Anemia, Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Kidney Disease, Mineral Metabolism / 10.08.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lac Tran, MD Division of Nephrology and Hypertension Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center Los Angeles, CA Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Tran: Abnormal serum phosphorus levels have been associated with adverse cardiovascular outcomes and progression to renal failure.  Given phosphorus’s important biological roles in cellular replication and bone mineral metabolism, we sought to investigate the association between phosphorus levels and anemia in normal kidney function and early chronic kidney disease. Our study is a population-based study among a large racially/ethnically diverse population within the Kaiser Permanente Southern California health system. Among 155, 974 individuals, 4.1% had moderate anemia and 12.9% had mild anemia.  We found that phosphorus levels greater than 3.5 mg/dL and less than 2.0 mg/dL showed a greater likelihood for moderate anemia.  Every 0.5 mg/dL phosphorus level increase demonstrated a 16% greater likelihood for moderate anemia.  The highest phosphorus tertile of our population had a 26% greater likelihood for anemia compared to the middle tertile.  We also found that female sex, Asian race, diabetes, low albumin, and low iron saturation were risk factors for anemia. (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, BMJ, Kidney Disease / 10.07.2015

Gijs Van Pottelbergh, MD, PhD Department of Health and Technology Leuven University College Leuven, BelgiumMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Gijs Van Pottelbergh, MD, PhD Department of Health and Technology Leuven University College Leuven, Belgium Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Earlier research identified arterial hypertension as a cause of chronic kidney disease but in older persons the relation between blood pressure and kidney function is little investigated.This study analyses the relation between dynamic blood pressure measurements and kidney function over time. A decline in blood pressure over time turned out to be a strong risk factor for kidney function decline in all age strata. (more…)
Author Interviews, Kidney Disease, Social Issues / 18.06.2015

