ASCO, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Journal Clinical Oncology, Kidney Disease, UT Southwestern / 01.01.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kevin D. Courtney, M.D., Ph.D.  Assistant Professor UT Southwestern Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) is the most common form of kidney cancer. Metastatic ccRCC does not respond to traditional chemotherapy. Current standard treatments for metastatic ccRCC include drugs called vascular endothelial growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors (VEGFR TKIs) that block the growth of new blood vessels that feed the cancer, as well as drugs that inhibit an enzyme called mTOR that is involved in ccRCC growth and immune therapies that rev up the body’s immune response to try to fight the cancer. Each of these treatments can have significant side effects for patients that can make them difficult to tolerate. Metastatic ccRCC is largely incurable, and we need novel and better-tolerated treatments. A central driver of ccRCC is a protein called hypoxia inducible factor 2alpha (HIF-2alpha). This protein has been very difficult to try to target with a drug. This study is the first to test a drug that targets HIF-2alpha in patients with metastatic ccRCC. The study results showed that the HIF-2alpha inhibitor, PT2385 (Peloton Therapeutics) was active in fighting metastatic ccRCC and was well-tolerated. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JACC, Kidney Disease, Mayo Clinic / 21.11.2017

Interview with: Dr Xiaoxi Yao PhD Assistant Professor Researcher Mayo Clinic What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Lifelong oral anticoagulation, either with warfarin or a non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulant (NOAC), is indicated for stroke prevention in most patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). Emerging evidence suggests that NOACs may be associated with better renal outcomes than warfarin. The study found renal function decline is common among patients with atrial fibrillation treated with oral anticoagulants. NOACs, particularly dabigatran and rivaroxaban, may be associated with lower risks of adverse renal outcomes than warfarin. (more…)
Author Interviews, Depression, Kidney Disease, UT Southwestern / 08.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Susan Hedayati MD Yin Quan-Yuen Distinguished Professorship in Nephrology University of Texas Southwestern Dallas, Texas MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We previously showed that Major Depression is associated with a significantly higher risk of death, dialysis initiation, and hospitalization among patients with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). Now we show that a common antidepressant medication, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), sertraline, does not improve depression in this patient population, a chronically ill group that is not only at significantly increased risk for developing depression but also its serious complications. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Diabetes, Kidney Disease / 08.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nilka Ríos Burrows, MPH, MT (ASCP) Lead, Chronic Kidney Disease Initiative CDC Division of Diabetes Translation.  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Kidney failure treated with dialysis or a kidney transplant is called end-stage renal disease (ESRD).  ESRD is a costly and disabling condition often resulting in premature death. During 2000–2014, kidney failure from diabetes among U.S. adults with diabetes decreased by 33%, and it declined significantly in most states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. No state experienced an increase in kidney failure from diabetes. Continued awareness and interventions to reduce risk factors for kidney failure, improve diabetes care, and prevent type 2 diabetes might sustain these positive trends. (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Kidney Disease / 06.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rita Magriço MD Hospital Garcia de Orta Almada, Portugal 
  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The SPRINT trial showed that in non-diabetic patients with high cardiovascular risk, intensive systolic blood pressure treatment (<120 mmHg) was associated with lower rates of major cardiovascular events and mortality. However, intensive treatment was unexpectedly associated with increased kidney function decline. We thought that lowering blood pressure could compromise kidney perfusion, evaluated by mean arterial pressure (MAP). If so, the magnitude of MAP reduction was expected to be associated with kidney function decline. We hypothesized that a greater difference between the baseline MAP and the lowest achieved MAP may be associated with a higher risk of kidney function decline. Our analysis supports this hypothesis. We discovered that MAP reduction >20 mmHg in patients with a target systolic BP <120 mmHg was associated with higher incidence of kidney function decline. The benefit-risk balance of intensive treatment seemed to be less favourable with greater MAP reduction. Prospective studies evaluating the effect of MAP reduction in addition to hypertension treatment target on kidney function decline and cardiovascular events are warranted. (more…)
