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Labs, Patient Group Collaborate to Improve Chronic Kidney Disease Testing

NEW YORK (360Dx) – The National Kidney Foundation and the American Society for Clinical Pathology today announced a collaboration to eliminate barriers to testing for chronic kidney disease, or CKD, by standardizing the method for testing for the condition.

The collaboration also will improve comparison of test results between laboratories, increase early recognition of the disease, and promote patient awareness of CKD, the partners said.

The effort combines the resources of leading clinical laboratory societies, various laboratory providers, and a patient advocacy group to advance improvements in CKD lab testing. ARUP Laboratories, BioReference Laboratories, Laboratory Corporation of America, Mayo Medical Laboratories, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Quest Diagnostics, and Sonic Healthcare USA "have aligned with the initiative recommendations to improve CKD screening, diagnosis, and care management," the partners said.

One outcome from the collaboration is the recommendation of a new test profile for CKD assessment and diagnosis, called "Kidney Profile." Using evidence-based clinical practice guidelines, "Kidney Profile" recommends combining two tests for CKD assessment — the estimated glomerular filtration rate, which assesses kidney function, and urine albumin-creatinine ratio, which evaluates kidney damage. Both are used to test for and diagnose CKD. Combining both tests has been shown to be a strong predictor of both cardiovascular mortality and kidney failure risk, the partners said.

Using "Kidney Profile" will simplifying the ordering of the tests by paring them under one heading on the lab requisition form or electronic health record, they said, and streamlining the CKD test ordering could eliminate the need to search for each test separately while making it easier to monitor results. "Kidney Profile" will also make it easier for CKD patients to understand and track their results.

NKF and ASCP noted that about 75 million Americans are at risk for developing CKD due to hypertension or diabetes. While about 30 million have CKD, less than 4 percent are aware they have the condition. CKD progression can be slowed or halted if caught in its early stages, they said.