Holly Kramer, MD, MPH Department of Public Health Sciences Loyola University Chicago Health Sciences Campus Maywood, ILMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Holly Kramer, MD, MPH Department of Public Health Sciences Loyola University Chicago Health Sciences Campus Maywood, IL MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Kramer: The U.S. dialysis dependent population continues to grow with  636,905 prevalent cases of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in the U.S. as of December 31, 2012, , an increase of 3.7% since 2011.  Poverty is a well described risk factor for ESRD because poverty impacts access to care and nutritious foods.  The definitions for poverty in the U.S. have not changed over the past several decades despite marked changes in social structure.  For example, social integration in the U.S. society currently requires a cell phone, computer and internet access and access to transportation.  Healthy foods also cost more now relative to unhealthy foods compared to past decades.  Thus, the link between poverty and any chronic disease or health outcome is likely dynamic due to the evolving financial burden for living in a rapidly changing industrialized society.  Our study defined poverty as living in a zip code defined area with > 20% of the residents living below the federal poverty line.  We show that the prevalence of adults receiving dialysis who are living in poverty has increased over time.  We also show that the association between poverty and ESRD may be getting stronger over time.   (more…)
Author Interviews, Kidney Disease, Telemedicine / 18.06.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Judy K. Tan, MD Department of Nephrology Mount Sinai Hospital New York, New York MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Tan: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a common life-threatening medical condition, affecting approximately 26 million adults in the U.S. In Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) 3, veterans with CKD who reside in the Hudson Valley Veterans Affair Medical Center (VAMC) catchment area travel to the James J. Peters VAMC, a tertiary care facility in the Bronx for their nephrology care. However, because of several barriers such as (1) distance between the two facilities (approximately 60 miles) and (2) patient complexity (medical and psychiatric illnesses), patients referred to the James J. Peters VAMC renal clinic from Hudson Valley VAMC often cancel or “no show”. This poor compliance increases the long-term risk of rapid progression of CKD and the development of complications associated with it.  To address this issue, the division of nephrology at the James J. Peters VAMC, in line with the veterans affairs’ focus on “patient-centered care,” developed a collaborative out-patient telenephrology service as a means to deliver care. The out-patient telenephrology service employs specialized global medical video conferencing equipment with customized medical instruments (ie stethoscopes) and Computerized Patient Record System (CPRS) accessibility to direct real-time evaluation and management of our veterans with CKD while they stay in their local VAMC. As demonstrated by Rohatgi et al, this intervention significantly increased the compliance rate of patients and reduced the travel time, miles, and cost of patients utilizing the telenephrology service.1 The hypothesis of our study is that patients with CKD remotely managed through our telenephrology service would exhibit comparable clinical outcomes and visit compliance as conventional in-person renal care. Our provisional analysis of the subjects followed in the telenephrology service showed 117 unique patients were evaluated between 2011-2014. The mean age was 71±11years old with 98.3% males. 70% of the patients were white and 26.5% African American. The predominant etiology of chronic kidney disease was diabetic nephropathy (31.6%) followed by hypertensive nephrosclerosis (26.5%). In the 87 patients who had 1-year follow up data, estimated glomerular filtration (eGFR) was well preserved over the year (33 mL/min vs. 32 mL/min; p=0.04). Systolic blood pressure (BP) was reduced from 138±20 to 133±16 mm Hg (p=0.03), but no difference was observed in diastolic BP. Urine protein-creatinine ratio fell from 0.58 to 0.25 (p=0.07). 94% of patients had parathyroid levels checked and 70.9% were on ACE inhibitors during the first year of follow up. (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Kidney Disease, University of Pittsburgh / 14.06.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Raghavan Murugan MD, MS, FRCP, FCCP Associate Professor of Critical Care Medicine and Clinical and Translational Science Core Faculty, Center for Critical Care Nephrology, CRISMA Center, Raghavan Murugan MD, MS, FRCP, FCCP Associate Professor of Critical Care Medicine and Clinical and Translational Science Core Faculty, Center for Critical Care Nephrology, CRISMA Center, John Kellum, MD Professor and Vice Chair for Research Director, Bioengineering and Organ Support Program, CRISMA Center Director, Center for Assistance in Research using eRecord (CARe)John Kellum, MD Professor and Vice Chair for Research Director, Bioengineering and Organ Support Program, CRISMA Center Director, Center for Assistance in Research using eRecord (CARe) Department of Critical Care Medicine University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In our prior studies, we found that nearly one-half of critically ill patients in the intensive care unit who receive dialysis die by 2 months after acute illness and more than one-third of surviving patients are dialysis dependent. We sought to examine whether simple patient characteristics and inflammatory biomarkers predicted death and non-recovery of kidney function after severe acute kidney injury. We found that a combination of four simple and readily available patient characteristics including older age, lower mean arterial pressure, need for mechanical ventilation, and higher serum bilirubin levels predicted death and dialysis dependence. Higher plasma concentration of interleukin (IL)-8 in combination with the clinical characteristics also increased risk prediction. To our knowledge, this study is the first large study to examine risk prediction for outcomes after severe acute kidney injury using a panel of biomarkers in a large cohort of critically ill patients receiving dialysis. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Immunotherapy, Kidney Disease, University of Michigan / 13.06.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Frank C. Brosius, MD Professor, Internal Medicine and Physiology Chief, Division of Nephrology University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI Dr. Matthias Kretzler MD Professor, Internal Medicine Research Professor, Computational Medicine and Biology University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI Katherine R. Tuttle MD Clinical Professor of Medicine, Division of Nephrology Medical & Scientific Director, Providence Medical Research Center/Sacred Heart Center Professor of Basic Medical Sciences, WWAMI Program Washington State University Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Response: Our University of Michigan team had found that JAK-STAT gene expression was increased in kidneys in patients with diabetic kidney disease and that these changes correlated with progression of kidney disease.  We subsequently substantiated these changes in other studies and have found that by increasing expression of just one of these genes, JAK2, in a single kidney cell type (podocytes) in mice that we can make their diabetic kidney disease much worse. At around the same time, investigators at Eli Lilly and Co. had FDA approval to test a JAK1-2 inhibitor, baricitinib, in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.  The Lilly scientists saw our human results and thought about using baricitinib in patients with diabetic kidney disease.  After initial discussions with Dr. Kretzler and myself they concluded that there was good reason to move ahead with this study and just 14 months after the initial meeting the phase 2 clinical trial of baricitinib in the treatment of patients with diabetic kidney disease was initiated. (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Geriatrics, Kidney Disease / 24.05.2015

