Background: Screening and monitoring for chronic kidney disease (CKD) could lead to earlier interventions that improve clinical outcomes.
Purpose: To summarize evidence about the benefits and harms of screening for and monitoring and treatment of CKD stages 1 to 3 in adults.
Data sources: MEDLINE (1985 through November 2011), reference lists, and expert suggestions.
Study selection: English-language, randomized, controlled trials that evaluated screening for or monitoring or treatment of CKD and that reported clinical outcomes.
Data extraction: Two reviewers assessed study characteristics and rated quality and strength of evidence.
Data synthesis: No trials evaluated screening or monitoring, and 110 evaluated treatments. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (relative risk, 0.65 [95% CI, 0.49 to 0.88]) and angiotensin II-receptor blockers (relative risk, 0.77 [CI, 0.66 to 0.90]) reduced end-stage renal disease versus placebo, primarily in patients with diabetes who have macroalbuminuria. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors reduced mortality versus placebo (relative risk, 0.79 [CI, 0.66 to 0.96]) in patients with microalbuminuria and cardiovascular disease or high-risk diabetes. Statins and β-blockers reduced mortality and cardiovascular events versus placebo or control in patients with impaired estimated glomerular filtration rate and either hyperlipidemia or congestive heart failure, respectively. Risks for mortality, end-stage renal disease, or other clinical outcomes did not significantly differ between strict and usual blood pressure control. The strength of evidence was rated high for angiotensin II-receptor blockers and statins, moderate for angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and β-blockers, and low for strict blood pressure control.
Limitations: Evidence about outcomes was sometimes scant and derived from post hoc analyses of subgroups of patients enrolled in trials. Few trials reported or systematically collected information about adverse events. Selective reporting and publication bias were possible.
Conclusion: The role of CKD screening or monitoring in improving clinical outcomes is uncertain. Evidence for CKD treatment benefit is strongest for angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin II-receptor blockers, and in patients with albuminuria combined with diabetes or cardiovascular disease.
Primary funding source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.