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1.  Idiopathic membranous nephropathy in pediatric patients: presentation, response to therapy, and long-term outcome 
BMC Nephrology  2007;8:11.
Idiopathic membranous nephropathy (IMN) is one of the most common causes of primary nephrotic syndrome in adults. However, it is a relatively rare entity in the pediatric population and there is a paucity of data about the incidence, prognosis, and optimal treatment of IMN in children and adolescents. We conducted this study to evaluate pediatric patients with IMN in order to clarify the presentation, response to therapy, and clinical outcome.
A retrospective chart review was performed on patients identified with biopsy-proven IMN between 1988–2005. Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus or hepatitis-related lesions were excluded. The following data were tabulated: age, gender, ethnicity, presenting clinical and laboratory findings, proteinuria in a first morning urine specimen, estimated glomerular filtration rate (GFRe), histopathology, type and duration of treatment, and clinical status at final evaluation.
13 cases of IMN were identified out of 460 renal biopsies performed for evaluation of primary kidney disease during the study interval. Mean age was 9.6 ± 4.6, gender 6 M:7 F, ethnicity 8 W:2 B:3 H. At the initial visit hematuria was present in 9 patients, edema in 5, nephrotic-range proteinuria in 5, and hypertension in 3. Mean urinary protein:creatinine ratio 3.3 ± 2.5 and all patients had a normal GFRe. Classic glomerular findings of IMN were seen in all renal specimens, with concomitant interstitial changes in 2 cases. Treatment included an angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor or angiotensin receptor blocker in 11 cases. Most patients were also given immunosuppressive medications – prednisone in 10, a calcineurin inhibitor in 5, and mycophenolate mofetil or azathioprine in 3 patients. At the last follow-up, 42 ± 35 months after the diagnostic biopsy, 7 children were hypertensive and the urine protein:creatinine ratio was 2.3 ± 3.1. The mean GFRe was 127 ± 57 mL/min/m2. Three patients had Chronic Kidney Disease Stage 3, all of whom were also hypertensive.
IMN is a rare but serious glomerulopathy in pediatrics. We estimate that it accounts for approximately 3% of renal biopsies. Long-term prognosis is guarded because approximately 50% of patients may have evidence of progressive kidney disease.
PMCID: PMC1959515  PMID: 17683621
2.  Identification and Characterization of a New Autoimmune Protein in Membranous Nephropathy by Immunoscreening of a Renal cDNA Library 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(11):e48845.
Membranous Nephropathy (MN) represents a large amount of Nephrotic Syndromes in the adult population and its definitive diagnosis is currently carried out through biopsy. An autoimmune condition has been demonstrated in idiopathic MN (iMN) in which some kidney structures are targeted by patient autoantibodies. Some candidate antigens have been described and other likely involved target proteins responsible for the disease are not known yet. In this work our aim is to identify these proteins by screening a lambda-phage library with patients’ sera. We enrolled four groups of patients: two MN groups of 12 full iMN patients; one control group of 15 patients suffering from other renal diseases; one control group of 15 healthy individuals. A commercial cDNA phagemide library was screened using the above described sera, in order to detect positive signals due to antigen-antibody bond. We detected one phagemide clone expressing a protein which was shown to be targeted by the antibodies of the iMN sera only. Control sera were negative. The sequence analysis of cDNA matched the Synaptonemal Complex protein 65 (SC65) coding sequence. Further proteomic analyses were carried out to validate our results. We provide evidence of an involvement of SC65 protein as an autoimmune target in iMN. Considering the invasiveness and the resulting risk coming from renal biopsy, our ongoing aim is to set a procedure able to diagnose affected patients through a little- or non-invasive method such as blood sampling rather than biopsy.
PMCID: PMC3493607  PMID: 23144993
3.  Anti-phospholipase A2 receptor antibody in idiopathic membranous nephropathy: A report from Iranian population 
Journal of Nephropathology  2013;2(4):241-248.
Background: Idiopathic Membranous Nephropathy (iMN) is the most common cause of nephrotic syndrome in adults. Approximately one third of patients with iMN progress to end-stage renal disease. Anti-phospholipase A2-receptor (anti-PLA2R) antibodies are present in patients with iMN and appear to play a role in the pathogenesis of iMN. Objectives: In this study, we explored the prevalence of anti-PLA2R antibodies in a cohort of patients with iMN in Iran. We also sought to determine circulating levels of anti-secretory PLA2 (anti-sPLA2) antibodies in those with anti-PLA2R antibodies.
Patients and Methods: Using an indirect immunofluorescence assay, we measured anti-PLA2R antibodies in a group of patients with iMN in Iran. The serum levels of anti-sPLA2 antibodies were also measured in those with positive results for anti-PLA2R antibodies.
Results: We studied 23 patients with iMN (M/F 12/11, 34±9.8 year), two patients with secondary MN and five patients  with the nephrotic syndrome of other causes.Anti-PLA2R antibodies were detected in 17/23 (74%) of patients with iMN, but not in those with secondary MN or other forms of primary glomerular diseases. We found no correlation between anti-PLA2R antibody titer and the degree of proteinuria. We found high titers of anti-sPLA2 antibodies in a subset of patients with high levels of anti-PLA2R antibodies.
