Dialysis Unit Profit Primarily From Small Percentage of Privately Insured Patients

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Chris Childers, MD, PhDDivision of General SurgeryDavid Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA10833 Le Conte Ave., CHS 72-247Los Angeles, CA 90095

Dr. Childers

Chris Childers, MD, PhD
Division of General Surgery
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Los Angeles, CA 90095

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

Response: Patients with end-stage renal disease – poorly functioning kidneys – often have to receive dialysis. This typically requires a patient to visit an outpatient clinic several times a week to have their blood filtered by a machine. Over the past few years, two for-profit companies have increased their control over the outpatient dialysis market – DaVita and Fresenius. Combined they control approximately ¾ of the market.  A number of concerns have been raised against these for-profit companies suggesting that the quality of care they deliver may be worse than the care delivered at not-for-profit companies. But, because they control so much of the market and because patients have to receive dialysis so frequently, patients may not have much choice in the clinic they visit.

Medicare covers patients who are 65 years or older and also patients on dialysis regardless of age.  Medicare pays a fixed rate for dialysis which they believe is adequate to cover the clinics’ costs. However, if a patient also has private insurance, the insurer is required to pay for dialysis instead of Medicare. Whereas Medicare rates are fixed by the federal government, private insurers have to negotiate the price they pay, and may pay much more as a result.

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Performance of Formulas for Estimating Kidney Function in the Elderly

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Luciano da Silva Selistre MD MS PhD

Professor de Medicina – UCS

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

Response:   We have found that no equation for estimating renal function in the elderly is fully accurate. There are important mistakes between them.

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Angion Receives Support to Develop Drug Candidate for a Scarring Form of Kidney Disease, FSGS

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Jay Venkatesan MDPresident and CEO of Angion

Dr. Venkatesan

Dr. Jay Venkatesan MD
President and CEO of Angion

Dr. Venkatesan discusses the recent announcement that ANGION, has received DOD funding for the study of ANG-3070, in treatment of CKD caused by focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this announcement? Would you tell us a little about focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS)? How does ANG-3070 work to prevent kidney scarring?

Response: Angion has received a follow-on grant from the Department of Defense (DoD) for $4.76 million in support of the development of ANG-3070, our drug candidate for a form of chronic kidney disease known as focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). This funding will allow us to expand our proof-of-concept data for ANG-3070 as a potential anti-fibrotic agent for slowing the progression of FSGS.

FSGS is a serious kidney disorder characterized by progressive scarring of the glomeruli, the filtering units of the kidney. There are approximately 80,000 cases of FSGS in the U.S. and Europe, involving both children and young adults. If uncontrolled, FSGS can lead to kidney failure, which may lead to the need for dialysis or a kidney transplant. No therapies exist that treat the underlying cause of FSGS. Therapies such as corticosteroids, immunosuppressants or diuretics  are used, but are mainly supportive and a large proportion of patients progress to end-stage renal disease over a 5-10 year period of time.

ANG-3070 is an oral small molecule that selectively inhibits molecular pathways associated with scarring or fibrosis in the kidney and other organs. Our current preclinical study in collaboration with NEPTUNE aims to identify the “signalosome,” or human disease and drug response profile based on the genes, networks and pathways that correlate with the therapeutic activity of ANG-3070 in FSGS. Ultimately, this collaboration will allow us to  develop a precision medicine approach to identify and treat patients in whom ANG-3070 is most likely to block the pathways causing FSGS. 

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Integrated Approach to Laboratory Measurements to Identify Acute Kidney Diseases

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Matthew T James MD, PhDAssistant ProfessorUniversity of Calgary

Dr. James

Matthew T James MD, PhD
Assistant Professor
University of Calgary 

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

Response: The Acute Kidney Disease and Disorders (AKD) criteria from the KDIGO Acute Kidney Injury guidelines identified many patients who do not meet existing criteria for Chronic Kidney Disease or Acute Kidney Injury (AKI), and the majority of AKD events occured in the community rather than hospital setting.

