Early Renal Insufficiency
It is estimated that as many as 12 million U.S. residents have early renal disease (also called kidney disease) and may go on to develop renal failure. If a patient with renal disease becomes one of the over 360,000 individuals with renal failure, he or she can expect to have a poor chance of survival, relative to age-matched persons who do not have renal disease.
Much of this poor outcome is attributable to inadequate attention to unrecognized complications of renal disease such as anemia, heart disease, malnutrition, and bone disease that develop long before the onset of renal failure. Furthermore, there is growing evidence, which demonstrates that the rate of renal function loss can be slowed with appropriate therapy.
The Early Renal Insufficiency (ERI) Program, run by the University of Maryland Medical Center's Division of Nephrology, has been established to assist primary care providers in the care of this high-risk patient group at the earliest stages of renal disease.
Click on any of the links listed below for more information on the ERI Program:
In the University of Maryland ERI Program, patients with early renal disease are:
- Assessed for their risk for development of renal failure
- Examined for their degree of renal function loss
- Evaluated for the extent of associated complications of renal disease
- Treated with therapies such as erythropoietic agents, vitamin D, lipid-lowering, and antihypertensive medicine, which are known to improve the outcome of these patients
- Followed over time for their disease progression
- Prepared in a timely fashion for either transplant or dialysis if renal failure is likely
After the initial evaluation, the ERI Program staff will maintain contact with you, assist in your management, and schedule follow-up visits as needed.
The primary goal of the ERI Program is to slow the progression of renal disease. This is accomplished by educating you about the causes of renal disease and the factors that can be modified in order to keep your kidneys functioning for as long as possible. The staff of the ERI clinic supplements the care provided by your primary care physician in order to improve your long-term health and outcome.
You should be considered for evaluation in the ERI Program if:
- You have a modestly elevated creatinine or low glomerular filtration rate
- You are diabetic with microalbuminuria or overt proteinuria
- You are hypertensive with low-grade proteinuria
- You view yourself at a high risk for development of renal disease