Conclusions: Anti-PLA2R antibodies are specific for iMN. Proteinuria may also reflect glomerular structural damage rather than immunological activity of the disease. The preliminary idea of any presumptive role of anti-sPLA2antibodies in iMN needs further  investigation.
PMCID: PMC3891130  PMID: 24475456
Idiopathic membranous nephropathy; Anti-phospholipase A2-receptor antibodies; Anti-phospholipase A2 antibodies nephrotic syndrom; End-stage renal disease
4.  Immunosuppressive Treatment for Nephrotic Idiopathic Membranous Nephropathy: A Meta-Analysis Based on Chinese Adults 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(9):e44330.
Idiopathic membranous nephropathy (IMN) is the most common pathological type for nephrotic syndrome in adults in western countries and China. The benefits and harms of immunosuppressive treatment in IMN remain controversial.
To assess the efficacy and safety of different immunosuppressive agents in the treatment of nephrotic syndrome caused by IMN.
PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library and wanfang, weipu, qinghuatongfang, were searched for relevant studies published before December 2011. Reference lists of nephrology textbooks, review articles were checked. A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) meeting the criteria was performed using Review Manager.
Main Results
17 studies were included, involving 696 patients. Calcineurin inhibitors had a better effect when compared to alkylating agents, on complete remission (RR 1.61, 95% CI 1.13, to 2.30 P = 0.008), partial or complete remission (effective) (CR/PR, RR 1.29, 95% CI 1.09 to 1.52 P = 0.003), and fewer side effects. Among calcineurin inhibitors, tacrolimus (TAC) was shown statistical significance in inducing more remissions. When compared to cyclophosphamide (CTX), leflunomide (LET) showed no beneficial effect, mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) showed significant beneficial on effectiveness (CR/PR, RR: 1.41, 95% CI 1.16 to 1.72 P = 0.0006) but not significant on complete remission (CR, RR: 1.38, 95% CI 0.89 to 2.13 P = 0.15).
This analysis based on Chinese adults and short duration RCTs suggested calcineurin inhibitors, especially TAC, were more effective in proteinuria reduction in IMN with acceptable side effects. Long duration RCTs were needed to confirm the long-term effects of those agents in nephrotic IMN.
PMCID: PMC3434188  PMID: 22957065
5.  Association of phospholipase A2 receptor 1 polymorphisms with idiopathic membranous nephropathy in Chinese patients in Taiwan 
Idiopathic membranous nephropathy (IMN) is one of the most common forms of autoimmune nephritic syndrome in adults. The purpose of this study is to evaluate whether polymorphisms of PLA2R1 affect the development of IMN.
Taiwanese-Chinese individuals (129 patients with IMN and 106 healthy controls) were enrolled in this study. The selected single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in PLA2R1 were genotyped by real-time polymerase chain reaction using TaqMan fluorescent probes, and were further confirmed by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism. The roles of the SNPs in disease progression were analyzed.
Genotype distribution was significantly different between patients with IMN and controls for PLA2R1 SNP rs35771982 (p = 0.015). The frequency of G allele at rs35771982 was significantly higher in patients with IMN as compared with controls (p = 0.005). In addition, haplotypes of PLA2R1 may be used to predict the risk of IMN (p = 0.004). Haplotype H1 plays a role in an increased risk of IMN while haplotype H3 plays a protective role against this disease. None of these polymorphisms showed a significant and independent influence on the progression of IMN and the risk of end-stage renal failure and death (ESRF/death). High disease progression in patients having C/T genotype at rs6757188 and C/G genotype at rs35771982 were associated with a low rate of remission.
Our results provide new evidence that genetic polymorphisms of PLA2R1 may be the underlying cause of IMN, and the polymorphisms revealed by this study warrant further investigation.
PMCID: PMC2959017  PMID: 20937089
6.  Relapse or Worsening of Nephrotic Syndrome in Idiopathic Membranous Nephropathy Can Occur even though the Glomerular Immune Deposits Have Been Eradicated 
Nephron. Clinical Practice  2011;119(2):c145-c153.
Background: Relapse or worsening of nephrotic syndrome (NS) in idiopathic membranous nephropathy (IMN) is generally assumed to be due to recurrent disease. Here we document that often that may not be the case. Subjects and Methods: This is a prospective study of 7 consecutive IMN patients whose renal status improved, then worsened after completing a course of immunosuppressive therapy. Each underwent detailed testing and repeat kidney biopsy. Results: In 4 patients (group A), the biopsy showed recurrent IMN (fresh subepithelial deposits). Immunosuppressive therapy was begun. In the other 3 patients (group B), the biopsy showed that the deposits had been eradicated. However, the glomerular basement membrane (GBM) was thickened and vacuolated. Immunosuppressive therapy was withheld. Groups A and B were comparable except that group B had very high intakes of salt and protein, based on 24-hour urine testing. Reducing their high salt intake sharply lowered proteinuria to the subnephrotic range and serum creatinine stabilized. Conclusion: This work is the first to demonstrate that relapse/worsening of NS can occur in IMN even though the GBM deposits have been eradicated. High salt and protein intake in combination with thickened and vacuolated GBM appears to be the mechanism.