Author Interviews, Kidney Disease, Mayo Clinic, NEJM / 06.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. TorresVicente E. Torres, M.D., Ph.D. Director of the Mayo Clinic Translational Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Experimental work pioneered by Dr. Jared Grantham showed that cyclic AMP, an intracellular signaling molecule, promotes the development and growth of cysts. Vasopressin, a hormone produced by the pituitary gland, stimulates the production of cyclic AMP in the collecting ducts, from which most cysts derive in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD). While this effect of vasopressin is necessary for the kidneys to concentrate and reduce the volume of urine, it promotes the development and growth of cysts in patients with ADPKD. Dr. Vincent Gattone realized that inhibiting the action of vasopressin could be protective in polycystic kidney disease. Work in our and other laboratories confirmed that suppression of vasopressin production, release or action reduces cyst burden, protects kidney function, and prolongs survival in rodent models of the disease. This experimental work provided a strong rationale for clinical trials of tolvaptan, a vasopressin V2 receptor antagonist. Tolvaptan reduced the rate of kidney growth in the TEMPO 3:4 trial, in patients with early ADPKD. It also reduced the rate of decline in kidney function, measured by the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), from 10.1 to 6.8 mL/min/1.73 m2 over three years. The eGFR benefit was maintained during two additional years when all the patients were treated with tolvaptan in an open label extension of the TEMPO 3:4 trial (TEMPO 4:4). Safety laboratory tests performed every four months showed elevations of liver transaminases in blood in 4.4% of tolvaptan and 1% of placebo-treated patients. Three of 1,271 tolvaptan-treated patients during TEMPO 3:4 and TEMPO 4:4 had evidence of potentially serious drug-induced liver injury. These abnormalities occurred all within the first 18 months of exposure to tolvaptan. Based on the TEMPO 3:4 results, tolvaptan was approved for the treatment of rapidly progressive ADPKD in Japan, Canada, European Union, Switzerland and South Korea. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration requested additional data to further evaluate the efficacy and safety of this drug. The REPRISE trial was performed to determine the efficacy and safety of tolvaptan in patients with later stage ADPKD. (more…)
Author Interviews, Kidney Disease, Transplantation / 06.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Yue-Harn Ng, MD University of New Mexico MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: ​African Americans (AA) have a higher incidence of end-stage renal disease but lower rates of kidney transplantation (KT) compared to whites (WH).  Disparities persist after adjusting for medical factors.  We assessed the relationship of non-medical (eg. cultural, psychosocial, knowledge) factors with kidney transplantation wait-listing (WL) within the context of racial differences. ​In this longitudinal cohort study, we found that African American patients were less likely to be wait-listed compared to White patients.  This difference was influenced by factors including age, comorbidities, socio-economic status, being on dialysis, having a living donor, transplant knowledge and social support. (more…)
Author Interviews, Fertility, Geriatrics, Kidney Disease / 06.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Silvi Shah, MD, FACP, FASN| Assistant Professor Division of Nephrology University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, OH MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Elderly represent the fastest growing segment of incident dialysis patients in Unites States. The annual mortality in end stage renal disease (ESRD) patients is very high ~ 20%. Since most of the deaths occur in the first year of dialysis, it is possible that health conditions present prior to initiation of dialysis may impact long-term outcomes. In this study, we determined the impact of poor functional status at the time of dialysis initiation and pre-dialysis health status on type of dialysis modality, type of hemodialysis access and one-year mortality in elderly dialysis patients. We evaluated 49,645 adult incident dialysis patients (1/1/2008 to 12/31/2008) from the United Data Renal Data System (USRDS) with linked Medicare data for at least 2 years prior to dialysis initiation. Mean age of our study population was 72 years. At dialysis initiation, 18.7% reported poor functional status, 88.9% has pre-dialysis hospitalization, and 27.8% did not receive pre-dialysis nephrology care. Patients with poor functional status had higher odds of being initiated on hemodialysis than peritoneal dialysis, lower odds of using arteriovenous access as compared to central venous catheter for dialysis and higher risk of one-year mortality. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gastrointestinal Disease, Kidney Disease / 06.