This study characterized the frequency and outcome for patients with AKD (without  AKI) as well as AKD with CKD from among over 1.1 million adults  residing in Alberta Canada who received  kidney function testing and were followed for up to 8 years.

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Peptide May Reduce Inflammation in Kidney Disease

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Rudolf Lucas, PhDProfessor Pharmacology and ToxicologyVascular Biology Center, Division of Pulmonary Medicine

Dr. Lucas

Rudolf Lucas, PhD
Professor Pharmacology and Toxicology
Vascular Biology Center, Division of Pulmonary Medicine

Michael P. Madaio, MDSydenstricker Professor and ChairmanDepartment of Medicine

Dr. Madaio


Michael P. Madaio, MD

Sydenstricker Professor and Chairman
Department of Medicine

Medical College of Georgia
Augusta University
Augusta, Georgia 30912, USA.

 

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

Response: The pro-inflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is a crucial mediator of glomerulonephritis, but the cytokine is also important in defense to bacterial infections. As such, chronically inhibiting TNF, using soluble TNF receptor constructs or neutralizing anti-TNF antibodies can promote infection.

In this study, we wanted to develop a novel therapeutic strategy to specifically inhibiting deleterious TNF signaling, while preserving the beneficial anti-bacterial actions of the cytokine.

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Kidney Transplant Patients Risk Transplant Rejection When Medicare Coverage Ends

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Allyson Hart MD MSDepartment of Medicine, Hennepin Healthcare,University of MinnesotaMinneapolis, Minnesota

Dr. Hart

Allyson Hart MD MS
Department of Medicine, Hennepin Healthcare,
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota

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

Response: Kidney transplantation confers profound survival, quality of life, and cost benefits over dialysis for the treatment of end-stage kidney disease. Kidney transplant recipients under 65 years of age qualify for Medicare coverage following transplantation, but coverage ends after three years for patients who are not disabled.

We studied 78,861 Medicare-covered kidney transplant recipients under the age of 65, and found that failure of the transplanted kidney was 990 percent to 1630 percent higher for recipients who lost Medicare coverage before this three-year time point compared with recipients who lost Medicare on time. Those who lost coverage after 3 years had a lesser, but still very marked, increased risk of kidney failure. Recipients who lost coverage before or after the three-year time point also filled immunosuppressive medications at a significantly lower rate than those who lost coverage on time. Continue reading

Excessive Inorganic Phosphate Food Additives May Make Us More Sedentary

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Wanpen Vongpatanasin, M.D. Professor of Medicine Norman & Audrey Kaplan Chair in Hypertension Fredric L. Coe Professorship in Nephrolithiasis and Mineral Metabolism Research Director, Hypertension Section, Cardiology Division, UT Southwestern Medical Center Dallas, TX 75390-8586

Dr. Vongpatanasin

Dr. Wanpen Vongpatanasin, M.D.
Professor of Medicine
Norman & Audrey Kaplan Chair in Hypertension
Fredric L. Coe Professorship in Nephrolithiasis and Mineral Metabolism Research
Director, Hypertension Section,
Cardiology Division,
UT Southwestern Medical Center 

 

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

Response: Increased sedentary activity is commonly seen in people who regularly consume fast food but previously studies have not identified potential mechanisms beyond increased obesity and lack of motivation. Our study seeks to determine if inorganic phosphate, a commonly used food additives that are present in up to 70% of foods in the American diet, maybe the culprit. These food additives (which may come in the form of monocalcium phosphate, phosphoric acid, or tetrasodium phosphate, etc. are used to make the food taste better and/or last longer. It is found mostly in prepackaged foods, cola drinks, and bakery items (cookies, cake, and bread). This is very different from organic phosphates that are found naturally in many healthful foods, such as fruits and vegetables, which are not not readily absorbed from the GI tract.

