Challenges in Diagnosis and Management of Glomerular Disease in Resource-Limited Settings

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Introduction: Glomerular diseases are the leading drivers of nondiabetic chronic kidney disease disability-adjusted life years in resource-limited countries. Proper diagnosis and treatment relies on resources including kidney biopsy, ancillary testing, and access to evidence-based therapies. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional internet-based survey cascaded through society mailing lists among nephrologists in countries of Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe. We collected the data on respondent demographics, their ability to perform and appropriately interpret a kidney biopsy, and their access to complementary investigations and treatment practices. Results: A total of 298 kidney care specialists from 33 countries (53.3% from Asia and 44.6% from Africa; 64% from academic or university hospitals) participated in the survey. Of these specialists, 85% performed kidney biopsy. About 61% of the respondents could not obtain a kidney biopsy in more than 50% of patients with suspected glomerular disease. About 43% of the respondents from Africa had access to only light microscopy. Overall, the inability to undertake and fully evaluate a biopsy and perform ancillary investigations were more profound in Africa than in Asia. Overall, 59% of participants reported that more than 75% of their patients meet the cost of diagnosis and treatment by out-of-pocket payments. Empirical use of immunosuppression was higher in Africa than in Asia. The main barriers for diagnosis and treatment included delayed presentation, incomplete diagnostic work-up, and high cost of treatment. Conclusion: Major system-level barriers impede the implementation of guideline-driven approaches for diagnosis and treatment of patients with glomerular disease in resource-limited countries. © 2022 International Society of Nephrology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2141 - 2149
JournalKidney International Reports
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 9 Sept 2022


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