Enayet Karim Chowdhury, Research Fellow Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine Monash University The Alfred Centre Melbourne VIC 3004MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Enayet Karim Chowdhury, Research Fellow Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine Monash University The Alfred Centre Melbourne VIC 3004 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Chowdhury: The study was conducted on elderly treated hypertensive population. Australia is currently undergoing a demographic transition towards having increasing number of older people. As age advances quality of life becomes increasingly affected by a variety of chronic diseases including poor renal function. Therefore early detection and management of the risk associated with these chronic diseases is crucial. Managing hypertension, even though challenging, can significantly improve quality of life of a person by reducing risk of having cardiovascular events. The main finding of the study is that in elderly treated hypertensive people, a rapid decline in renal function was associated with a higher risk of having cardiovascular events irrespective of having chronic kidney disease or not. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Kidney Disease / 12.05.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kirolos A. Jacob, MD, MSc PhD Candidate Division Vital Functions, Cardiothoracic Surgery and Intensive Care Medicine University Medical Center Utrecht Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Jacob: Heart surgery carries many risks for a patient undergoing such a procedure. One of the most devastating complications following open heart surgery is kidney failure requiring dialysis. Most of these patients who develop kidney failure requiring dialysis after surgery have some form of chronic kidney disease before the operation, which placed them at especially high risk. Approximately one out of every 100 patients undergoing open heart surgery develops severe kidney failure. When such kidney failure occurs, the patient has more than 40% chance of dying. 1% sounds like a small percentage, however given the fact that each year, over half a million people undergo heart surgery in the USA alone, this means that an estimated 5,000 patients develop renal failure and of those about 2,500 die as a result of this complication. This figure is rising yearly as more and more patients are being operated due to the aging population. Also, this elderly population has often significant pre-existing kidney disease, further increasing the incidence of kidney failure after a heart operation. Thus, treatment strategies are needed for this relatively small yet very important and expanding group of patients. Heart surgery initiates an inflammatory reaction across the human body due to the surgical trauma and the heart-lung machine. This systemic immune system reaction is thought to play a vital role in the development of kidney injury after heart surgery. Our study investigated the effects of dexamethasone, a strong anti-inflammatory drug, on severe kidney injury after heart surgery. Severe kidney injury was defined as the use of dialysis during the hospital stay after surgery. We discovered that patients who receive the drug used 56% less frequently kidney dialysis, when compared to those receiving a placebo. Thus patients who did not receive the drug had about 2.5x higher risk for developing kidney failure when compared to those receiving dexamethasone. The beneficial effects of dexamethasone were particularly present in those who already had pre-existing kidney disease before heart surgery. This reinforces the fact that this drug could be of major importance for the increasing elderly population with pre-existing kidney disease undergoing a heart operation. (more…)
Author Interviews, End of Life Care, Heart Disease, JAMA, Kidney Disease / 27.04.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Susan P. Y. Wong, M.D. Acting Instructor & Senior Research Fellow Division of Nephrology University of Washington Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Wong: There is a paucity of information on the use of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and its outcomes among patients receiving maintenance dialysis. To address this knowledge gap, we performed a retrospective study to define contemporary trends in in-hospital CPR use and its outcomes among a nationally representative sample of 663,734 patients receiving maintenance dialysis between 2000 and 2011. We found that in-hospital CPR use among this cohort of patients was very high—nearly 20 times more common than that found in the general population. The rate of in-hospital CPR use has also been increasing among patients receiving maintenance dialysis despite evidence of poor long-term survival among these patients. Median survival after hospital discharge for members of this cohort was only 5 months, and this has not change substantially in the recent decade. We also found that a large proportion  of dialysis patients who died in hospital settings had received CPR during their terminal hospitalization. This proportion has also been steadily increasing over time, and in 2011, 1 in 5 dialysis patients who died in hospital had received CPR during their terminal hospitalization. (more…)
Author Interviews, Kidney Disease, UCLA / 07.04.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Bryan B. Shapiro Harold Simmons Center for Kidney Disease Research and Epidemiology and Division of Nephrology and Hypertension Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute Harbor–UCLA Medical Center Torrance, California Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The inverse relationship between body mass index (BMI) and mortality rates is well-documented in maintenance hemodialysis (MHD) patients. Virtually everyone has assumed that this relationship reflects the effect of body weight, and especially fat mass, on mortality in these patients. However, height is also a component of the BMI equation (BMI = body weight (kg)/height (m²)) and may be independently associated  with mortality in MHD patients. The results of this study, which examined 117, 644 MHD patients and was controlled for many demographic and laboratory variables, indicate that height, adjusted for body weight, is directly associated with mortality in a manner that is opposite to the weight-mortality relationship. Moreover, we found that the contribution of height to the inverse BMI-mortality relationship in dialysis is essentially as great as the contribution of weight. (more…)
Author Interviews, Kidney Disease, OBGYNE, Pharmacology / 01.04.2015

