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Chronic Kidney Disease

At the Cleveland Clinic Center for Chronic Kidney Disease, experts in nephrology collaborate with other physicians to treat patients with chronic kidney conditions. Learn more from our experts.

Learn more about Cleveland Clinic's top-ranked nephrology program in the nation.

Cleveland Clinic nephrologists are experts at evaluating and managing chronic kidney disease (CKD). An innovative team-care model addresses the life cycle of the disease. The Center for Chronic Kidney Disease focuses on empowering patients through education and on tailoring treatment to improve patients’ quality of life.

The center’s progressive model for managing CKD addresses patients’ needs at every stage of the disease. Experienced nephrologists and other staff members engage patients in customized care programs that help them understand their condition and participate in their own care. Treatment is focused on slowing the progression of CKD, identifying risks for cardiovascular disease and decreasing the risk of complications from surgery.

Additionally, the center is dedicated to cutting-edge CKD research regarding CKD’s relationship with other serious health problems, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and anemia.

Chronic Kidney Disease Clinic
Chronic Kidney Disease Treatment Guide | Cleveland Clinic

Learn more about how CKD is diagnosed, an explanation of its stages, available treatment options, and advantages of treatment at the Cleveland Clinic as well as information about our specialists and treatment locations.
Learn more

A team-care model has proven effective in managing CKD. Physicians design treatment programs, which are supported by nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nutritionists and educators. A three-pronged approach to evaluating and managing CKD involves:

  • Delaying progression to ease the burden of end-stage renal disease
  • Reducing the morbidity rate of CKD patients through intensive cardiovascular risk management
  • Optimizing the transition to renal replacement therapy, such as dialysis or kidney transplant

Patient Education

An effective treatment program requires partnership between the patient and medical staff. The center’s comprehensive CKD patient education program helps individuals understand renal disease risks and management strategies. A dedicated CKD educator leads the charge. Patients are supported with information concerning nutrition, cholesterol, blood pressure and CKD care. Ultimately, patient education results in more CKD success stories.

Research and Innovations

The Center for Chronic Kidney Disease utilizes technological advances and electronic medical records to connect with patients and proactively engage in their care.

CKD Registry

With a robust registry of patients affected by CKD, Cleveland Clinic developed a registry over over 93,000 patients that will aid in monitoring this population’s progress during the life cycle of the disease. The registry includes demographic information, critical parameters, and outcome measurements. 

The ability to follow patients from primary care management to nephrologic care on to CKD care and finally to renal replacement therapy, is a valuable foundation for future research and discovery. The registry also will shed light on how the medical community recognizes and manages CKD.

CKD Carepath

The National Kidney Foundation set evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for all stages of CKD and related complications. Cleveland Clinic is developing a computer-based CKD Carepath to assist caregivers in the diagnosis and management of CKD. The CKD Carepath will inform physicians of CKD management suggestions based on the National Kidney Foundation’s Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative. Because CKD is often discovered in later stages, and sometimes a person has lost 70 percent of kidney function by that time, Cleveland Clinic is taking aggressive steps to identify the disease in its early stages. That way, CKD and related diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, can be managed with optimum results.

Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC) Study

Cleveland Clinic is participating in a long-term observational study of 3,000 individuals with mild to moderate CKD. The study is examining the relationship between CKD and cardiovascular disease in order to better diagnose and treat both conditions.

  • The study is funded by the National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
  • Patient participants receive general healthcare from their own clinicians while CRIC investigators measure kidney, heart and blood vessel health.
  • Participants are followed for five years with annual clinic visits and telephone contact.
  • Ancillary studies examine CKD and speech, cognition and eye health, among other areas.

Navigating the Challenges of CKD

The CKD Registry has been a powerful tool to help in the recruitment for NIH/NIDDK-funded grant to establish and study the impact of a CKD patient navigator program. The specific aims of the grant proposal include:

  • Create a CKD patient navigator program adapting the use of patient navigators successfully employed in the oncology field with the well established chronic care model to improve CKD outcomes in stage 3b/4 patients.
  • Develop an electronic health record-based enhanced personal health record (PHR) that will use electronic communication to disseminate CKD stage-specific goals of care and CKD education modeling from the well established chronic care model to improve outcomes from stage 3b/4 patients.
  • Conduct a randomized clinical trial using a factorial design to investigate the clinical outcomes of a CKD patient navigator, an enhanced PHR, and a combination of the two compared with usual care in CKD stage 3b/4 Patients.

Our Team

Joseph Nally, MD | Cleveland Clinic

Joseph Nally,

Director, Center for Chronic Kidney Disease

Robert Heyka | Cleveland Clinic

Robert Heyka,

Chair, Department of Nephrology and Hypertension

Call us for an Appointment

Urology Appointments: 800.223.2273 ext. 4-5600
Nephrology Appointments: 800.223.2273 ext. 4-6771

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Talk to a Nurse

Do you have a question about our services? Ask a nurse in the Glickman Urological & Kidney Institute.