In the Dallas Heart Study, a multiethnic population-based study, we found that serum phosphate is significantly associated with sedentary time and increased time spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity which was measured by wrist actigraphy device. This is not explained by reduce cardiac function as ejection fraction remains normal at higher serum phosphate. Continue reading

Highest NSAID Usage Levels in Working Age Adults Linked to Greater Risk of Kidney Disease

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Alan Nelson, MPAS, PhD
Division of Primary Care and Population Health, Department of Medicine
Stanford University School of Medicine
Stanford, California 

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

Response: The past research literature has provided relatively little information on the appropriate level of concern regarding non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and kidney disease risk among younger, apparently healthy patients. Clinicians are generally most concerned about the effects of these medications on the kidneys among patients with existing renal impairment and persons at risk for it, especially older patients.

Given that NSAID use appears to be high and rising in the US, we were interested in developing evidence on this topic in a population of working-age adults.

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Kidney Transplant Patients at Increased Risk of Skin Cancer, Even After Graft Stops Working

MedicalResearch.com Interview with
"Kidney Model 9" by GreenFlames09 is licensed under CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0Donal JSextonMD, PhD
Department of Nephrology and Kidney Transplantation
Beaumont Hospital
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Dublin, Ireland

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

Response: Patients who receive a kidney transplant as treatment for end stage kidney disease are at risk of malignancy due to immunosuppression. In contrast to

other solid organ transplant types, when kidney transplants fail it is possible for recipients to return to dialysis. Immunosuppression is usually reduced or completely stopped when  the allograft fails due to the risk of infection on dialysis.

We decided to investigate what the trajectory of risk for non-melanoma skin cancer and invasive cancers overall (composite group) looked like for patients who have received multiple consecutive kidney transplants with intervening periods of graft failure. We compared cancer risk during periods of allograft failure and periods of functioning kidney transplants.   Continue reading

End Stage Kidney Disease: Decoding How Patients Decide to Forgo Dialysis

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Susan P. Y. Wong, MD MS Assistant Professor Division of Nephrology University of Washington VA Puget Sound Health Care System 

Dr. Wong

Susan P. Y. Wong, MD MS
Assistant Professor
Division of Nephrology
University of Washington
VA Puget Sound Health Care System 

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

Response: Patients who reach the advanced stages of kidney disease  must often face the difficult decision of whether to undergo maintenance dialysis.

While maintenance dialysis is a remarkable therapy that has extended the lives of many patients, its benefits do not necessarily accrue in older patients with significant comorbidity and functional impairment. It is also a very demanding form of therapy that comes with its own burdens and complications. Based on our prior research in the national VA health system, 1 in 7 patients with very advanced kidney disease (or their decision makers) do not pursue dialysis. We wanted to understand how these decisions to forgo initiation of maintenance dialysis unfold.

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Chronic Kidney Disease: Exome Sequencing Can Help Resolve Some Diagnostic Challenges

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Emily E. Groopman, B.A
Departments of Medicine
Hammer Health Sciences, and the Department of Epidemiology
Columbia University, New York

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

Response: Exome sequencing (ES), targeted capture of the protein-coding segments of the human genome, is quickly becoming a first-line diagnostic tool in clinical medicine, particularly for pediatric disorders and cancer. However, the utility of ES has not been investigated for the majority of constitutional disorders in adults, including for chronic kidney disease (CKD), which collectively affects more than 1 in 10 individuals worldwide.

Thus, we performed ES in 3,315 patients with CKD drawn from two independent cohorts, and evaluated the diagnostic yield and the clinical implications of genetic findings. The cohort was predominantly adult (91.6% of patients aged >21 years), ethnically diverse, and encompassed the major CKD subtypes, broadly reflective of the demographic and clinical features of United States CKD patient population.

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Soda, Sugary Drinks Linked to Increased Risk of Kidney Disease

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Casey M. Rebholz, PhD, MS, MNSP, MPH, FAHA Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Core Faculty, Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology, and Clinical Research Baltimore, MD 21287

Dr. Rebholz

Casey M. Rebholz, PhD, MS, MNSP, MPH, FAHA
Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Core Faculty, Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology, and Clinical Research
Baltimore, MD 21287

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

Response: Individual beverages have been previously shown to influence risk of a wide range of cardiometabolic diseases. Less is known about beverage consumption and kidney disease risk.

