Volume overload has been shown to be an independent risk factor for mortality in patients receiving chronic dialysis, but data in non-dialysis patients are scarce. Therefore we evaluated the prognostic value of extracellular fluid (ECF) volume for chronic kidney disease (CKD) progression and mortality in a prospective hospital-based cohort with CKD stage 1-4 (NephroTest Study). ECF (scaled to body surface area) and the measured glomerular filtration rate (mGFR) were determined using the distribution volume and clearance of 51Cr-EDTA, respectively. Cause-specific Cox and linear mixed-effect regression models were used to analyze the association of ECF with end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) and mortality, and with mGFR decline, respectively. The 1593 patients were mean age 58.8 years, 67% were men, mean mGFR of 43.6 mL/min/1.73m2 and mean ECF 15.1 L/1.73m2. After a median follow-up of 5.3 years, ESKD occurred in 324 patients and 185 patients died before ESKD. In multivariable analysis, ECF was significantly associated with the risk of ESKD (hazard ratio per 1L/1.73m2 increase: 1.14; 95% confidence interval [1.07; 1.21]) and with a faster GFR decline (adjusted mean difference in mGFR slope per 1L/1.73m2 increase -0.14 [-0.23; -0.05] mL/min/year). The relationship of ECF with mortality was non-linear and not significant (per 1L/1.73m2 increase 0.92, [0.73; 1.16]), below 15L/1.73m2, but significant (1.28; [1.14-1.45]) above 15L/1.73m2. Thus, in this large cohort of carefully phenotyped patients with CKD, ECF was an independent risk factor of CKD progression and mortality. Hence, close monitoring and treatment of fluid overload are important for the clinical management of patients with non-dialysis CKD.
Keywords: chronic kidney disease; extracellular fluid volume; sodium; volume overload.
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