Acid Base Balance and Progression of Kidney Disease

Semin Nephrol. 2019 Jul;39(4):406-417. doi: 10.1016/j.semnephrol.2019.04.009.


A large body of work in animals and human beings supports the hypothesis that metabolic acidosis has a deleterious effect on the progression of kidney disease. Alkali therapy, whether pharmacologically or through dietary intervention, appears to slow CKD progression, but an appropriately powered randomized controlled trial with a low risk of bias is required to reach a more definitive conclusion. Recent work on urinary ammonium excretion has shown that the development of prognostic tools related to acidosis is not straightforward, and that application of urine markers such as ammonium may require more nuance than would be predicted based on our understanding of the pathophysiology.

Keywords: Renal insufficiency; acidosis; alkali therapy; alkalosis; chronic; kidney disease progression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acidosis*
  • Ammonia / urine
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / urine
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Kidney Diseases / drug therapy
  • Kidney Diseases / physiopathology*


  • Biomarkers
  • Ammonia