Subjective Global Assessment in chronic kidney disease: a review

J Ren Nutr. 2004 Oct;14(4):191-200.


Nutritional assessment of patients with chronic kidney disease is a vital function of health care providers. Subjective Global Assessment (SGA) is a tool that uses 5 components of a medical history (weight change, dietary intake, gastrointestinal symptoms, functional capacity, disease and its relation to nutritional requirements) and 3 components of a brief physical examination (signs of fat and muscle wasting, nutrition-associated alternations in fluid balance) to assess nutritional status. SGA was originally used to predict outcomes in surgical patients; however, its use has gone beyond this function and population. In chronic kidney disease patients, SGA is incorporated into the complete nutritional assessment. Validation of SGA as a screening tool for surgical patients was done by Detsky et al in 1984. Since that time, SGA has been altered by different researchers and clinicians to better meet the needs of the patients they served. Validation of the altered SGA formats has not been thoroughly done. Further work in establishing validity and reliability of each version of SGA in different patient populations should be done to enable clinicians and researchers to properly use this nutritional assessment tool.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Body Mass Index
  • Chronic Disease
  • Diet
  • Humans
  • Kidney Diseases* / therapy
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy
  • Malnutrition / diagnosis
  • Nutrition Assessment*
  • Nutritional Status*
  • Peritoneal Dialysis
  • Renal Dialysis
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Serum Albumin / analysis


  • Serum Albumin