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Charat Thongprayoon, MD Bassett Medical Center Cooperstown, NY 13326 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We conducted a meta-analysis including 5 observational studies with 536,902 patients to assess the risks of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and/or end-stage kidney disease (ESRD) in patients who are taking proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and/or H2 receptor antagonists (H2RAs). We found a statistically significant association between the use of PPI and 1.3-fold increased risk of CKD or ESRD development. Compared with H2Ras, the use of proton pump inhibitors was significantly associated with 1.3-fold higher risk for CKD development. Conversely, there was no significant association between the use of H2RAs and chronic kidney disease. (more…)
Author Interviews, Frailty, Kidney Disease / 04.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Silvi Shah, MD, FACP, FASN Assistant Professor, Division of Nephrology University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, OH MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Elderly represent the fastest growing segment of incident dialysis patients in Unites States. The annual mortality in end stage renal disease (ESRD) patients is very high ~ 20%. Since most of the deaths occur in the first year of dialysis, it is possible that health conditions present prior to initiation of dialysis may impact long-term outcomes. In this study, we determined the impact of poor functional status at the time of dialysis initiation and pre-dialysis health status on type of dialysis modality, type of hemodialysis access and one-year mortality in elderly dialysis patients. We evaluated 49,645 adult incident dialysis patients (1/1/2008 to 12/31/2008) from the United Data Renal Data System (USRDS) with linked Medicare data for at least 2 years prior to dialysis initiation. Mean age of our study population was 72 years. At dialysis initiation, 18.7% reported poor functional status, 88.9% has pre-dialysis hospitalization, and 27.8% did not receive pre-dialysis nephrology care. Patients with poor functional status had higher odds of being initiated on hemodialysis than peritoneal dialysis, lower odds of using arteriovenous access as compared to central venous catheter for dialysis and higher risk of one-year mortality. (more…)
Author Interviews, Geriatrics, Kidney Disease / 04.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Charuhas Thakar, MD Professor Director of the Division of Nephrology Kidney CARE program University of Cincinnati MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Based on the plausibility that pre-dialysis health status can impact outcomes after initiation of chronic dialysis, we examined large national USRDS dataset with linked Medicare claims prior to dialysis. We found that 88% of patients who initiate dialysis experience at least one acute care hospitalization in two years preceding their dialysis start. If they do, that is associated with a significant increase in the risk of mortality at one year. We also examined effect of different types of hospitalizations in the pre-dialysis period – Cardiovascular, Infections, both, and neither of the two. There were statistical differences in the effect of type of hospitalization and post dialysis mortality. (more…)
Author Interviews, Insomnia, Kidney Disease / 04.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Jun Ling (Lucy) Lu, MD, CCRP Senior Clinical Research Coordinator in the Department of Medicine Csaba P Kovesdy MD FASN Fred Hatch Professor of Medicine Director, Clinical Outcomes and Clinical Trials Program Division of Nephrology, University of Tennessee Health Science Center Nephrology Section Chief, Memphis VA Medical Center Memphis TN, 38163  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Around one third of the world’s population suffers from insomnia. Previous studies showed that sleep disorders affect the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis and the sympatho-adrenal system, which may cause abnormalities in several organ systems and pathways causing metabolic or cardiovascular abnormalities. However, there is inadequate evidence of an association between chronic insomnia and adverse renal outcomes. After examining 938,473 US veterans (4.4% of them had chronic insomnia) with baseline estimated eGFR >60 ml/min/1.73m2, we found that chronic insomnia is associated with a 43% higher risk of all-cause mortality, a 2.5-fold higher incidence of eGFR ≤45ml/min/1.73m2, a 2.3-fold higher ESRD risk, and with rapid loss of kidney function. (more…)
