Cincinnati Home Dialysis Blog

Category: Kidney Transplant


Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR) Explained

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), you may be feeling overwhelmed by the amount of information being thrown at you. One term you will hear frequently is GFR, or glomerular filtration rate.

Your glomerular filtration rate is an indication of how well your kidneys are working, and is used to determine your stage of kidney disease.

The test itself requires a blood sample that is sent to a lab for analysis. Your blood sample will be tested for creatinine, which is the chemical waste product of creatine. Creatine supplies energy to your muscles. You may also provide a urine sample to test for protein in your urine – an indication of kidney disease.

Your GFR will be determined using a formula that includes a combination of factors such as your creatinine levels, age, gender, height, weight, and ethnicity. A high GFR indicates a higher percentage of kidney function. The stages of chronic kidney disease are approximated to the following GFRs:

Stage 1 – 90-100% kidney function

Stage 2 – 60-89% kidney function

Stage 3a – 45-59% kidney function

Stage 3b – 30-44% kidney function

Stage 4 – 15-29% kidney function

Stage 5 – 15% or less kidney function

When your GFR is low, it indicates that your kidneys are not working as they should. Detecting kidney disease early will allow you to start treatment sooner and may help keep the disease from progressing.

After being diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, your nephrologist may order this test at regular intervals to assess the disease’s progression and plan the appropriate treatment. At Cincinnati Home Dialysis, we provide early stage treatment for chronic kidney disease. Your care team can help determine which treatment option best aligns with your lifestyle and needs.


Kidney Transplant: Living Donor Versus Deceased Donor


There are two types of kidney transplants available, living donation and deceased donation.

Living Kidney Donation

A living donor is donating their kidney while they are still alive. One major advantage of living donation is that the transplanted kidney starts functioning in your body immediately after the surgery. This type of kidney transplant also allows you, your care team, and your donor to plan for the transplant and arrange the surgery when you and the donor are healthiest. The living donor is often an immediate family member, but could also be an extended family member or stranger as long as you have matching blood types.

If you and your family member do not have matching blood types, a paired donation may be possible. This is where two pairs of interested donors and transplant candidates “swap” kidneys. For example, Jane wants to donate a kidney to her sister Allie, but they are not compatible. Michael wants to donate a kidney to his wife Carol, but they are not compatible. However, Michael’s kidney is compatible with Allie, and Jane’s kidney is compatible with Carol. In this case, a swap can be performed between the four so a compatible kidney exchange can take place.

Deceased Kidney Donation

A deceased donor has chosen to donate their kidneys when they die. This is the most common type of kidney transplant in the US. When the donor has died, their kidneys can last up to 72 hours before transplant, so when a match is found, it is important to be ready to undergo surgery at short notice.

The wait time for a deceased kidney donation is about three to five years, but may be shorter or longer. Once the kidney is transplanted, it may take a few days or weeks to function properly, and you may need to remain on dialysis until your body and the kidney are in sync.

Talk to your care team at Cincinnati Home Dialysis about whether kidney transplant is the right option for you. We’re here to support you every step of the way.