PMCID: PMC3214955  PMID: 21757952
Relapse of membranous nephropathy; Salt intake; Eradication of GBM deposits
7.  c-mip impairs podocyte proximal signaling and induces heavy proteinuria 
Science Signaling  2010;3(122):ra39.
Idiopathic nephrotic syndrome comprises several podocyte diseases of unknown origin, affecting the glomerular podocyte, which plays a key role in controlling the permeability of the kidney filter to proteins. It is characterized by the daily loss of more than 3 g of protein in urine, with no inflammatory lesions or cell infiltration. Nephrotic syndrome may be associated with serious complications, including sodium retention, hyperlipidemia, infectious diseases and thromboembolic events. The molecular mechanisms underlying non genetic nephrotic syndromes are unknown. We report here that the abundance of c-mip (c-maf inducing protein) increases in the podocytes of patients with acquired idiopathic nephrotic syndromes, including minimal change nephrotic syndrome (MCNS), a subset of focal and segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) and membranous nephropathy (MN), in which the podocyte is the main target of injury. Transgenic mice overproducing c-mip in podocytes developed proteinuria without morphological alterations, inflammatory lesions or cell infiltration. We found that c-mip turned off podocyte signaling by preventing the interaction of nephrin with the tyrosine kinase Fyn, thereby decreasing nephrin phosphorylation in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, c-mip inhibited interactions between Fyn and N-WASP and between Nck and nephrin, potentially accounting for cytoskeletal disorganization and the effacement of foot processes. The intravenous injection of a small interfering RNA (siRNA) targeting c-mip prevented lipopolysaccharide-induced proteinuria in mice. These results provide new insights into the molecular mechanism of acquired podocyte diseases.
PMCID: PMC2897853  PMID: 20484117
8.  Venous Thromboembolism in Patients with Diabetes Mellitus 
The American journal of medicine  2012;125(7):709-716.
The majority of epidemiological studies demonstrate an increased risk of venous thromboembolism among diabetic patients. Our aim was to compare clinical characteristics, prophylaxis, treatment, and outcomes of venous thromboembolism in patients with and without previously diagnosed diabetes.
We studied diabetic patients in the population-based Worcester Venous Thromboembolism Study of 2488 consecutive patients with validated venous thromboembolism.
Of 2488 venous thromboembolism patients, 476 (19.1%) had a clinical history of diabetes. Thromboprophylaxis was omitted in more than one third of diabetic patients who had been hospitalized for non-venous-thromboembolism-related illness or had undergone major surgery within 3 months before diagnosis. Patients with diabetes were more likely than nondiabetic patients to have a complicated course after venous thromboembolism. Patients with diabetes were more likely than patients without diabetes to suffer recurrent deep vein thrombosis (14.9% vs 10.7%) and long-term major bleeding complications (16.4% vs 11.7%) (all P = .01). Diabetes was associated with a significant increase in the risk of recurrent deep vein thrombosis (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 1.74; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.21–2.51). Aspirin therapy at discharge (AOR 1.59; 95% CI, 1.1–2.3) and chronic kidney disease (AOR 2.19; 95% CI, 1.44–3.35) were independent predictors of long-term major bleeding.
Patients with diabetes who developed venous thromboembolism were more likely to suffer a complicated clinical course. Diabetes was an independent predictor of recurrent deep vein thrombosis. We observed a low rate of thromboprophylaxis in diabetic patients. Further studies should focus on venous thromboembolism prevention in this vulnerable population.
PMCID: PMC3424058  PMID: 22560173
Deep vein thrombosis; Diabetes mellitus; Prophylaxis; Pulmonary embolism; Treatment; Venous thromboembolism
9.  The relationship of the factor V Leiden mutation or the deletion-deletion polymorphism of the angiotensin converting enzyme to postoperative thromboembolic events following total joint arthroplasty 
Although all patients undergoing total joint arthroplasty are subjected to similar risk factors that predispose to thromboembolism, only a subset of patients develop this complication. The objective of this study was to determine whether a specific genetic profile is associated with a higher risk of developing a postoperative thromboembolic complication. Specifically, we examined if the Factor V Leiden (FVL) mutation or the deletion polymorphism of the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) gene increased a patient's risk for postoperative thromboembolic events. The FVL mutation has been associated with an increased risk of idiopathic thromboembolism and the deletion polymorphism of the ACE gene has been associated with increased vascular tone, attenuated fibrinolysis and increased platelet aggregation.
The presence of these genetic profiles was determined for 38 patients who had a postoperative symptomatic pulmonary embolus or proximal deep venous thrombosis and 241 control patients without thrombosis using molecular biological techniques.
The Factor V Leiden mutation was present in none of the 38 experimental patients and in 3% or 8 of the 241 controls (p = 0.26). Similarly there was no difference detected in the distribution of polymorphisms for the ACE gene with the deletion-deletion genotype present in 36% or 13 of the 38 experimental patients and in 31% or 74 of the 241 controls (p = 0.32).