In this study population, we found that one such beverage pattern consisted of soda, sugar-sweetened beverages, and water, and that higher adherence to the sugar-sweetened beverage pattern was associated with greater odds of developing incident kidney disease, even after accounting for demographic characteristics and established risk factors.  Continue reading

Emergency-Only Dialysis For Undocumented Immigrants Costs More Money and Lives

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Oanh Kieu Nguyen, MD, MA Assistant Professor Division of Hospital Medicine Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital UCSF

Dr. Nguyen

Oanh Kieu Nguyen, MD, MA
Assistant Professor
Division of Hospital Medicine
Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital
UCSF

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

Response: In U.S. citizens and permanent residents with kidney failure or end-stage renal disease (ESRD), having health insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid guarantees access to regularly scheduled hemodialysis 2-3 times per week, the evidence-based standard of care for ESRD. This treatment helps people live relatively normal lives. In 40 of 50 U.S. states, undocumented immigrants with ESRD have limited access to hemodialysis because they are not eligible for any form of federal assistance including Medicare or Medicaid, and must wait until they are life-threateningly ill to receive dialysis through a hospital emergency department, a situation called “emergency-only hemodialysis.” There are an estimated 6,500 undocumented individuals in the U.S. suffering from ESRD.

A unique opportunity made it feasible for uninsured undocumented immigrants with ESRD receiving emergency-only dialysis in Dallas, Texas, to enroll in private, commercial health insurance plans in 2015 and made it possible for researchers to compare scheduled vs. emergency-only dialysis among undocumented immigrants with ESRD. This natural experiment included 181 undocumented immigrants, 105 of whom received insurance coverage and enrolled in scheduled dialysis and 76 of whom remained uninsured.  Continue reading

Study Finds Kidneys With AKI Can Be Safely Transplanted

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Chirag R Parikh, M.B.B.S., Ph.D. Director,Division of Nephrology Professor of Medicine School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, Maryland 21287

Dr. Parikh

Chirag R Parikh, M.B.B.S., Ph.D.
Director,Division of Nephrology
Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, Maryland 21287 

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

Response: The initial study idea stemmed from our earlier cohort studies of predictors of delayed graft function after kidney transplantation.  We previously found that kidneys from donors with Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) were more often discarded than kidneys from donors without AKI, and transplanted donor AKI kidneys were at increased risk for delayed graft function.

It was important to determine whether that increased risk for delayed graft function also translated into worse long-term outcomes for recipients of kidneys from donors with AKI.

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Chronic Kidney Disease Rate Rising Faster Than Other Noncommunicable Diseases

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly, MD Associate Chief of Staff for Research and Education Veterans Affairs St. Louis Health Care System

Dr. Al-Aly

Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly, MD
Associate Chief of Staff for Research and Education
Veterans Affairs St. Louis Health Care System
Institute for Public Health
Washington University, St. Louis MO

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

Response: A lot has changed in the US over the past 15 years including aging, population growth, and increased exposure to risk factors such as obesity, elevated blood pressure, etc. With all of these changes, we wondered, how did the burden of kidney disease change in the United States over the past 15 years.
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Genome Analysis Can Overestimate Incidence of Chronic Kidney Disease

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Hila Milo Rasoul, PhD Postdoctoral research scientist Ali Gharavi Lab Columbia University

Dr. Milo Rasouly

Hila Milo Rasouly, PhD
Postdoctoral research scientist
Ali Gharavi Lab
Columbia University

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

Response: Genome sequencing is increasingly used in clinical medicine to help make a clinical diagnosis and make predictions about potential future complications. The diagnostic yield and limitations for different indications are still being worked out.  We are interested in studying the applications of genome sequencing for chronic kidney diseases. It is estimated that 10% of adults have chronic kidney disease (CKD), and amongst them, 10% are caused by single-gene (Mendelian) forms of disease.