Author Interviews, Coffee, Kidney Disease / 04.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Coffee Wikipedia imageMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Miguel Bigotte Vieira, MD Centro Hospitalar Lisboa Norte Lisboa, Portugal Response: An inverse relationship between coffee consumption and mortality has been reported in the general population. However, the association between caffeine consumption and mortality in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) remains unclear. We examined the association between varying levels of caffeine consumption and mortality among 2328 patients with CKD in a prospective nationwide cohort, using the continuous National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999-2010. A dose-dependent inverse association between caffeine and all-cause mortality was observed in patients with CKD. This association was independent of influential factors including age, gender, race, annual family income, education level, estimated GFR, albumin/creatinine ratio, hypertension, smoking status, dyslipidemia, body mass index, previous cardiovascular events and diet: consumption of alcohol, carbohydrates, polyunsaturated fatty acids and fibers. Comparing with 1st quartile of caffeine consumption, adjusted HR for death was 0.88 (95% CI, 0.68-1.44) for 2nd quartile, 0.78 (95% CI, 0.60-1.01) for 3rd quartile and 0.76 (95% CI, 0.59-0.97) for 4th quartile (p=0.027 for trend across quartiles) (more…)
Author Interviews, Coffee, Kidney Disease / 01.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Miguel Bigotte Vieira MD Centro Hospitalar Lisboa Norte Lisbon, Portugal  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response:  An inverse relationship between coffee consumption and mortality has been reported in the general population. However, the association between caffeine consumption and mortality in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) remains unclear. We examined the association between varying levels of caffeine consumption and mortality among 2328 patients with CKD in a prospective nationwide cohort, using the continuous National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999-2010. A dose-dependent inverse association between caffeine and all-cause mortality was observed in patients with CKD. This association was independent of influential factors including age, gender, race, annual family income, education level, estimated GFR, albumin/creatinine ratio, hypertension, smoking status, dyslipidemia, body mass index, previous cardiovascular events and diet: consumption of alcohol, carbohydrates, polyunsaturated fatty acids and fibers. Comparing with 1st quartile of caffeine consumption, adjusted HR for death was 0.88 (95% CI, 0.68-1.44) for 2nd quartile, 0.78 (95% CI, 0.60-1.01) for 3rd quartile and 0.76 (95% CI, 0.59-0.97) for 4th quartile (p=0.027 for trend across quartiles) (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Kidney Disease, Surgical Research / 25.10.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: In Gab Jeong, MD Associate Professor Department of Urology, Asan Medical Center University of Ulsan College of Medicine Seoul, Korea MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Use of robotic surgery has increased in urological practice over the last decade especially for the surgery that was difficult to perform with laparoscopic techniques such as radical prostatectomy for prostate cancer or partial resection of kidney cancer. However, the use, outcomes, and costs of robotic nephrectomy are unknown. We examined the trend in use of robotic-assisted operations for radical nephrectomy in the United States and compared the perioperative outcomes and costs with laparoscopic radical nephrectomy. The proportion of radical nephrectomies using robotic-assisted operations increased from 1.5% in 2003 to 27.0% in 2015. Although there was no significant difference between robotic-assisted vs laparoscopic radical nephrectomy in major postoperative complications, robotic-assisted procedures were associated with longer operating time and higher direct hospital costs. The rate of prolonged operating time (>4 hours) for patients undergoing the robotic-assisted procedure was higher than for patients receiving the laparoscopic procedure (46.3% vs 25.8%; risk difference, 20.5%; 95% CI, 14.2% to 26.8%). Robotic-assisted radical nephrectomy was associated with higher mean 90-day direct hospital costs ($19530 vs $16851; difference, $2678; 95% CI, $838 to $4519). (more…)
Author Interviews, Gastrointestinal Disease, Kidney Disease, Microbiome, Supplements / 19.10.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ron Walborn Jr. Prebiotin CEO  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The product Prebiotin™ Prebiotic Fiber was brought to market in 2007 by Dr. Frank Jackson, a gastroenterologist out of Harrisburg, PA. He found through 40 years of experience with his patients that a variety of digestive issues benefitted from daily supplementation with a soluble prebiotic fiber, specifically, oligofructose-enriched inulin (OEI) derived from chicory root. In the late summer of 2012, Prebiotin caught the attention of Dr. Dominic Raj at the Internal Medicine Department of George Washington University. Dr. Raj’s laboratory showed that patients with kidney disease may have a higher level of release of endotoxins like p-Cresol sulfate and indole from the bacteria in the gut, which can move into the bloodstream and promote inflammation. This early work was the basis of a successful grant application. Researchers were interested in investigating the therapeutic potential of altering the composition and/or function of the gut microbiome in this patient population, based on the understanding that by building up the levels of healthy bacteria in the gut, undesirable bacteria is eventually crowded out, thereby reducing the release of harmful endotoxins into the system. