The five stages of chronic kidney disease (CKD).

To identify the extent of kidney damage, chronic kidney disease (CKD) is classified into multiple stages. These five stages are determined by measuring a patient’s glomerular filtration rate (GFR). Your GFR number indicates how much kidney function you have.  As chronic kidney disease worsens, the GFR number decreases.

Stages of kidney disease

How our doctors determine your GFR.

GFR is a blood test our nephrologists use to measure the amount of creatinine in the blood. Creatinine is a normal waste product from the muscles that is filtered out through the kidneys. The higher the amount of creatinine found in the blood, the lower the amount of creatinine being filtered out by the kidneys, which tells us how well (or poorly) the kidneys are functioning.

Early detection of chronic kidney disease is important to slow the progression of CKD and a nephrologist should be consulted.  While you cannot reverse damage, in stages 1 and 2, it is possible to prevent further damage and maintain kidney function. Changes in lifestyle and diet, along with regular checkups, can help keep the kidneys from further deterioration. Stages 3, 4 or 5 CKD are when your kidney function is moderately to severely reduced. During these stages is most likely when you will experience physical changes.  If you have not been seen by and evaluated by a nephrologist, it is extremely important that you make an appointment with a nephrologist, like the experienced, reputable physicians at Dallas Nephrology Associates.

Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is calculated using the creatinine level in the blood, your age, ethnicity and gender.  Creatinine is a normal waste product found in your body that can build up while your kidney function declines.  Therefore, the higher level of creatinine, the lower your kidney function.

Stage 1

Onset CKD, GFR of 90 or greater
In this stage, you have normal kidney function, but tests show signs of kidney damage. There are often little or no symptoms of kidney damage in Stage 1.

Stage 2

Mild CKD, GFR of 60-89
In Stage 2, kidney function is mildly reduced, and there are some signs of kidney damage.

Stage 3

Moderate CKD, GFR of 30-59
Stage 3 is when kidney function is moderately reduced. This is the beginning of some symptoms and moderate physical changes. Stage 3 is separated into two stages:

  • Stage 3a means you have a GFR between 45 and 59
  • Stage 3b means you have a GFR between 30 and 44

Stage 4

Advanced CKD, GFR of 15-29
In Stage 4, there is reduced kidney function, requiring treatment and management by your kidney doctor.  At this stage, we recommend that patients attend our patient education classes to learn about their treatment options such as living donation, dialysis, kidney transplant or conservative treatment.   

Stage 5

End-Stage CKD, GFR of less than 15
Description: In Stage 5, survival depends on 
getting dialysis or a kidney transplant. Dallas Nephrology Associates is leading the industry in kidney care throughout Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas.

Find out more about chronic kidney disease.

To learn more about chronic kidney disease, click on the links below.

For top-quality care for chronic kidney disease in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, call DNA at 877-654-3639. You can also contact us via our convenient online form.