The American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics developed guidelines on how to interpret genetic variants in order to make a genetic diagnosis. Our lab has been engaged in studying the yield and impact of genetic testing for  CKD, and in the course of our research, we realized that a very large number of individuals have genetic variants that may be classified as pathogenic based on automated application of the guidelines. However, in majority of these cases, the genetic variant was much too frequent in the population to be plausibly disease-causing or did not match up well with the clinical diagnosis. This led us to wonder about the risk of false-positive genetic diagnosis. To analyze this risk for false-positive genetic diagnosis, we analyzed the genome sequence of 7,974 self-reported healthy adults.

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Dapagliflozin (FARXIGA): Reduction in Albuminuria Cannot Be Predicted by Clinical Characteristics

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr-Danilo Verge.png

Dr. Verge

Danilo Verge MD MBA
Vice President, CVRM Global Medical Affairs
AstraZeneca

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

Response: Dapagliflozin, an SGLT2 inhibitor (sodium-glucose co-transporter 2), has been shown to improve glycemic control by decreasing glucose reabsorption in the kidneys and inducing urinary glucose clearance. SGLT2 inhibitors have also been shown to be effective in lowering albuminuria and stabilizing eGFR (estimated glomerular filtration rate). The effect of dapagliflozin on UACR (urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio) has been shown to vary among patients.

The objective of this post-hoc analysis, based on the pooled data from 11 randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials, was to assess baseline characteristics and concurrent changes in cardiovascular (CV) risk markers associated with UACR response to dapagliflozin.

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Real-World Dosing of RAASi are Associated With Risk of Adverse Events in CKD

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Lei Qin

Lei Qin

Lei Qin MS
Director, Health Economics and Payer Analytics
AstraZeneca

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

Response: Renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibitors (RAASi) are guideline-recommended therapies for patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), but are commonly prescribed at suboptimal doses, which has been associated with worsening clinical outcomes. The objective of our study was to estimate the real-world associations between RAASi dose and adverse clinical outcomes in patients prescribed RAASi therapies with new-onset CKD in the UK.

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LOKELMA (Sodium zirconium cyclosilicate) for Elevated Potassium: Results of the HARMONIZE GLOBAL Study

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Rahul Agrawal MD PhD VP, Global Medicines Leader AstraZeneca

Dr. Agrawal

Rahul Agrawal MD PhD
VP, Global Medicines Leader
AstraZeneca

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

About the study: HARMONIZE Global is a Phase III, randomized, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial involving 267 patients with hyperkalemia (mean potassium levels greater than 5.0 mEq/L) in 47 study locations across the Asia Pacific region, which will support registration in Japan, Taiwan, Korea and Russia.

Study design: The trial design of HARMONIZE Global is similar to HARMONIZE (NCT02088073) but evaluated two doses of LOKELMATM (sodium zirconium cyclosilicate) instead of three, as well as patients in different geographical regions. Continue reading

Medicaid Expansion Linked To Lower Death Rates for Kidney Failure Patients

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
"Plugged into dialysis" by Dan is licensed under CC BY 2.0Amal Trivedi, MD, MPH

Associate Professor of Health Services, Policy and Practice
Associate Professor of Medicine
Brown University

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

Response: The Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion gave states the option to expand coverage to low-income adults. Prior research has reported that these expansions have been associated with increased coverage, improved access to care, and in some studies better self-rated health. To date the impact of Medicaid expansion on mortality rates, particularly for persons with serious chronic illness, remains unknown.