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Kidney Disease, UCSF / 31.08.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Julie H. Ishida MD Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine San Francisco and San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center University of California MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Marijuana is becoming increasingly accepted in the United States, and animal studies suggest that marijuana could affect kidney function. However, data in humans are limited to case reports of acute kidney injury related to synthetic cannabinoid use and small cohort studies of relatively short duration. Among 3,765 participants with normal kidney function in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults or CARDIA study, my colleagues and I found that higher marijuana use was associated with lower kidney function at the start of the our study. However, we did not find that marijuana was associated with change in kidney function or albuminuria, which is a sign of kidney damage, over long-term follow-up. (more…)
Author Interviews, Kidney Disease, Transplantation / 07.08.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Anne Huml MD Center for Reducing Health Disparities Case Western Reserve University MetroHealth Medical Center Cleveland, Ohio  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Overall, about 600,000 Americans have end stage renal disease and require chronic dialysis treatment or a kidney transplant to survive. Compared to chronic dialysis, kidney transplantation results in better survival and quality of life and lower health care costs. Approximately 100,000 patients are listed for a kidney transplant. However, only 17,000 transplants occur per year with two-thirds of these coming from deceased donor organs. Annually, over 8,000 patients either die waiting for a kidney transplant or are removed from the waiting list for being too ill. Waiting times vary based on geography, but it is not unusual for patients to wait upwards of 5 years for a kidney transplant. There are sizeable race, gender, and socioeconomic disparities in access to kidney transplantation. In this study, we evaluated the outcomes of deceased donor kidney offers and their association with donor and waitlisted patient characteristics. Differences in kidney offer outcomes to patients at the top of the waiting list may contribute to disparities in transplantation. When a deceased donor organ becomes available, a match run list is created that ranks potential recipients in priority order based upon several characteristics, including waiting time and immunologic criteria. At the discretion of the transplant center, organ offers to patients on their waiting list can be accepted for transplant, or refused for a particular patient. The offers continue down the match run list in sequential order. For each potential recipient in whom the organ is not transplanted, a refusal code is generated and catalogued with the United Network of Organ Sharing, or UNOS. UNOS identifies 37 unique refusal codes and categorizes them into donor-related, transplant center bypassed for pre-specified criteria, recipient-related, histocompatibility-related, program-related, or other reasons for refusal. (more…)
Author Interviews, Kidney Disease, NEJM, Transplantation / 04.08.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Stanley C. Jordan, M.D DirectorDivision of Nephrology Medical DirectorKidney Transplant Program Medical Director, Human Leukocyte Antigen and Transplant Immunology Laboratory Cedars-Sinai, Los Angeles, CA  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The background for this study is as follows: Patients who are highly HLA sensitized have antibodies to transplant targets create an immunologic barrier to transplant. Currently, there are no approved therapies for elimination of these antibodies. Desensitization is available but is not always successful and most desensitized patients are still transplanted with a positive crossmatch. Thus, many patients are not able to receive life-saving kidney transplants unless newer therapies to remove antibodies are found. The findings of our study published in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that the use of the enzyme from streptococcal pyogenes called IdeS® (IgG endopeptidase) is very effective in eliminating donor specific antibodies and allowing transplantation to occur. Antibodies were eliminated from one week up to two months after one treatment with Ides® allowing a safe environment for the transplant to occur. Rejections episodes did occur in some of the patients but were generally mild and easily treatable. Only one patient of 25 lost his allograft during the study. Thus, the study shows promising results for a new approach for elimination of pathogenic antibodies that did not exist before. (more…)