Dr. Mala Sachdeva MD North Shore University Hospital, Long Island Jewish Medical Center Assistant Professor, Nephrology, Internal Medicine Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of MedicineMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Mala Sachdeva MD North Shore University Hospital, Long Island Jewish Medical Center Assistant Professor, Nephrology, Internal Medicine Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Sachdeva: The last study examining pregnancy and dialysis outcomes in the United States was performed more than 15 years ago. Our study was conducted to evaluate practice patterns and to trend maternal and fetal outcomes in the pregnant dialysis female over the past five years. We did a surveymonkey-based survey of American nephrologists on their knowledge of managing pregnancy patients on dialysis. Medical Research: What are the main findings? Dr. Sachdeva: Over the past five years, more than 59 pregnancies have been reported. During this time period, almost half of the American nephrologist respondents (43%) have cared for pregnant females on hemodialysis. Hence, we can see that more nephrologists are now faced with taking care of the pregnant dialysis patient. Although a good number of patients initiated dialysis during pregnancy (32%), the majority (58%) of pregnancies occurred within the first five years of being on maintenance dialysis. Pregnancy outcomes can improve. Of the reported pregnancies 23% did not result in live births. 50% of the pregnancies were complicated by preeclampsia. There were no maternal deaths. Most nephrologists prescribe 4 to 4.5 hours of hemodialysis. 64% of respondents provide dialysis for six days per week. Only 21% aimed for a target predialysis BUN of less than 20 mg/dL while 66% of nephrologists targeted a BUN less than 50mg/dL.  75% of respondents do not have access to fetal monitoring during dialysis for their pregnant patient. There are approximately 32% of American nephrologists who are somewhat to very uncomfortable caring for a pregnant woman on hemodialysis. 51% of American nephrologists or a member of their staff counsel their female dialysis patients about contraception. So in summary, while majority of the US based nephrologists are trying to dialyze pregnant ESRD patients with more intense prescriptions, there are still some gaps with comfort and knowledge. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, Kidney Disease, Kidney Stones, Mayo Clinic / 30.03.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Majuran Perinpam, BsC Mayo Clinic Rochester, Minn MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? Response: The four key urinary factors: Calcium, magnesium, oxalate and uric acid are all implicated in kidney stone formation. Age and sex are known to influence kidney stone risk and type (1). However the effects of demographics on excretion of the four key urinary factors are not clear. Since diet alters urinary excretions of the four factors, adjusting for this is important. During metabolic evaluation of kidney stone patients, these urinary factors are often measured in 24-hour urine samples. However, often a single adult reference range is used and the effect of demographics is rarely taken into account during the interpretation of results. MedicalResearch: What are the main findings? Response: From a cohort of 709 healthy individuals we found a substantial influence of age and sex on the excretion of urinary calcium. Adjusted models showed that urinary calcium, magnesium, oxalate and uric acid were all less in females, possibly explaining why kidney stones are more dominant in males (1). Also a positive association of urinary uric acid excretion with Cystatin C eGFR, but not eGFR calculated from creatinine, suggests cystatin C to possibly being involved in inflammation and hyperuricemia. But further studies are needed to investigate this. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Kidney Disease / 30.03.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Tanush Gupta, MD Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology New York Medical College, NY Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Gupta: There are approximately 600,000 prevalent cases of end stage renal disease (ESRD) in the United States. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in ESRD patients. Moreover, approximately 20% of these deaths due to cardiovascular disease are attributable to acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Multiple studies have shown that ESRD patients have poor short- and long-term survival after AMI relative to the general population. We analyzed the publicly available Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) databases from 2003 to 2011 to examine the temporal trends in ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), use of mechanical revascularization for STEMI, and in-hospital outcomes in adult ESRD patients in the United States. We found that from 2003 to 2011, whereas the number of acute myocardial infarction hospitalizations in ESRD patients increased from 13,322 to 20,552, there was a decline in the number of STEMI hospitalizations from 3,169 to 2,558. The use of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) for STEMI increased from 18.6% to 37.8%, whereas there was no significant change in the use of coronary artery bypass grafting. During the study period, in-hospital mortality in ESRD patients with STEMI increased from 22.3% to 25.3%. We also observed an increase in average hospital charges and a decrease in mean length of stay during the study period. (more…)
Author Interviews, Baylor University Medical Center Dallas, Dermatology, Kidney Disease / 27.03.2015

Mohammad Kazem Fallahzadeh Abarghouei, M.D. Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, TXMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mohammad Kazem Fallahzadeh Abarghouei, M.D. Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, TX Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Response: Uremic pruritus (itch) is a common problem in hemodialysis patients. No effective treatment exists for uremic pruritus due to its complex pathogenesis. Systemic inflammation and elevated serum levels of interleukin-2 (IL-2) are implicated in the pathogenesis of uremic pruritus. Senna is an herbal drug commonly used for treatment of constipation. Senna also has anti-inflammatory properties. We performed this randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial to evaluate the effect of senna on reduction of uremic pruritus and serum levels of IL-2 in hemodialysis patients. (more…)
Anemia, Author Interviews, Kidney Disease, Vitamin C / 27.03.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Tanjim Sultana MD Department of Nephrology Lenox Hill Hospital New York Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Almost all dialysis patients are anemic. One quarter of patients requiring High dose Epogen have functional iron deficiency, which means they have adequate iron store but unable to utilize it. Vitamin C has been shown to mobilize iron from their storage and making it available to use in red blood cell production. Prior studies showed intravenous high dose vitamin C could increase hemoglobin levels and decrease epogen requirement. In our study we used daily low dose oral vitamin C in functional iron deficient patients to achieve the same goals. Patients taking daily low dose vitamin C for 3 months had significant decrease in their epogen dose compared to the control group. (more…)
Author Interviews, Kidney Disease / 27.03.2015