Our results suggest that neither of these potentially hypercoaguable states are associated with an increased risk of symptomatic thromboembolic events following total hip or knee arthroplasty in patients receiving pharmacological thromboprophylaxis.
PMCID: PMC32204  PMID: 11311153
10.  Coexistence of ANCA-associated glomerulonephritis and anti-phospholipase A2 receptor antibody-positive membranous nephropathy 
Clinical Kidney Journal  2012;5(2):162-165.
Antibodies to myeloperoxidase (MPO) and proteinase 3 (PR3) have been demonstrated to mediate anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated disease. For membranous nephropathy, antibodies to the podocyte-expressed phospholipase A2 receptor (anti-PLA2R) are highly associated with disease activity and have been reported in at least 70% of patients with idiopathic membranous nephropathy (IMN). We present a case of a 56-year-old male with a 1 year history of hypertension, leg edema, and proteinuria, who presented with advanced renal failure and was found to have both ANCA-associated glomerulonephritis (GN) and IMN on kidney biopsy. Consistent with the idea that this is due to the chance occurrence of two independent diseases, we found both anti-MPO and anti-PLA2R antibodies in the patient's sera. Treatment with methylprednisolone, plasmapheresis, and cyclophosphamide resulted in improvement in kidney function and proteinuria, together with the simultaneous decrease in both autoantibodies. This is the first demonstration of two pathogenic antibodies giving rise to ANCA-associated GN and IMN in the same patient. It confirms the importance of classifying disease based upon the underlying mechanism, in addition to renal histopathology, to both optimize therapy and predict prognosis.
PMCID: PMC3341840  PMID: 22833809
ANCA vasculitis; antiphospholipase; membranous nephropathy
11.  Breast Cancer as an Acquired Thrombophilic State 
Journal of Breast Cancer  2012;15(2):148-156.
Cancer is an acquired thrombophilic condition manifested by increased incidence of venous and arterial thromboembolic complications. Despite progress that has been achieved in treatments over the recent years, thromboembolism remains a major complication in patients with breast cancer; it is accompanied by significant morbidity and mortality. Approximately, 1% of breast cancer patients develop venous thromboembolism within 2 years with the highest incidence occurring in the 6 months post diagnosis. Metastatic disease and their comorbidities are the strongest predictors of the development of thrombotic event. The diagnosis of venous thromboembolism is associated with a higher risk of death within 2 years of diagnosis. Thromboembolic events in cancer patients range from abnormal laboratory coagulation tests without specific symptoms to massive thomboembolism and disseminated intravascular coagulation. The underlying pathophysiology is complex and includes the prothrombotic properties of cancer cells, which can be enhanced by anticancer treatment modalities, such as surgery, hormonal agents, and chemotherapy. Primary thromboprophylaxis in cancer patients should be individualized according to risk. For secondary prevention, several clinical studies have shown that low molecular weight heparin has improved patients' compliance, cancer outcomes and overall survival. This review summarizes the available data on the pathogenesis and clinical approach of hemostatic changes in breast cancer.
PMCID: PMC3395737  PMID: 22807931
Blood coagulation; Breast neoplasms; Hemostasis; Thrombosis
12.  Effect of Raloxifene on Stroke and Venous Thromboembolism According to Subgroups in Postmenopausal Women at Increased Risk of Coronary Heart Disease 
Background and Purpose
Raloxifene, a selective estrogen receptor modulator, reduces risk of invasive breast cancer and osteoporosis, but the effect on risk for stroke and venous thromboembolism in different patient subgroups is not established. The purpose of this analysis was to evaluate the effect of raloxifene on the incidence of all strokes, stroke deaths, and venous thromboembolic events according to participant subgroups.
This was a secondary end point analysis of an international, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial of 10 101 postmenopausal women with or at increased risk of coronary heart disease followed a median of 5.6 years. Strokes, venous thromboembolic events, and deaths were adjudicated by expert centralized committees. Strokes were categorized as ischemic, hemorrhagic, or undetermined and venous thromboembolic events were subclassified.
The incidences of all strokes did not differ between raloxifene (incidence rate per 100 woman-years=0.95) and placebo (incidence rate=0.86) treatment groups (P=0.30). In women assigned raloxifene versus placebo, there was a higher incidence of fatal strokes (incidence rates=0.22 and 0.15, respectively, P=0.0499) and venous thromboembolic events (incidence rates=0.39 and 0.27, respectively, P=0.02). No significant subgroup interactions were found except that there was a higher incidence of stroke associated with raloxifene use among current smokers.
In postmenopausal women at increased risk for coronary events, the incidences of venous thromboembolism and fatal stroke but not all strokes were higher in those assigned raloxifene versus placebo. Raloxifene's effect did not differ across subgroups, except that the risk of stroke differed by smoking status. Treatment decisions about raloxifene should be based on a balance of projected absolute risks and benefits.
PMCID: PMC3559135  PMID: 18948611
clinical trial; stroke; venous thromboembolism
13.  Whole Blood Gene Expression Analyses in Patients With Single Versus Recurrent Venous Thromboembolism 
Thrombosis research  2011;128(6):536-540.