Author Interviews, Depression, Kidney Disease / 06.06.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kathy Aebel-Groesch, MSW,LCSW Manager, Social Work Services DaVita Inc. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Chronic pain and depression can impact quality of life and adherence to treatment regimen among patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Previous research has demonstrated that patients with ESRD experience pain and depression more frequently than the general population. From 2016, CMS has required that all eligible ESRD patients are evaluated regularly for pain and depressive symptoms. We assessed pain and depression symptom scores among patients of a large dialysis organization (LDO) over the period Mar-Oct 2016. Pain was assessed monthly by LDO nurses using the Wong-Baker pain scale (0-10). Depression screenings were conducted biannually by LDO social workers using the PHQ-2 (scale 0-6) and excluded patients with existing diagnosis of depression or bipolar disorder, cognitive impairment or language barrier, and those who were hospitalized or refused screening. A total of 688,346 pain responses from 160,626 individual patients and 223,421 depression screening responses from 158,172 patients were considered. A score of 0 (no pain) was reported for 83.5% of pain responses and 65.7% of patients had a 0 score in all pain assessments. A score of 10 (most severe pain) was reported at least once during the study period by 3.0% of patients. Patients with a pain score of 10 were more frequently female (55%) and patients on peritoneal dialysis were less likely to have a pain score of 10 than those on other modalities. A depression score of 0 (patient answered "Not at all" to both “Little interest or pleasure in doing things” and “Feeling down, depressed, or hopeless”) was reported for 69.1% of all responses and 62.6% of patients had a 0 score in all assessments; 1.8% of patients had at least one score of 6 (patient responded “Nearly every day” to both questions) and 9.7% had at least one score of 3 or more. Patients with a score of 0 were more likely to be male vs. female, HHD vs. PD or ICHD, ≥ age 70 years. The majority of ESRD patients did not report pain symptoms and, among those not excluded from screening due to an existing diagnosis of depression or other reason, the majority did not report symptoms of depression. However, routine assessment of pain and depression enables the timely identification of new or increased symptoms, thus allowing earlier implementation of interventions that may improve patient experience. The LDO has since revised its depression screening policy to remove diagnosis of depression from exclusion criteria and to administer the PHQ-9 to patients with a PHQ-2 score ≥ 3. (more…)
Author Interviews, Hepatitis - Liver Disease, Kidney Disease, Lancet, Merck / 01.06.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Annette Bruchfeld MD, PhD Senior Consultant Associate Professor Karolinska Institute Dept of Renal Medicine, M99 Karolinska University Hospital Huddinge Stockholm, Sweden MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In patients with stage 4–5 chronic kidney disease(CKD), hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection can accelerate the decline in kidney function, impair health-related quality of life (HRQOL), and decrease survival chances of both patients and grafts in transplantation recipients. In this study additional data from patients with stage 4–5 chronic kidney disease undergoing treatment for HCV infection in the C-SURFER study, including HRQOL and resistance analyses was presented not previously reported for this patient population with gwnotype 1 infection. The final virological analysis of this study indicated a high cure rate with sustained virological response at 12 weeks after the end of treatment (SVR12) in more than 98% of all treated patients. Even in patients with resistance-associated substitutions (RASs) the SVR was high in 11 (84·6%) of 13 patients genotype 1a infection. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Kidney Disease, Transplantation / 30.05.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Deborah Evans, MA, MSW, LCSW Manager, Social Work Services DaVita Kidney Care MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: For patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) receiving dialysis, receipt of a transplant offers the best possible long-term treatment option. However, the process of becoming qualified to receive a transplant involves many steps, beginning with the patient’s statement of interest. In this study, we sought to characterize transplant interest among patients in a large dialysis organization in the U.S. and to explore reasons identified by the patients for lack of interest in transplant when applicable. As of November 2016, of the 182,906 patients with available transplant status information in the LDO database, 58,057 (31.7%) expressed that they were not interested in transplant. Among patients not interested in transplant, the most frequently identified reasons for lack of interest were:
  • Advanced age (25.7%)
  • Perceived poor health (12.0%)
  • Comfortable with current modality (12.0%)
  • Uninterested in further surgeries (11.9%)
  • 13.2% of patients not interested in transplant indicated that “other” factors were responsible for their lack of interest. At the time of the study, we didn’t have any further insight into what might account for these “other” factors.
