Which clinical history findings are characteristic of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in children?

Updated: Jul 21, 2020
  • Author: Sanjeev Gulati, MD, MBBS, DNB(Peds), DM, DNB(Neph), FIPN(Australia), FICN, FRCPC(Canada); Chief Editor: Craig B Langman, MD  more...
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Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is asymptomatic in its earliest stages (stage I and stage II), although urinalysis findings or blood pressure may be abnormal. As chronic kidney disease progresses to more advanced stages, signs and symptoms greatly increase.

Polydipsia and nocturia (secondary to a reduced capacity to concentrate the urine) may be one of the earliest symptoms that indicate a diagnosis of chronic kidney disease in an otherwise healthy-looking child who has tubulointerstitial kidney disease.

The signs and symptoms in advanced chronic kidney disease may include the following:

  • Volume overload

  • Hyperkalemia

  • Metabolic acidosis

  • Hypertension

  • Anemia

  • Bone disease (termed osteodystrophy)

  • Cardiovascular disease

  • Anorexia, nausea, vomiting

The absolute serum levels of blood urea nitrogen (BUN) or creatinine do not directly correlate with the development of these symptoms; however, estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) seems to be associated with a stronger correlation.

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