Our study found an association between Medicaid expansion and lower death rates for patients with end-stage renal disease in the first year after initiating dialysis.  Specifically, we found an absolute reduction in 1-year mortality in expansion states of -0.6 percentage points, which represents a 9% relative reduction in 1-year mortality.      Continue reading

New Drug Class Offers Hope for Calcified Blood Vessels

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr Mattias Ivarsson PhD CEO, Inositec, co-author of data  

Dr. Ivarsson

Dr Mattias Ivarsson PhD
CEO, Inositec, co-author of data

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

Response: When control of factors in the blood that regulate mineral balance in the body is lost, the subsequent build-up of calcium deposits in the arterial walls and cardiac valves lead to an increase in cardiac events, particularly in patients with chronic kidney disease or diabetes, as well as all-cause mortality.

There is a significant unmet need for therapeutic agents capable of reducing pathological mineral accumulation regardless of their root cause. To date, there is no approved therapy for treating calcification-dependent cardiovascular disease.  Continue reading

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.

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Biomarkers Suggest Intensive Blood Pressure Treatment Does Not Cause True Kidney Damage in CKD Patients

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Michael G. Shlipak, MD, MPH Scientific Director , Kidney Health Research Collaborative (khrc.ucsf.edu/) Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology & Biostatistics University of California, San Francisco Associate Chief of Medicine for Research Development San Francisco VA Medical Center

Dr. Shlipak

Michael G. Shlipak, MD, MPH
Scientific Director , Kidney Health Research Collaborative (khrc.ucsf.edu)
Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology & Biostatistics
University of California, San Francisco
Associate Chief of Medicine for Research Development
San Francisco VA Medical Center

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

  • Our study represents major advancements in our understanding of whether kidney tissue damage accompanies the diagnosis of chronic kidney disease during hypertension therapy.
  • The Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT) was a landmark clinical trial that demonstrated that more intensive systolic blood pressure management (target <120 mmHg) reduced rates of major cardiovascular events and mortality compared with standard therapy (<140 mmHg). A recent announcement indicated that the lower systolic blood pressure target also slowed the rate of cognitive decline and dementia incidence.
  • The major concern with intensive blood pressure lowering in SPRINT is the 3-fold incidence of chronic kidney disease, as defined using the clinical standard of serum creatinine levels. This detrimental impact on the kidney was surprising because hypertension is a predominant risk factor for kidney disease, and hypertension therapy should reduce CKD risk.
  • Given the lower blood pressure targets in the recently-updated national hypertension guidelines, there has been substantial concern that guideline implementation of blood pressure targets could cause an epidemic of CKD and the attendant suffering from its downstream consequences of cardiovascular disease, heart failure, and kidney failure.
  • In our study, we compared SPRINT participants who developed CKD with matched controls, using a panel of validated urinary biomarkers of kidney damage. These urine tests can measure actual kidney damage, rather than relying on the creatinine which is an indirect reflection of the kidney’s filtering function.
  • In the group undergoing intensive blood pressure lowering in SPRINT, we found that the new cases of CKD had an overall lowering of the kidney damage biomarkers compared with the controls, contrary to what would have been expected if they were developing “real” CKD.
  • In contrast, the new CKD cases that developed in the standard treatment group did have overall elevations in the urinary biomarkers of kidney damage; 5 of the 9 biomarkers significantly increased relative to the CKD cases in the intensive treatment group. 

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Continuing Statins from Late Chronic Kidney Disease through ESRD Linked to Improved Survival

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
"Plugged into dialysis" by Dan is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Elani Streja MPH PhD

Division of Nephrology and Hypertension
University of California, Irvine | UCI ·
Elvira O. Gosmanova, MD, FASN
Medicine/Nephrology
Albany Stratton VA Medical Center


Csaba P Kovesdy MD

Fred Hatch Professor of Medicine
Division of Nephrology, University of Tennessee Health Science Center
Nephrology Section Chief, Memphis VA Medical Center
Director, Clinical Outcomes and Clinical Trials Program
Memphis TN, 38163 

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

Response:  Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is one of the leading causes of mortality and morbidity in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD).

Statins are lipid-lowering drugs that have a proven track record in reducing risk of CVD in patients with advanced CKD who did not yet reach its terminal stage or end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Paradoxically, new prescription of statins after ESRD onset failed to reduce CVD related outcomes in three large clinical trials. However, benefits of statin continuation at transition from advanced CKD to ESRD was never formally tested.

