The incidence of end stage kidney disease (ESKD) is increasing in Ghana as with the rest of the world. This study compared the sociodemographic, diagnostic characteristics (clinical, biochemical and imaging) and clinical outcomes of ESKD patients who chose either renal replacement therapy (RRT) or conservative therapy as well as the factors that influenced their choice.
We retrospectively reviewed the records of 382 ESKD patient from 2006 to 2018. The data was collected from the Nephrology Clinic at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH). Sociodemographic, diagnostic (clinical, biochemical and imaging) and therapeutic data were obtained, organized and analyzed with Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS).
Of the 382 patients, 321 had conservative therapy whiles 61 had renal replacement therapy. The mean age of participants was 47.71 ± 16.10 years. Bipedal swelling (16.8%), fatigue (10.4%) and facial swelling (9.2%) were the major clinical features. Chronic glomerulonephritis (31.4%), hypertension (30.3%) and diabetes mellitus nephropathy (28.2%) were the most frequent predisposing conditions. Nifedipine (82.0%), bisoprolol (32.8%), aspirin (19.7%), ranitidine (26.2%), metformin (13.1%) and lasix (78.7%) were commonly used by the RRT patients than their conservative therapy counterparts. Compared to their RRT counterparts, patients on conservative therapy were more on irbesartan/lisinopril (57.9%) and sodium hydro carbonate (NaHCO3) (52.0%). Diastolic blood pressure (DBP) (p = 0.047), uremic gastritis (p = 0.007), anaemia, uraemia, haematuria and hyperkalaemia (p < 0.001) were more common in conservative therapy patients than RRT patients with RRT patients showing better corticomedullary differentiation (38.1% vs. 27.7%, p < 0.001) and normal echotexture (15.0% vs. 11.6%, p = 0.005). Age, gender, occupation and duration of illness were significantly associated with the decision to opt for conservative therapy.
Patients on conservative therapy have worse clinical outcomes than their RRT counterparts. Early referrals to nephrologist as well as subsidized RRT should be targeted.