Dr. José L. Górriz Department of Medicine and Nephrology Valencia Hospital Universitario Valencia. SpainMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. José L. Górriz Department of Medicine and Nephrology Valencia Hospital Universitario Valencia. Spain MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Górriz: The background of the study is that several studies have reported on the high prevalence of vascular calcification in chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients not on dialysis. Vascular calcification (VC) has been associated with high cardiovascular mortality in patients on dialysis, but there are no studies in patients in stages before dialysis which analyse the prognostic significance of the presence of Vascular calcification assessed by simple X-ray. Vascular calcification can occur in both the intima and media of the vessel wall. Intimal calcification is an indicator of atherosclerosis and is associated with ischemic heart disease and medial calcification is associated with arterial stiffness, systolic hypertension, and left ventricular hypertrophy. Although Vascular calcification can be assessed by various methods, such as ultrasonography, tomography, and arteriography, simple radiology has the advantages of being simple, inexpensive, and commonly applicable in daily clinical practice. OSERCE 2 is an observational, multicentre and 3-year prospective study performed in 39 Nephrology centres in Spain, which analyzes the presence of Vascular calcification in CKD patients stages 3 and 4 (eGFR between 15-59 ml/min/1,73 m2) and its effect on morbimortality (death, hospitalization and renal progression). The main findings of the study were that Vascular calcification is highly prevalent in patients with chronic kidney disease, and Vascular calcification assessment using AS independently predicts death and time to hospitalization. Therefore, it could be a useful index to identify patients with chronic kidney disease at high risk of death and morbidity as previously reported in patients on dialysis. (more…)
Author Interviews, Exercise - Fitness, Kidney Disease / 20.03.2015

Peter Kokkinos, PhD, FAHA, FACSM Veterans Affairs Medical Center Professor, Georgetown University School of Medicine George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences Director, LIVe ProgramMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Peter Kokkinos, PhD, FAHA, FACSM Veterans Affairs Medical Center Professor, Georgetown University School of Medicine George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences Director, LIVe Program Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Kokkinos: This is a prospective study and part of a larger cohort, the Veterans Exercise Testing Study (VETS) designed to assess the association between aerobic fitness and the risk of developing Chronic Kidney Disease or CKD. Our cohort included 5,812 middle-aged male Veterans from the Washington, DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center. All participants were CKD-Free prior to entering the study. Exercise capacity was assessed by a graded exercise test and peak Metabolic Equivalents or METs were determined. Accordingly, we established the following four age-adjusted fitness categories based on Quartiles of peak METs achieved: Least-fit (≤25%; 4.8±0.90 METs; n=1258); Low-fit (25.1%-50%; 6.5±0.96 METs; n=1614); Moderate-fit (50.1%-75%; 7.7±0.91 METs; n=1958), and High-fit (>75%; 9.5±1.0 METs; n=1436). Multivariable Cox proportional hazard models were used to assess the exercise capacity-CKD association. The models were adjusted for age, BMI, blood pressure, medications, CVD, Risk factors, race, and history of alcoholism. Medical Research: What are the main findings? Dr. Kokkinos: During a median follow-up period of 7.9 years, 1,000 individuals developed CKD. The CKD-fitness association was independent, inverse and graded. The CKD risk was 22% lower for every 1-MET increase in exercise capacity. When considering fitness categories, CKD risk decreased progressively as fitness status increased. Specifically, when compared to the Least-Fit individuals the risk of developing CKD was 13% 45% and 58% lower for individuals in the Low-Fit; Moderate and High-Fit categories, respectively. These findings support that higher aerobic fitness lowers the risk of developing CKD. The average exercise capacity necessary to realize these health benefits was just over 6.5 METs (Low-fit). This level of fitness is achievable by many middle-aged and older individuals by daily exercises such as brisk walking. Moderate intensity exercises are effective in improving aerobic fitness regardless of age or comorbidities. Thus, exercise interventions for individuals at risk for CKD and those with preclinical CKD may be implemented to prevent or at least attenuate the rate of developing CKD. (more…)
Author Interviews, Kidney Disease, Lancet / 20.03.2015

