Just How Badly Are the Kidneys Damanged When You're CKD Stage 3b?

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Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 1/24/2010 11:26 AM (GMT -6)   
My 70-year old aunt has Stage 3b CKD, based on my reading of her blood tests alone.  I'm trying to interpret these results the best I can. 

Back in 8/2008, her GFR was 49.5. It's since dipped to 44 and in Summer 2009, plummeted to 32. This is a loss of 17.5ml/min over 12 months. 32 is actually pretty close to Stage 4 CKD.  Most recently, however, her GFR improved to 44.  Still a loss of 6 ml/min over her 2008 reading.
  • Her BUNs range from 22-25.  Most recently they're 25.
  • Her Creatinine ranges from 1.1-1.6.  They have been going up and, most recently, it's 1.6.
  • Her Cholorides (112-113) are always elevated. Most recently, it is 113.
Just how bad are these readings?  My aunt suffers from hypertension and it looks like until recently, they were untreated.  She's now on 25mg HCZL.  She also has Hep B and is being treated with Hepsera 25mg, which can also damage kidneys.  Both may have contributed to her GFR deterioration.  Her resting BP before taking HCZA was something like 160/100.
When we talked to her PCP, under which her GFR has declined, he refused to refer her to a nephrologist, saying they're not that bad.  I don't think you can say that when you plummet to 32 GFR.  I've made an appointment with a nephrologist anyway.   She has never seen a nephrologist in her life.
What are we looking at here? Are these numbers fairly typical or not that bad for someone who's about to turn 70?  Or does she need to be looked at by a nephro?

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Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1048
   Posted 1/25/2010 12:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to the forum. I am so sorry to hear that you aunt is so sick. I really think you did the smart thing by making an appointment to see a nephrologist. I'm not a doctor, but have CKD myself. I want you to know that even though her kidneys have declined there's always hope. I have been classified as end stage and on dialysis with a GFR of 6% and now i'm off dialysis and holding my own.

The primary goal is getting to the bottom of the problem; which the nephrologist should be able to determine and it may just be fixable!! THank God she has someone like you to look out for her best interest. My creatinine has been up to 13.0 and then recovered. So, hang in there! These are not the worst numbers i've ever seen, but there's no reason to let her continue to decline! Keep us informed! God Bless you, Judy

Post Edited (MJLD) : 1/25/2010 12:14:44 PM (GMT-7)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1470
   Posted 1/25/2010 2:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi there! Welcome to the Kidney Forum of Healing well! So sorry you had to come but I am sure you will be give some good advice. Judy is right. You have done the right thing to schedule an appointment with a nephrologist. The numbers your aunt has aren't the worst I have experienced or seen BUT it is very smart to go ahead and get things looked at and hopefully the nephrologist can get them stabelized.

Also one thing that might ease your mind a little bit. The GFR listed on the lab papers are an estimation. That is not her real GFR. It is most likely a good bit higher than listed once you calculate her age, weight and othe figures which the nephrologist will do. Please keep us updated on how she is doing? When is her appointment?

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Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1048
   Posted 1/25/2010 8:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Amy is so right about the GFR. My doc was ready to put me on dialysis a good while before I needed it because the lab was miscalculating my gfr. I figured out that they had never weighed me, which is a part of the equation. The nephrologist will do an accurate calculation.

Forgive me for my ignorance, i've never heard of Stage 3-b. I've only seen it staged using numbers without the letters. I was just curious about that, no biggie.
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