Low performance of prognostic tools for predicting death before dialysis in older patients with advanced CKD



Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a disease which is spreading worldwide, especially among older patients. Several prognostic scores have been developed to predict death in older CKD patients, but they have not been validated. We aimed to evaluate the existing risk scores for predicting death before dialysis start, identified via an in-depth review, in a cohort of elderly patients with advanced CKD.


We performed a review to identify scores predicting death, developed in and applicable to CKD patients. Each score was evaluated with an absolute risk calculation from the patients’ baseline characteristics. We used a French prospective multicentre cohort of elderly patients (> 75 years) with advanced CKD [estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) < 20 mL/min/1.73 m2], recruited from nephrological centres, with a 5-year follow-up. The outcome considered was death before initiating dialysis. Discrimination [area under curve (AUC)], calibration and Brier score were calculated for each score at its time frame.


Our review found 6 equations predicting death before dialysis in CKD patients. Four of these (GOLDFARB, BANSAL, GRAMS 2 and 4 years) were evaluated. The validation cohort (Parcours de Soins des Personnes Âgées Parcours de Soins des Personnes Âgées, PSPA) included 573 patients, with a median age of 82 years and a median eGFR of 13 mL/min/1.73 m2. At the end of follow-up, 287 (50%) patients had started dialysis and 238 (41%) patients had died before dialysis. The four equations evaluated showed average discrimination (AUC 0.61–0.70) and, concerning calibration, a global overestimation of the risk of death.


The available scores predicting death before dialysis showed low performance among older patients with advanced CKD in a French multicentre cohort, indicating the need to upgrade them or develop new scores for this population.

Graphical abstract