Compared to patients with transplant status listed as active, those not interested in transplant were:
  • Older (21.4% < 60 years vs 64.6%)
  • More likely to be female (47.7% vs 36.6%)
  • More likely to be white (43.9% vs 30.4%) and less likely to be Hispanic (14.7% vs 22.2%)
  • More likely to be receiving in-center hemodialysis (92.0% vs 73.7%)
  • More likely to have Medicare/Medicaid as primary insurance (91.3% vs. 77.3%)
(more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Kidney Disease / 13.05.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Shaum Kabadi HEOR Director at AstraZeneca MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: More than 20 million adults – roughly 1 in 10 adults – in the US are estimated to have chronic kidney disease (CKD), and this population is expected to grow as the US population ages. Patients with CKD are at high risk for progression to end-stage renal disease (ESRD), a condition requiring dialysis or kidney transplantation to maintain patients’ long-term survival. The cost of treating ESRD patients was over $40 billion in public and private funds in 2009. Prior research shows per-person annual Medicare expenses attributable to CKD were $1,700 for Stage 2, $3,500 for Stage 3, and $12,700 for Stage 4. Additional research is required to understand the economic burden of CKD by stage in a contemporary cohort of commercially insured patients with non-dialysis-dependent (NDD)-CKD. This retrospective cohort study utilized data from the HealthCore Integrated Research Environment, which contained medical and pharmacy administrative claims integrated with laboratory result values from 14 regionally dispersed Anthem health plans in the US. Of 16,030 patients identified with CKD, the mean (SD) estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) (all in mL/min/1.73 m2) in 2014 was 44.3 (±18.7), and the breakdown by eGFR levels was: Stage 1 (≥90) 3%, Stage 2 (60–89) 13%, Stage 3a (45–59) 27%, Stage 3b (30–44) 35%, Stage 4 (15–29) 19%, and Stage 5 (<15) 3%. Mean age across all stages was 67.4 years, and 47% were women. Hospitalization rate (%) and number of outpatient encounters (visits per patient per year) by stage were: Stage 1 (11.6%, 19.8), Stage 2 (14.9%, 22.5), Stage 3a (16.2%, 23.6), Stage 3b (23.7%, 29.5), Stage 4 (30.7%, 36.3), and Stage 5 (30.8%, 61.7) (p-trend). (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Kidney Disease / 07.05.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Tanushree Banerjee, M.S., M.Phil., Ph.D. Research Specialist, Department of General Internal Medicine, San Francisco General Hospital, University of California, San Francisco, MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) has increased among adults with diagnosed hypertension (HTN), undiagnosed HTN and pre-hypertension as compared to normotension. However, whether CKD prevalence has changed across each of these groups is unknown. The prevalence of CKD decreased over time among persons with diagnosed, undiagnosed, and pre-hypertension while there was not any change in normotensives. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Kidney Disease, Surgical Research / 04.05.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nirat Beohar, MD Vice-Chief of Cardiology Director Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory Director Structural Heart Disease Program Director Interventional Cardiology Fellowship program Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory Columbia University Division of Cardiology, Mount Sinai Medical Center Miami Beach, Miami, FL 33140 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Nirat Beohar MD, Director of the Cardiovascular Catheterization Laboratory and Vice-Chief of Cardiology at the Columbia University Division of Cardiology at the Mount Sinai Medical Center and co-authors report the effect of trans-catheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) on subsequent renal function and outcomes in high-risk and inoperable patients presenting with baseline renal dysfunction (eGFR < 60 ml/min/1.73 m2). This was a sub-study of patients undergoing TAVR in the PARTNER 1 trial and continued access registry that was conducted in 25 centers in the United States and Canada. (more…)
