4 years ago

Structural and Functional Changes in Human Kidneys with Healthy Aging.

Glassock RJ, Rule AD, Hommos MS
Aging is associated with significant changes in structure and function of the kidney, even in the absence of age-related comorbidities. On the macrostructural level, kidney cortical volume decreases, surface roughness increases, and the number and size of simple renal cysts increase with age. On the microstructural level, the histologic signs of nephrosclerosis (arteriosclerosis/arteriolosclerosis, global glomerulosclerosis, interstitial fibrosis, and tubular atrophy) all increase with age. The decline of nephron number is accompanied by a comparable reduction in measured whole-kidney GFR. However, single-nephron GFR remains relatively constant with healthy aging as does glomerular volume. Only when glomerulosclerosis and arteriosclerosis exceed that expected for age is there an increase in single-nephron GFR. In the absence of albuminuria, age-related reduction in GFR with the corresponding increase in CKD (defined by an eGFR<60 ml/min per 1.73 m2) has been shown to associate with a very modest to no increase in age-standardized mortality risk or ESRD. These findings raise the question of whether disease labeling of an age-related decline in GFR is appropriate. These findings also emphasize the need for a different management approach for many elderly individuals considered to have CKD by current criteria.

Publisher URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28790143

DOI: PubMed:28790143

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