Therefore, we identified a cohort of 14,298 US Veterans who used statins for at least half of the year during 1 year before ESRD transition and evaluated mortality outcomes based on whether statins were continued or stopped after ESRD onset.

We found that ESRD patients who continue statins for at least 6 months after transition had 28% and 18% lower risk of death from any cause or cardiovascular causes, respectively, during 12-months of follow up, as compared with statin discontinuers. Continue reading

New Antibiotic Combination IMI/REL Can Treat Resistant Infection With Less Kidney Toxicity

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Michelle Hoffman Brown Associate Principal Scientist at Merck Merck

Michelle Brown

Michelle Hoffman Brown
Associate Principal Scientist
Merck

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the kidney risks of using colistin to treat carbapenem-resistant bacterial infections?

Response: Gram-negative pathogens are responsible for half of all healthcare-associated infections and their ability to resist traditional antibiotics makes them more dangerous for seriously ill patients in a healthcare setting. The need for new approaches to treat these pathogens is essential and this trial aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of imipenem/relebactam (IMI/REL) for the treatment of these challenging infections.

Nephrotoxicity is a common complication of colistin-based therapy and is the potential adverse experience of greatest concern to prescribing clinicians, limiting its use to treat carbapenem-resistant bacterial infections. Relebactam is a novel β-lactamase inhibitor that restores imipenem activity against many imipenem-non-susceptible strains of Gram-negative pathogens. In the Phase 3 RESTORE-IMI 1 study (NCT02452047), IMI/REL was shown to be as effective as, but better tolerated than, colistin plus imipenem, including as demonstrated by a lower incidence of treatment-emergent nephrotoxicity (prespecified secondary endpoint). This analysis looked at additional renal safety data from the RESTORE-IMI 1 trial.  Continue reading

Perfluorinated Chemicals as Emerging Environmental Threats to Kidney Health

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
John W. Stanifer, MD MSc
Duke Health

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

Response: The key take home for me is that Perfluorinated Chemicals (PFAS) are a globally ubiquitous pollutant with high human exposure and concerning chemical properties that appear to be capable of kidney kidney disease through several plausible different mechanisms; yet, we know almost nothing about long term kidney health outcomes, who is at greatest risk for adverse outcomes, or which communities may be most negatively impacted.

The original impetus for the study was the discovery of GenX in the drinking water of Wilmington NC, a pollutant from a company upstream (see: https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article199846619.html ). It has been a huge story in NC and every day more and more is being discovered about how pervasive the pollution has become (https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/north-carolina/articles/2017-12-05/genx-compound-now-detected-in-food-product-in-n-carolina). While this was what caught my attention, as a North Carolinian, I quickly realized that these news stories are all over the place as any quick google search will reveal towns and communities contaminated with these from truly all of the United States. As a health disparities researcher in kidney disease,

I have been studying disparate rural populations in North Carolina, including American Indians, who live in communities with exceptionally high rates of kidney disease, which does not appear to be fully explained by “traditional” risk factors alone such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, etc. So with that context in mind, I really have begun to focus on these chemicals as potential second-hits or augmenters of kidney disease; we have been doing preliminary studies, in which we have found them in the serum of individuals from these areas, but before we can go further, we really needed to understand what all is known about them and the plausibility that they could cause kidney disease. Therefore, we conducted this comprehensive study to characterize what the potential mechanisms between these chemicals and kidney disease are and where the biggest gaps are.

MedicalResearch.com: Were you surprised by any of the findings?

Response: I was actually surprised by a few things about it. I thought that the link between these chemicals and kidney disease would be pretty weak, with very little to suggest these could be primary drivers of kidney disease. And while the epidemiological studies provided conflicting evidence that mostly but not overwhelmingly pointed toward an association, the toxicology and pharmacokinetic studies demonstrated several key mechanisms that could explain how these chemicals cause kidney disease, including oxidative stress pathways, peroxisome proliferators-activated receptor pathways, NF-E2– related factor 2 pathways, partial epithelial mesenchymal transition, and enhanced endothelial permeability through actin filament modeling.