Venous thromboembolism may recur in up to 30% of patients with a spontaneous venous thromboembolism after a standard course of anticoagulation. Identification of patients at risk for recurrent venous thromboembolism would facilitate decisions concerning the duration of anticoagulant therapy.
In this exploratory study, we investigated whether whole blood gene expression data could distinguish subjects with single venous thromboembolism from subjects with recurrent venous thromboembolism.
40 adults with venous thromboembolism (23 with single event and 17 with recurrent events) on warfarin were recruited. Individuals with antiphospholipid syndrome or cancer were excluded. Plasma and serum samples were collected for biomarker testing, and PAXgene tubes were used to collect whole blood RNA samples.
D-dimer levels were significantly higher in patients with recurrent venous thromboembolism, but P-selectin and thrombin-antithrombin complex levels were similar in the two groups. Comparison of gene expression data from the two groups provided us with a 50 gene probe model that distinguished these two groups with good receiver operating curve characteristics (AUC 0.75). This model includes genes involved in mRNA splicing and platelet aggregation. Pathway analysis between subjects with single and recurrent venous thromboembolism revealed that the Akt pathway was up-regulated in the recurrent venous thromboembolism group compared to the single venous thromboembolism group.
In this exploratory study, gene expression profiles of whole blood appear to be a useful strategy to distinguish subjects with single venous thromboembolism from those with recurrent venous thromboembolism. Prospective studies with additional patients are needed to validate these results.
PMCID: PMC3726737  PMID: 21737128
genomics; risk factors; deep vein thrombosis
14.  The Worcester Venous Thromboembolism Study: A Population-Based Study of the Clinical Epidemiology of Venous Thromboembolism 
Venous thromboembolism (blood clots of the legs and lungs) is an important cause of hospital related morbidity and mortality. We describe the occurrence of this disease, the characteristics of affected patients, and associated outcomes in a typical New England community. A total of 587 Worcester residents developed venous thromboembolism in 1999 – approximately 128 events per 100,000 population. Three quarters of patients developed their venous thromboembolism in the outpatient setting – a substantial proportion of the patients had undergone recent surgery or had a recent prior hospitalization. Less than half of patients received anticoagulant prophylaxis to prevent venous thromboembolism during high-risk periods before their event. While most patients were treated with anticoagulants for their event, a second venous thromboembolism occurred in 5% of patients. The underutilization of prophylaxis prior to venous thromboembolism, and relatively high 30-day recurrence rates, suggest a continued need for the improvement of venous thromboembolism prophylaxis and management in the community.
PMCID: PMC1924698
15.  Congenital thrombophilia and thrombosis: a study in a single centre 
Archives of Disease in Childhood  1999;81(2):176-178.
AIM—To identify the incidence of congenital thrombophilia in a cohort of children presenting with symptomatic thromboembolism.
METHOD—A review of children with thromboembolism investigated for thrombophilia over a 12 month period.
SUBJECTS—Thirty children with thromboembolic episodes and 16 of their family members.
MEASUREMENTS AND DATA COLLECTION—Data were collected on age at diagnosis, underlying diagnosis, site of thrombosis, associated precipitating factors, occurrence of other thromboembolic events, and family history. Investigations included measurement of protein C activity, total and free protein S antigen, antithrombin III activity, screening for factor V Leiden and prothrombin 20210A, urinary homocysteine estimation, and a screen for lupus anticoagulant.
RESULTS—Twenty seven of 30 patients had one or more risk factors present at the time of thromboembolism. Eighty three per cent had acquired precipitating factors present, and 43% had underlying congenital thrombophilia.
CONCLUSIONS—There was a high incidence of congenital thrombophilia in this group of patients with symptomatic thromboembolism. These findings emphasise the importance of such defects in the pathogenesis of childhood thrombosis, and suggest that full thrombophilia investigations should be performed on all children presenting with thromboembolic disease.

PMCID: PMC1718022  PMID: 10490533
16.  Rituximab Treatment for Membranous Nephropathy: A French Clinical and Serological Retrospective Study of 28 Patients 
Nephron Extra  2011;1(1):251-261.
The development of well-tolerated and effective therapies that target the pathogenesis of membranous nephropathy (MN) would be useful. Our objective was to evaluate the efficacy of rituximab in MN. We analyzed the outcome of 28 patients treated with rituximab for idiopathic MN. Anti-PLA2R antibodies in serum and PLA2R antigen in kidney biopsy were assessed in 10 and 9 patients, respectively. Proteinuria was significantly decreased by 56, 62 and 87% at 3, 6 and 12 months, respectively. At 6 months, 2 patients achieved complete remission (CR) and 12 partial remission (PR; overall renal response, 50%). At 12 months (n = 23), CR was achieved in 6 patients and PR in 13 patients (overall renal response, 82.6%). Three patients suffered a relapse of nephrotic proteinuria 27–50 months after treatment. Univariate analysis suggested that the degree of renal failure (MDRD estimated glomerular filtration rate <45/ml/min/1.73 m2) is an independent factor that predicts lack of response to rituximab. Anti-PLA2R antibodies were detected in the serum of 10 patients, and PLA2R antigen in immune deposits in 8 of 9 patients. Antibodies became negative in all 5 responsive patients with available follow-up sera. In this retrospective study, a high rate of remission was achieved 12 months after treatment.