Prof Vlado Perkovic MBBS PhD FASN FRACP George Institute for Global Health University of Sydney Sydney AustraliaMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof Vlado Perkovic MBBS PhD FASN FRACP George Institute for Global Health University of Sydney Sydney Australia   Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Prof. Perkovic: There has been much discussion about the large number of people with kidney disease around the world- more than 10% of the population in most countries- but the current number of people with kidney failure had not been clearly defined. We therefore systematically collected information on the number of people with kidney failure around the world and found that 2.6 million people were receiving treatment for kidney failure in 2010, almost 80% of whom were undergoing dialysis while the others had received a kidney transplant. We then noticed very large differences in the number of people receiving treatment in different regions and countries, so used mathematical modeling to calculate the number of people who should be receiving treatment for kidney failure. The results of this analysis suggested there should be between 5 and 10 million people receiving treatment for kidney failure, suggesting that between half and three-quarters of people with kidney failure around the world died without access to dialysis, as a result of the high cost of dialysis treatment that is not affordable for many people around the world. These people are doomed to die of kidney failure, a condition for which we have had an effective treatment for over 50 years. (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Heart Disease, Kidney Disease / 11.03.2015

Dr. Borja Quiroga MD Ph.D. Nephrology Unit, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón Madrid, SpainMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Borja Quiroga MD Ph.D. Nephrology Unit, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón Madrid, Spain Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Quiroga: Chronic kidney disease patients are at high-risk for the development of cardiovascular events. Although several strategies have been tried for identifying those patients with poorer prognosis, no one has demonstrated by itself being the best one. This could be explained by the fact that several factors are implied in the cardiovascular profile of  chronic kidney disease patients. With this background, in our study we hypothesized if differences in the interarm systolic blood pressure could detect patients with enhanced cardiovascular risk early, and, consequently therapies could be initiated. Our results provide interesting data on this regard, as we have concluded that an interarm systolic blood pressure difference higher that 10 mmHg is an independent prognosis factor for cardiovascular events. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, JAMA, Kidney Disease / 03.03.2015

Mallika L. Mendu, MD, MBA Division of Renal Medicine Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School Boston, MAMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mallika L. Mendu, MD, MBA Division of Renal Medicine Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School Boston, MA MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Mendu: Chronic kidney disease affects a significant number of adults in the United States, approximately 13%, and is associated with significant morbidity, mortality and cost. We conducted a review of 1487 patients referred for initial evaluation of chronic kidney disease to two academic medical centers in Boston over a 3-year period, and examined how often laboratory and imaging tests were ordered and how often these tests affected diagnosis and/or management. The main finding was that a number of tests (renal ultrasound, paraprotein testing, serologic testing) were commonly ordered despite low diagnostic and management yield. Urine quantification and hemoglobin A1c testing had the highest diagnostic and management yield. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Kidney Disease / 28.02.2015

Dr. Simonetta Genovesi MD Department of Health Science University of Milano-Bicocca, Monza Italy Nephrology Unit San Gerardo Hospital, Monza, ItalyMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Simonetta Genovesi MD Department of Health Science University of Milano-Bicocca, Monza Italy Nephrology Unit San Gerardo Hospital, Monza, Italy MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study?   Dr. Genovesi: The prevalence of atrial fibrillation (AF) in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) on hemodialysis (HD) is high. The presence of atrial fibrillation increases the risk of thrombo-embolic stroke in the general population. The treatment of choice for reducing thrombo-embolic risk in AF patients is oral anticoagulant therapy (OAT) with warfarin. However, the use of warfarin in HD patients is controversial because of the high risk of bleeding and the fact that it is not demonstrated a clear protection against the risk of stroke in this population. The purpose of the study was to prospectively evaluate the effect of OAT on the risk of mortality, stroke and bleeding in HD population. MedicalResearch: What are the main findings?   Dr. Genovesi: In our hemodialysis population oral anticoagulant therapy does not increase the risk of total mortality, while antiplatelet agents are associated with an increased risk of death of about 70%. The continuous use of warfarin tends to be associated with improved survival as compared with individuals who discontinued the medication during the follow-up, but the incidence of thrombo-embolic events is not different in OAT subjects as compared with those who do not take it. Moreover, bleeding events are more frequent in patients taking warfarin, although the maintenance over time of an INR in the therapeutic range wards against the risk of bleeding. (more…)
Author Interviews, Geriatrics, Kidney Disease / 28.02.2015

