End-Stage Kidney Disease

Stage five of chronic kidney disease, also known as end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) or end-stage renal disease (ESRD), is when the kidneys’ level of function has decreased to only 10-15% of their normal capacity. This is called kidney failure. In most cases, kidney failure happens after years of living with chronic kidney disease. Less commonly, kidney failure occurs suddenly. This is called acute kidney failure. Regardless of cause, once a patient is in kidney failure they will require kidney replacement therapy (dialysis) and/or a kidney transplant.

5 Stages of Kidney Disease

Stage 1: Kidney Function/GFR >90% – Normal or High Function

Stage 2: Kidney Function/GFR 60-89% – Mildly Decreased Function

Stage 3: Kidney Function/GFR 30-59% – Mild to Moderately Decreased Function

Stage 4: Kidney Function/GFR 15-29% – Severely Decreased Function

Stage 5: Kidney Function/GFR <15% – Kidney Failure


Click here to learn more about how dialysis works, treatment options and resources available to patient on dialysis.

Kidney Transplants

Click here to better understand the kidney transplant process and find helpful resources for both transplant patients and living donors.

RKD & Mental Health

Start talking about mental health early in your RKD journey with NephCure. Early discussions empower you with coping strategies, normalize mental health, and reduce stigma.


Find Your NephCure Specialist Today

It is important to work with a nephrologist who specializes in RKD and can provide personalized advice based on your individual health needs and changes in available treatments. NephCure has a curated list of NephCure Specialists nationwide ready to help you. 

Find a specialist

You are not alone in your journey with rare kidney disease.

Explore real stories written by people with different types of RKD share their experiences. Hear perspectives from adults and kids, and learn from those who understand the challenges you face.

Related Resources


Adult Dialysis & Transplant Patients: Current Trends & Opportunities


Pediatric Dialysis & Transplant Patients Update

Educational Materials

Understanding a Nutritions Facts Panel

Informational Documents

Talk to Your Doctor About Your Kidney Health


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