A study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology (JASN) says that not all patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) are destined for kidney failure.
The findings provide hope that the kidney health of some CKD patients can improve.
Approximately 60 million people globally have chronic kidney disease, which is often assumed to be an unstoppable and progressive condition that leads to kidney failure and the need for long-term dialysis or a kidney transplant. At present, there is no convincing evidence that kidney function can actually improve in patients with CKD.
Of 949 CKD patients in the study who had at least three follow-up measurements of kidney function, 94 (10%) did not develop progressive kidney dysfunction, and 31 (3%) demonstrated clearly improved kidney function. Patients with low blood pressure were most likely to experience improved kidney function.
"This analysis of long-term follow-up of patients with CKD provides strong evidence for the first time that some patients with CKD improve over an extended period of time," said Dr. Hu.