Nisha Bansal MD MAS Assistant Professor Associate Program Director for Research Kidney Research Institute Division of Nephrology University of WashingtonMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nisha Bansal MD MAS Assistant Professor Associate Program Director for Research Kidney Research Institute Division of Nephrology University of Washington Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Bansal: We pursued this study to develop a prediction equation for death among elderly patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), a high-risk patient population that is often difficult to manage given competing risks of end stage renal disease (ESRD) vs. death. In this paper, we developed and validated a simple prediction equation using variables that are readily available to all clinicians. (more…)
Author Interviews, Connective Tissue Disease, Emory, Kidney Disease, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 20.02.2015

Laura Plantinga, PhD Assistant Professor Division of Renal Medicine, Department of Medicine Emory University School of Medicine Atlanta, GA 30322MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Laura Plantinga, PhD Assistant Professor Division of Renal Medicine, Department of Medicine Emory University School of Medicine Atlanta, GA 30322 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Plantinga: Quality of care for end-stage renal disease (ESRD), which is treated with dialysis or kidney transplantation, is a high priority for the U.S. healthcare system, given universal coverage of these services. However, quality of ESRD care remains relatively unexplored in lupus patients, who have multiple providers and may have greater access to care. We found that, overall, nearly three-quarters of U.S. ESRD patients with lupus had pre-ESRD nephrology care and about 20% of lupus patients on dialysis were waitlisted for kidney transplant per year; however, fewer than one-quarter of those who started on dialysis had a permanent vascular access in place, which is associated with better outcomes than a temporary catheter. Furthermore, patients who were black or Hispanic were nearly a third less likely to have pre-ESRD care and were also less likely to be placed on the kidney transplant waitlist in the first year of dialysis than white patients. Having Medicaid or no insurance at the start of ESRD were both associated with lower likelihood of quality ESRD care by all measures, despite universal Medicare coverage after the start of ESRD. While there was geographic variation in quality of ESRD care, patterns were not consistent across quality measures. (more…)
HIV, Kidney Disease, NEJM, Transplantation / 11.02.2015

Elmi Muller, M.B., Ch.B., M.Med. University of Cape Town–Surgery Groote Schuur Hospital Observatory Cape Town Cape Town, South Africa MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Elmi Muller, M.B., Ch.B., M.Med. University of Cape Town–Surgery Groote Schuur Hospital Observatory Cape Town Cape Town, South Africa Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Muller: South Africa currently offers dialysis and transplantation as a treatment option for patients with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). However, dialysis is not freely available to everyone, but severely limited and only available to a selected group of patients. This means that patients get assessed when they present with ESRD and they only get accepted onto a dialysis programme if they fulfill certain criteria. These criteria are criteria to assess the patient’s medical fitness in general as well as social criteria to assess whether the patient will be compliant with follow-up.  In most state hospitals, patients will only be accepted onto a dialysis program if they are also fit to receive a transplant in the long run.  The idea is that dialysis programs should naturally feed into transplant programs. Therefore a patient who is not a suitable transplant candidate will normally be turned down for dialysis. In 2008, when the HIV positive-to-positive program started, patients with ESRD and HIV would be turned down for dialysis. The reason was that they were seen as unfit for transplantation and therefore not suitable dialysis patients. This meant that anybody with HIV and ESRD was doomed to die. This situation remained unchallenged for a number of years, especially as the rollout of antiretroviral therapy was quite slow in the state sector. Because of very high HIV rates in the country, more and more HIV positive brain-dead donors presented to the Groote Schuur Hospital Transplant team. These donors were mostly braindead people who were worked up for organ donation (after consent was obtained from the family) and who then turned out to be HIV positive. In 2008 it made sense to try and marry this supply of donors with the group of HIV positive patients without any treatment options in the country. (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Cleveland Clinic, Heart Disease, Kidney Disease / 05.02.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: W. H .Wilson Tang, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.H.A. Professor in Medicine, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH 44195MedicalResearch.com Interview with: W. H .Wilson Tang, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.H.A. Professor in Medicine, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH 44195.   Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Tang: Our group has previously demonstrated that TMAO is linked to future cardiac risks in both humans and in animal models.  We now show that long-term exposure to higher levels of TMAO promotes renal functional impairment and fibrosis in animal studies.  We also show that in humans, as the kidneys lose function, TMAO isn’t eliminated as easily, and their blood levels further rise, thereby increasing cardiovascular and kidney disease risks further.  This newly discovered TMAO link offers further insight into the relationship between cardiovascular disease and chronic kidney disease. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Heart Disease, Kidney Disease, Rheumatology / 27.01.2015

