I have a couple questions about what these terms mean. After a trip to the ER, I was told I was having issues with my kidneys. It didn't sound too severe though. I need help understanding what these terms are...chronic kidney disease less than 60 ml/min/1.73 sq.m and Kidney failure less than 15 ml/min/1.73m2?
The terms that you cite are "categories" of severity of chronic renal failure. "Chronic"--as opposed to "acute"--tends to occur very slowly, over decades, and is generally progressive and irreversible. In chronic renal disease the goal is to stabilize it where it is and reduce or delay future losses of renal function. There really is no "cure", instead there is 'management'.
One standard scale to estimate residual renal function is the Glomerular Filtration Rate (or GFR, and, recently, estimated GFR or eGFR. "Estimated" is obviously less accurate, but it is fast and cheap.)
Less than 60 ml/min/1.73 indicates very very slight reductions in renal function. Most labs mark this as "Stage 1" though the categories are always changing; for example some labs now use a Stage 3 as well as a Stage 3A and 3B. Above 60 is considered insignificant, or normal. So you aren't starting out with a 40% deficit. It is not a 0-100 scale. It's really a 15-60 scale,
Less than 15 ml/min is often categorized as "End Stage Renal Disease, ESRD. This does not mean the impending end of life, it means that without medical intervention--dialysis or transplant--the patient will eventually die. So the "End" is really the end of any useful renal function.
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