PMCID: PMC3290855  PMID: 22470399
Membranous nephropathy; Proteinuria; Renal failure; Rituximab
17.  Idiopathic venous thromboembolism and thrombophilia  
Journal of Medicine and Life  2011;4(1):57-62.
During the past decade idiopathic venous thromboembolism has become a separate entity, a chronic illness which has required prolonged anticoagulation and other prevention strategies to avoid recurrences. This article reviews recent developments regarding unprovoked venous thromboembolism and its relation with thrombophilia. In the beginning, the latest definition of idiopathic venous thromboembolism is presented. The article continues with statistics about thrombophilia, related venous thromboembolism, and a classification of major thrombophilic factors according to their intrinsic risk of thrombosis and of thrombotic recurrences. Great interest is given to the predictors of recurrence and the importance of prolonged anticoagulation is underlined. The antiphospholipid antibody syndrome, the most common acquired thrombophilia, is presented separately. The revised diagnosis criteria are discussed. Some characteristics of the antiphospholipid syndrome are worth presenting: the risk of both venous and arterial thrombosis, the high risk of thrombotic recurrence and the diversity of antiphospholipid antibodies.
Patients experiencing idiopathic venous thromboembolic event have a great risk of recurrence, and highly benefit from long time anticoagulation. Natural coagulation inhibitors deficiencies, homozygous factor V Leiden and prothrombin G20210A and the antiphospholipid syndrome, increase the risk of first venous thrombosis and their recurrences and require adequate prevention.
Abbreviations: VTE–venous thromboembolism, HRT–hormone replacement therapy, AVK–antivitamin K, FVL–factor V Leiden, PT G20210A–prothrombin G20210A, TAFI–thrombin activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor, PAI–1–plasminogen activator inhibitor 1, T–PA–tissue plasminogen activator, APS–antiphospholipid syndrome, LA–lupus anticoagulant, Abeta2GP1–anti beta2 glycoprotein 1.
PMCID: PMC3056423  PMID: 21505575
thromboembolism; hypercoagulability; antiphospholipid syndrome; recurrence
18.  Stepwise Treatment Using Corticosteroids Alone and in Combination with Cyclosporine in Korean Patients with Idiopathic Membranous Nephropathy 
Yonsei Medical Journal  2013;54(4):973-982.
We undertook an observational study to investigate the effects of immunosuppressive treatment on proteinuria and renal function in 179 Korean idiopathic membranous nephropathy patients with nephrotic syndrome.
Materials and Methods
The primary outcome was regarded as the first appearance of remission and the secondary outcomes as a decline in estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) >50% or initiation of dialysis, and all-cause mortality. Seventy-two (40.2%) and 50 (27.9%) patients were treated with corticosteroids alone (C) and corticosteroids plus cyclosporine (C+C), respectively, whereas 57 (31.8%) did not receive immunosuppressants (NTx). Cyclosporine was added if there was no reduction in proteinuria of >50% from baseline by corticosteroids alone within 3 months.
There were no differences in baseline renal function and the amount of proteinuria among the three groups. Overall, complete remission (CR) was achieved in 88 (72.1%) patients by immunosuppressants. In a multivariate analysis adjusted for covariates associated with adverse renal outcome, the probability of reaching CR was significantly higher in the C [hazard ratio (HR), 4.09; p<0.001] and C+C groups (HR, 2.57; p=0.003) than in the NTx group. Kaplan-Meier analysis revealed that 5-year CR rates of C, C+C, and NTx groups were 88.5%, 86.2%, and 56.7% (p<0.001). Ten-year event-free rates for the secondary endpoints in these three groups were 91.7%, 79.9%, and 57.2% (p=0.01).
Immunosuppressive treatment was effective in inducing remission and preserving renal function in these patients. Therefore, stepwise treatment using corticosteroids alone and in combination with cyclosporine is warranted in these patients.
PMCID: PMC3663215  PMID: 23709434
Corticosteroids; cyclosporine; idiopathic membranous nephropathy; nephrotic syndrome; remission
19.  Intramedullary Nail versus Dynamic Compression Plate Fixation in Treating Humeral Shaft Fractures: Grading the Evidence through a Meta-Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e82075.
There is a debate regarding the choice of operative intervention in humeral shaft fractures that require surgical intervention. The choices for operative interventions include intramedullary nailing (IMN) and dynamic compression plate (DCP). This meta-analysis was performed to compare fracture union, functional outcomes, and complication rates in patients treated with IMN or DCP for humeral shaft fractures and to develop GRADE (Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation)-based recommendations for using the procedures to treat humeral shaft fractures. A systematic search of all the studies published through December 2012 was conducted using the Medline, Embase, Sciencedirect, OVID and Cochrane Central databases. The randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and quasi-RCTs that compared IMN with DCP in treating adult patients with humeral shaft fractures and provided data regarding the safety and clinical effects were identified. The demographic characteristics, adverse events and clinical outcomes were manually extracted from all of the selected studies. Ten studies that included a total of 448 patients met the inclusion criteria. The results of a meta-analysis indicated that both IMN and DCP can achieve similar fracture union with a similar incidence of radial nerve injury and infection. IMN was associated with an increased risk of shoulder impingement, more restriction of shoulder movement, an increased risk of intraoperative fracture comminution, a higher incidence of implant failure, and an increased risk of re-operation. The overall GRADE system evidence quality was very low, which reduces our confidence in the recommendations of this system. DCP may be superior to IMN in the treatment of humeral shaft fractures. Because of the low quality evidence currently available, high-quality RCTs are required.