Dr Gomez-Puerta MD, PhD, MPH Division of Rheumatology, Immunology, and Allergy; Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA Medical Research Interview Dr Gomez-Puerta MD, PhD, MPH Division of Rheumatology, Immunology, and Allergy; Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Gomez-Puerta: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease of unknown etiology which can cause multiorgan system damage and which disproportionately affects women and non- Caucasian minorities. Up to 60% of SLE patients develop renal disease, lupus nephritis (LN), and of these, approximately one fifth progress to end-stage renal disease (ESRD). The risk of cardiovascular (CV) events and mortality is higher in patients with ESRD and in particular in patients suffering SLE. However, information about CV outcomes and mortality is limited in patients with LN associated ESRD. We observed important variation in cardiovascular outcomes and mortality by race and ethnicity among lupus nephritis related ESRD patients. After adjusting for multiple demographic and clinical factors and accounting for the competing risk of kidney transplantation and loss to follow-up, our results illustrate for the first time that Asian (vs. White) and Hispanic (vs. non-Hispanic) lupus nephritis related ESRD patients have lower mortality risks. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cleveland Clinic, Kidney Disease, Social Issues / 21.01.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Suma Prakash MD, MSc, FRCPC Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology Case Western Reserve University MetroHealth Medical Center Cleveland, Ohio Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Prakash: Patients with advanced chronic kidney disease are often faced with difficult decisions of having to choose between options to replace their kidney function. Many patients may not be ready to make treatment decisions since most people don’t want to need a chronic medical treatment. The behavioural stage of change model originally used to help people with smoking cessation has been used to help patients make decisions about self-care with diabetes and undergo cancer screening. It has not been studied in patients with chronic kidney disease. As patients progress through the stages, they are more ready to make decisions. Focusing on better understanding the decision making process from patients’ perspectives allows us as medical professionals to help patients make timely decision about their options. (more…)
Author Interviews, Kidney Disease, NEJM / 19.01.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David K. Packham, M.B., B.S., M.D Royal Melbourne Hospital Melbourne Renal Research Group VIC 3073, Australia, Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Packham:  ZS-9 represents a new mechanism of action for addressing hyperkalemia. Unlike traditional nonspecific organic polymer cationexchangers, ZS-9 is a non-absorbed, inorganic crystalline potassium-selective cation exchanger that traps excess potassium in the gastrointestinal tract. It has been evaluated in three prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies with over 1100 patients to date, representing the largest ever clinical development program for hyperkalemia. ZS-003 was the first of two pivotal Phase 3 studies that evaluated the safety and efficacy of ZS-9 in patients with hyperkalemia. In ZS-003, treatment of patients with an oral suspension of ZS-9 (2.5, 5, or 10 grams, three times a day) resulted in statistically significant and clinically meaningful reductions in serum potassium, compared with placebo, during the “acute phase” (first 48 hours), with 99 percent of patients achieving normal potassium levels with the highest 10 gram dose. During the next 12 days of the trial (the “maintenance phase”), ZS-9 (5 or 10 grams) given once daily could maintain the corrected potassium levels achieved during the acute phase. In contrast, patients who were randomized back to placebo after achieving normal potassium reverted back to hyperkalemia. The tolerability profile has been favorable, with adverse event rates from ZS-9 similar to that of placebo. (more…)
Annals Thoracic Surgery, Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Kidney Disease / 15.01.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professeur Sidney Chocron Chef de Service Chirurgie Thoracique et Cardio-Vasculaire CHU de Besançon - Hôpital Jean Minjoz BESANCON Cedex Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Prof. Chocron: Acute kidney injury (AKI) is one of the most frequent complications after cardiac surgery.There is a time delay between the onset of renal impairment and the resulting telltale increase in blood creatinine levels. Recent studies have underlined the promising properties of Neutrophil Gelatinase-Associated Lipocalin (NGAL). NGAL values early after surgery could predict the duration and severity of Acute Kidney Injury. In addition, NGAL can independently predict deteriorating renal function and could therefore be useful even in the context of pre-existing renal failure. We aimed to assess the predictive ability of plasma NGAL levels to identify deteriorations in renal function after cardiac surgery in patients with pre-existing renal failure. Medical Research: What are the main findings? Prof. Chocron: One hundred sixty six patients with pre-operative renal failure i.e pre-operative creatinine clearance ≤60 mL/min/1.73m2 according to the Cockcroft Gault formula, were included in the study. The threshold NGAL values at 6 hours after operation, as determined by ROC curve analysis was 155 ng/mL with a sensitivity of 79% and a specificity of 58%. By multivariate analysis at 6 hours, a history of hypertension (OR=3.2 [1.2 - 8.9]), occurrence of at least 1 post-operative complication (OR=4.5 [1.3 - 15]), and an NGAL value above 155 ng/mL (OR=7.1 [2.7 - 18]) were shown to be independent predictors of the occurrence of post-operative AKI. (more…)