We have demonstrated previously that at referral most chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients have suboptimal metabolic and hypertension control. Although several studies suggest that CKD clinics improve patient outcome, in fact there are minimal published data describing the actual effect of such clinics on these parameters.
We performed a historical prospective review of a cohort of 340 CKD patients referred to our multidsciplinary clinic in 1998 or 1999, with estimated creatinine clearance (CCr) 130 mmHg systolic or 85 mmHg diastolic. For proteinuric patients (>1 g/day), 75% of follow-up visits showed BP >125/75 mmHg, despite angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor use increasing from 35% at referral to 79% at follow-up. Twenty-four percent of patients started renal replacement therapy, initially haemodialysis (HD) in 57%, peritoneal dialysis (PD) in 35% and pre-emptive transplant in 8%. Thirty-eight percent of dialysis starts occurred within 6 months of referral, but PD was the modality in half of these. Only half of the HD patients started using an aterio-venous fistula, and of those using a central catheter 11 of 24 had been followed >6 months, but only four of them had attempted fistula creation.
CKD clinic attendance was associated with improvements in metabolic and BP control, and was able to facilitate the use of PD even for late referrals. However, even the multidisciplinary model with nephrologists, nurse educators and dietitians was unable to achieve guideline-recommended metabolic, anaemia, BP and access targets for a significant number of patients.