PMCID: PMC3864910  PMID: 24358141
20.  Risk of recurrence after venous thromboembolism in men and women: patient level meta-analysis 
Objective To determine the effect of sex on the risk of recurrent venous thromboembolism in all patients and in patients with venous thromboembolism that was unprovoked or provoked (by non-hormonal factors).
Data source Comprehensive search of electronic databases (Medline, Embase, CINAHL, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials) until July 2010, supplemented by review of conference abstracts and contact with content experts.
Study selection Seven prospective studies investigating an association between D-dimer, measured after anticoagulation was stopped, and disease recurrence in patients with venous thromboembolism.
Data extraction Patient level databases were obtained, transferred to a central database, checked, and completed with further information provided by authors.
Data synthesis 2554 patients with a first venous thromboembolism had follow-up for a mean of 27.1 (SD 19.6) months. The one year incidence of recurrent venous thromboembolism was 5.3% (95% confidence interval 4.1% to 6.7%) in women and 9.5% (7.9% to 11.4%) in men, and the three year incidence of recurrence was 9.1% (7.3% to 11.3%) in women and 19.7% (16.5% to 23.4%) in men. Among patients with unprovoked venous thromboembolism, men had a higher risk of recurrence than did women (hazard ratio 2.2, 95% confidence interval 1.7 to 2.8). After adjustment for women with hormone associated initial venous thromboembolism, the risk of recurrence remained higher in men (hazard ratio 1.8, 1.4 to 2.5). In patients with provoked venous thromboembolism, occurring after exposure to a major risk factor, recurrence of disease did not differ between men and women (hazard ratio 1.2, 0.6 to 2.4). In women with hormone associated venous thromboembolism and no other risk factors, recurrence was lower than that in women with unprovoked venous thromboembolism and no previous hormone use (hazard ratio 0.5, 0.3 to 0.8).
Conclusion In patients with a first unprovoked venous thromboembolism, men have a 2.2-fold higher risk of recurrent venous thromboembolism than do women, which remained 1.8-fold higher in men after adjustment for previous hormone associated venous thromboembolism in women. In patients with a first provoked venous thromboembolism, risk of recurrence does not differ between men and women with or without hormone associated venous thromboembolism. Indefinite anticoagulation may be given greater consideration in men than in women after a first venous thromboembolism.
PMCID: PMC3044449  PMID: 21349898
21.  The Effects of Helicobacter pylori Eradication on Proteinuria in Patients with Primary Glomerulonephritis 
Background. Membranous nephropathy (MN) is a common cause of nephrotic syndrome. In most cases it is idiopathic, while it may also be secondary to many diseases. In this study, prevalence of H. pylori infection and the effects of H. pylori eradication on proteinuria levels were investigated. Methods. Thirty five patients with MN (19 male), 12 patients with IgA nephropathy (4 male) and 12 patients with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) (8 male) were studied. The presence of H. pylori antigen was investigated in renal tissues obtained by biopsy, and the effects of H. pylori eradication on proteinuria levels were investigated. Results. Immunohistochemistry with H. pylori antigen revealed no positive staining in the glomeruli of all patients. 19 patients (54%) with MN, 10 (83%) with IgA nephropathy and 4 (33%) with FSGS were positive for H. pylori stool antigen test (P = 0.045). Patients with H. pylori infection were administered eradication therapy (lansoprazole, 30 mg twice daily, plus amoxicillin, 0.75 g twice daily, plus clarithromycin, 250 mg twice daily, for 14 days). Before the eradication therapy the mean proteinuria of patients with MN, IgA nephropathy and FSGS were 2.42 ± 3.24 g/day, 2.12 ± 1.63 g/day and 1.80 ± 1.32 g/day, respectively. Three months after eradication, baseline proteinuria levels of patients with MN significantly decreased to 1.26 ± 1.73 g/day (P = 0.031). In all three groups there were no significant differences with regard to serum creatinine, albumin and C-reactive protein levels before and after eradication therapy. Conclusions. The eradication of H. pylori infection may be effective to reduce proteinuria in patients with MN, while spontaneous remission of MN could not be excluded in this patient cohort. This trial is registered with NCT00983034.