Author Interviews, Kidney Disease, Social Issues / 03.05.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Wendy Tan Senior Medical Social Worker Medical Social Work The National Kidney Foundation MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) patients experience significant changes to their daily routine and lifestyle. Their time and attention were often centred solely on their sickness whilst receiving treatment accentuating the employment isolation. This study determined the need for extra support to assist patients adjust (e.g. learning about their psychological wellbeing, change of role and mindset, suitable work conditions and employment support) in returning to work. It also sheds light on how individuals perceive the particular situations they are facing, how they are making sense of their health conditions and the society at large in relations to seeking continued employment. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cleveland Clinic, Heart Disease, Kidney Disease / 01.05.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mohamed Khayata, MD Internal Medicine Resident PGY-3 Cleveland Clinic Akron General Akron, Ohio MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Previous studies showed that patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) who had elevated creatinine and/or impaired creatinine clearance on presentation had higher short- and long-term mortality independent of other cardiovascular risk factors. We used the National Cardiovascular Database Registry to investigate the impact of creatinine levels at the time of presentation on the cardiovascular outcomes in patients who presented with STEMI. Our study showed that elevated creatinine levels correlated with higher incidence of atrial fibrillation, bleeding, heart failure, and cardiogenic shock during hospital stay after the percutaneous intervention. (more…)
Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, Kidney Disease / 29.04.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sean Bagshaw MD MSc Director for Research for the Division of Critical Care Medicine School of Public Health University of Alberta, Canada MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The rationale for SPARK stemmed from two general observations. First, experimental and pre-clinical data have suggested the timely utilization of loop diuretics in early AKI could provide “kidney protection” largely mediated through reduction in medullary oxygen demand. Yet, this is in apparent paradox with clinical data (largely derived from older observational studies at some risk of bias) suggesting use of loop diuretics in AKI may be associated with increased risk for death and/or non-recovery of kidney function. Second, in AKI, loop diuretics are used exceedingly often. Surveys of healthcare practitioners and observational data suggest more than two-thirds to three-quarters of patients are exposed to diuretics at some point during their course. This represents a significant misalignment between evidence and clinical practice. This would suggest there is need to generate new evidence and knowledge that would ideally help inform best practice in the management of AKI. SPARK was designed as a pilot trial largely aimed at evaluating the feasibility of the approach to use of loop diuretics in early AKI. While SPARK did not find significant differences in risk of worsening AKI, utilization of RRT or mortality, we recognize the trial was underpowered to meaningfully inform about these and other patient-centered outcomes. We did see differences in secondary endpoints (i.e., fluid balance); however, use of loop diuretics in this setting was also associated with greater incidence of electrolyte abnormalities. (more…)
Author Interviews, Kidney Disease, Mineral Metabolism, Nutrition, Social Issues, Transplantation / 25.04.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ms. Shifra Mincer Medical Student in the class of 2019 SUNY Downstate Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Hypophosphatemia is commonly encountered in the post-transplant setting. Early post-transplant hypophosphatemia has been ascribed to excess FGF23 and hyperphosphaturia. Many patients remain hypohosphatemic months or even years after their transplant and the mechanism was assumed to be the same, however, our group recently reported that patients with late post-transplant hypophosphatemia had very little phosphorous in their urine (Wu S, Brar A, Markell, MS. Am J Kidney Dis. 2016,67(5): A18). We hypothesized that they were not eating enough phosphorous to compensate for the acute phosphorous losses they experienced immediately post-transplant. In this study, using both 3-day diet journals and 24-hour diet recall questionnaires, we found that mean intake of phosphorous and protein was barely at the Recommended Daily Allowance, and that despite 70% of the patients using EBT, 30% of those patients still reported concerns regarding food security. Patients who reported that the cost of food influenced their dietary choices ate 43% less protein (average 48,5 gms vs. 85.8 gms) and 29% less phosphorous (average 887 mg vs 1257 mg). When ability to rise from a chair over a 30 second period was evaluated, only patients who expressed food cost concerns were unable to complete the test. (more…)