relative with one of these conditions or with chronic renal failure.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) in adults. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated August 23, 2016. Accessed October 4, 2016.
What I need to know about kidney failure and how it's treated. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at:
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Updated September 2013. Accessed November 17, 2016.
Yu HT. Progression of chronic renal failure. Arch Int Med. 2003;163(12):1417-1429.
Last reviewed November 2016 by Adrienne Carmack, MD
Last Updated: 5/20/2015
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