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Is there an Association between Cannabis and Acute Kidney Injury in CKD Patients?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
"Big bags of medical #marijuana on Cannabis Culture News LIVE - watch now on www.pot.tv" by Cannabis Culture is licensed under CC BY 2.0Praveen Kumar Potukuchi, B.Pharm, MS
The University of Tennessee Health Science Center

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Several case reports have indicated that synthetic cannabinoid use is associated with acute kidney injury (AKI). However, it is unclear whether similar adverse effects could occur with medicinal or recreational cannabis use. Previous research has shown that the use of medical marijuana /cannabis for an average of two weeks resulted in no serious adverse effects and no incidence of AKI.

However, there are no studies which investigated the effects of marijuana/cannabis use on the incidence of AKI in patients with advanced CKD.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response: In this study, we examined 2,416 US veterans who transitioned to dialysis during 2007-2014. All these members had undergone urine toxicology tests up to one year before dialysis and had serial serum creatinine levels measured within seven days after the test. AKI was defined according to KDIGO creatinine-based criteria.

We compared patients whose toxicology tests were positive for cannabis alone (primary exposure group, PEG, N=76) with those whose tests were negative (negative control group, NCG, N=1,138).

We examined the association of cannabis use with using logistic regression adjusted for clinical characteristics. We observed a trend that odds of AKI in cannabis users was 25 % lower. However, this trend was not statistically significant.

In conclusion, cannabis use in advanced CKD patients is not associated with the incidence of AKI.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report? 

Response: In the current legalization environment of marijuana and subsequent increase in its use, it’s important to understand the effects of its use in different scenarios better. The results of this study that there is no association between its use and AKI is somewhat comforting.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work? 

Response: Our study is the first one to observe the association of marijuana/cannabis with the incidence of AKI. Our study has small sample size for cannabis users. Further clinical/epidemiological studies are needed to study the effects of cannabis use in patients with ESRD. 

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: This study was supported by grant 5U01DK102163 to Drs. Kovesdy and Kalantar-Zadeh and is the result of work supported with resources and the use of facilities at the Memphis VA Medical Center and the Long Beach VA Medical Center. Support for VA/CMS data is provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration, Office of Research and Development, Health Services Research and Development, VA Information Resource Center (project numbers SDR 02-237 and 98-004).

Citation: ASN Kidney Week abstract 2018

Cannabis Use and Its Association with Incidence of AKI in Advanced CKD Patients Transitioning to ESR
October 26, 2018 | Location: Exhibit Hall, San Diego Convention Center
Abstract Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

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Last Updated on October 29, 2018 by Marie Benz MD FAAD