PMCID: PMC3953655
22.  Membranous nephropathy in children: clinical presentation and therapeutic approach 
The approach to the pediatric patient with membranous nephropathy (MN) can be challenging to the practitioner. The clinical presentation of the child with this histologic entity usually involves some degree of proteinuria ranging from persistent, subnephrotic-ranged proteinuria to overt nephrotic syndrome. Patients often have accompanying microscopic hematuria and may have azotemia or mild hypertension. Children presenting with nephrotic syndrome are often steroid resistant; as such, their biopsy for steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome results in the diagnosis of MN. The practitioner treating MN in the pediatric patient must weigh the risks of immunosuppressive therapy against the benefits. In general, the child with subnephrotic proteinuria and normal renal function can likely be treated conservatively with angiotensin blockade (angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers) without the need for immunosuppressive therapy. Those with nephrotic syndrome are usually treated with steroids initially and often followed by alkylating agents (cyclophosphamide or chlorambucil). Calcineurin inhibitors may also be useful, but the relapse rate after their discontinuation remains high. The absence of controlled studies in children with MN makes treatment recommendations difficult, but until they are available, using the patient’s clinical presentation and risk of disease progression appears to be the most prudent approach.
PMCID: PMC2887508  PMID: 19908069
Membranous glomerulopathy; Membranous glomerulonephritis; Nephrotic syndrome; Cyclophosphamide; Cyclosporine; Pediatrics
23.  Cyclosporin A in refractory idiopathic nephrotic syndrome: 5 years clinical experience. 
Postgraduate Medical Journal  1994;70(830):891-894.
The use of cyclosporin A (Cy A) in idiopathic nephrotic syndrome, particularly lesions of focal segmental glomerular sclerosis, is controversial. A retrospective study of 10 adult patients with nephrotic syndrome treated with Cy A was performed. Histological diagnosis was established in all patients: focal segmental glomerular sclerosis (n = 6), focal global sclerosis (n = 1), mesangial proliferative glomerulonephritis (n = 1), focal proliferative glomerulonephritis (n = 1) and minimal change disease (n = 1). All patients had previously received immunosuppressive therapy (duration of steroids 1-76 months; 35.0 +/- 12.1, mean +/- SEM). Cy A in a dose of 3-5 mg/kg/day, reduced proteinuria from 16.85 +/- 6.67 to 3.37 +/- 1.48 g/24 hours (P = 0.008), with an associated increase in serum albumin from 15.2 +/- 2.6 to 34.3 +/- 2.5 g/l (P < 0.001). In six patients steroid therapy was discontinued. Cy A was well tolerated for up to 5 years. There was no significant nephrotoxicity. In conclusion, Cy A was effective treatment of refractory idiopathic nephrotic syndrome, including those cases with focal segmental glomerular sclerosis.
PMCID: PMC2398011  PMID: 7870636
24.  Transesophageal Echocardiographically-Confirmed Pulmonary Vein Thrombosis in Association with Posterior Circulation Infarction 
Case Reports in Neurology  2010;2(1):24-31.
Pulmonary venous thromboembolism has only been identified as a cause of stroke with pulmonary arteriovenous malformations/fistulae, pulmonary neoplasia, transplantation or lobectomy, and following percutaneous radiofrequency ablation of pulmonary vein ostia in patients with atrial fibrillation. A 59-year-old man presented with a posterior circulation ischemic stroke. ‘Unheralded’ pulmonary vein thrombosis was identified on transesophageal echocardiography as the likely etiology. He had no further cerebrovascular events after intensifying antithrombotic therapy. Twenty-eight months after initial presentation, he was diagnosed with metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma and died 3 months later. This report illustrates the importance of doing transesophageal echocardiography in presumed ‘cardioembolic’ stroke, and that potential ‘pulmonary venous thromboembolic’ stroke may occur in patients without traditional risk factors for venous thromboembolism. Consideration should be given to screening such patients for occult malignancy.
PMCID: PMC2914368  PMID: 20689631
Pulmonary vein thrombosis; Stroke; Transesophageal echocardiography; Pancreatic adenocarcinoma
25.  Hospitalized ulcerative colitis patients have an elevated risk of thromboembolic events 
AIM: To compare thromboembolism rates between hospitalized patients with a diagnosis of ulcerative colitis and other hospitalized patients at high risk for thromboembolism. To compare thromboembolism rates between patients with ulcerative colitis undergoing a colorectal operation and other patients undergoing colorectal operations.
METHODS: Data from the National Hospital Discharge Survey was used to compare thromboembolism rates between (1) hospitalized patients with a discharge diagnosis of ulcerative colitis and those with diverticulitis or acute respiratory failure, and (2) hospitalized patients with a discharge diagnosis of ulcerative colitis who underwent colectomy and those with diverticulitis or colorectal cancer who underwent colorectal operations.
RESULTS: Patients diagnosed with ulcerative colitis had similar or higher rates of combined venous thromboembolism (2.03%) than their counterparts with diverticulitis (0.76%) or respiratory failure (1.99%), despite the overall greater prevalence of thromboembolic risk factors in the latter groups. Discharged patients with colitis that were treated surgically did not have significantly different rates of venous or arterial thromboembolism than those with surgery for diverticulitis or colorectal cancer.
CONCLUSION: Patients with ulcerative colitis who do not undergo an operation during their hospitalization have similar or higher rates of thromboembolism than other medical patients who are considered to be high risk for thromboembolism.
PMCID: PMC2653404  PMID: 19248191
Ulcerative colitis; Thromboembolism; Hospitalized patients

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