It was also very interesting to learn that these compounds are taken up by the very same proximal tubule transporters that several known nephrotoxic drugs are taken up, including most notably the herb Aristocholic Acid which was of course responsible for the Balken Endemic Nephropathy that perplexed everyone for so long.

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

Response: Many gaps still exist. The biggest ones to me are that there are literally 1000s of these compounds, with only slight chemical variations, which make detection and regulation challenging. In fact most are still under proprietary aegis which prevents any type of study on them, and several of the “alternative” or “newer” PFCs (e.g. GEnX) have chemical properties that are particularly concerning, despite being marketed as “less toxic”. It is also very concerning to me that children and adolescents have the highest exposure; yet the long-term consequences are completely unknown and life-course epidemiology studies are very much needed. Finally, in the context of kidney disease, these are like so many other environmental toxins in that we don’t know how they interact to worsen or augment kidney disease in people with other risk factors such as diabetes or hypertension. So for example, wonder if you have diabetic nephropathy and are being exposed to these in high quantities? What does that mean for disparities in kidney disease and outcomes??

None of the authors have any disclosures with regards to this work.

 

Citation:

Perfluorinated Chemicals as Emerging Environmental Threats to Kidney Health
A Scoping Review

John W. Stanifer, Heather M. Stapleton, Tomokazu Souma, Ashley Wittmer, Xinlu Zhao and L. Ebony Boulware

CJASN September 2018, CJN.04670418; DOI: https://doi.org/10.2215/CJN.04670418 

Sep 19, 2018 @ 2:20 pm 

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An Atypical Parvovirus Linked to Chronic Kidney Disease

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Ben Roediger PhD Head of the Skin Inflammation Group within Professor Wolfgang Weninger’s Immune Imaging Laboratory Centenary Institute, Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney,  Camperdown,, Australia

Dr. Roediger

Ben Roediger PhD
Head of the Skin Inflammation Group within
Professor Wolfgang Weninger’s Immune Imaging Laboratory
Centenary Institute, Faculty of Medicine and Health,
The University of Sydney,
Camperdown,, Australia

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

Response: We use several strains of mice for our research, including animals with immunodeficiencies. One of our lines started succumbing to kidney disease and we decided to investigate.

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Study Finds Protective Effect of Caffeine in Chronic Kidney Disease

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Coffee Wikipedia image

Coffee
Wikipedia image

Miguel Bigotte Vieira  MD
Nephrology and Renal Transplantation Department
Centro Hospitalar Lisboa Norte
Lisbon, Portugal

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

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Our study showed a protective effect of caffeine consumption among patients with chronic kidney disease. The reduction in mortality was present even after considering other important factors such as age, gender, race, smoking, other diseases, and diet.  Continue reading

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MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Rachel Marie E. Salas, MD, MEHP, FAAN Associate Professor, Neurology and Nursing at Johns Hopkins Medicine Director, Interprofessional Education and Interprofessional Collaborative Practice Director, Neurology Clerkship Director, PreDoc Program Meyer/Neuro Sleep Baltimore, MD

Dr Salas

Rachel Marie E. Salas, MD, MEHP, FAAN
Associate Professor, Neurology and Nursing at Johns Hopkins Medicine
Director, Interprofessional Education and Interprofessional Collaborative Practice
Director, Neurology Clerkship
Director, PreDoc Program Meyer/Neuro Sleep
Baltimore, MD

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Can you briefly describe what is meant by RLS  and who suffers from it?

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MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. David Muller, PhD  Faculty of Medicine, School of Public Health Research Fellow in Epidemiology and Biostatistics Imperial College London

Dr. Muller

Dr. David C. Muller PhD
Faculty of Medicine, School of Public Health
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Imperial College, London

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

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