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Chronic Kidney Disease Differential Diagnoses

  • Author: Pradeep Arora, MD; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FACP, FASN  more...
Updated: Jul 14, 2016

Diagnostic Considerations

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) can have a variety of different presentations depending on the stage of the disease and its cause, as well as patient factors such as age. A detailed history and physical examination is essential. In addition to routine laboratory studies, the workup should include calculation of the estimated glomerular filtration rate (GFR), measurement of albumin levels, and acquisition of radiologic studies. The differential diagnosis for CKD includes the following conditions, as well as the disorders listed in the next section:

  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Renal artery stenosis
  • Urinary obstruction
  • Wegener granulomatosis


Acute Kidney Injury

Alport Syndrome

Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease

Chronic Glomerulonephritis

Diabetic Nephropathy

Goodpasture Syndrome

Multiple Myeloma



Rapidly Progressive Glomerulonephritis

Contributor Information and Disclosures

Pradeep Arora, MD Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Buffalo State University of New York School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences; Attending Nephrologist, Veterans Affairs Western New York Healthcare System

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Vecihi Batuman, MD, FACP, FASN Huberwald Professor of Medicine, Section of Nephrology-Hypertension, Tulane University School of Medicine; Chief, Renal Section, Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System

Vecihi Batuman, MD, FACP, FASN is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Physicians, American Society of Hypertension, American Society of Nephrology, International Society of Nephrology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


George R Aronoff, MD Director, Professor, Departments of Internal Medicine and Pharmacology, Section of Nephrology, Kidney Disease Program, University of Louisville School of Medicine

George R Aronoff, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Federation for Medical Research, American Society of Nephrology, Kentucky Medical Association, and National Kidney Foundation

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Laura Lyngby Mulloy, DO, FACP Professor of Medicine, Chief, Section of Nephrology, Hypertension, and Transplantation Medicine, Glover/Mealing Eminent Scholar Chair in Immunology, Medical College of Georgia

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Medscape Salary Employment

Mauro Verrelli, MD, FRCP(C), FACP Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Section of Nephrology, University of Manitoba, Canada

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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Calciphylaxis due to secondary hyperparathyroidism.
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