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author:("Kim, kyunghee")
1.  Circulating TNF Receptors Are Significant Prognostic Biomarkers for Idiopathic Membranous Nephropathy 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(8):e104354.
Idiopathic membranous nephropathy (iMN) is a common cause of nephrotic syndrome in adults. A biomarker to accurately indicate the severity of iMN and predict long-term prognosis is insufficient. Here, we evaluated the clinical significance of circulating tumor necrosis factor receptors (cTNFRs) as prognostic biomarkers of iMN with nephrotic syndrome. A total of 113 patients with biopsy-proven iMN and 43 healthy volunteers were enrolled in this study. Ninety patients with iMN had nephrotic range proteinuria. Levels of cTNFRs were measured by using serum samples collected at the time of initial diagnosis. Levels of cTNFRs were higher in the patients with nephrotic syndrome than in those with subnephrotic range proteinuria or in the healthy volunteers (P for trend <0.001). Estimated glomerular filtration rate and proteinuria tended to worsen as the cTNFRs levels increased. Having a cTNFR1 level within the highest tertile was a significant risk factor for renal progression after adjustment, in comparison with the other tertiles (hazard ratio [HR], 3.39; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 1.48–7.78; P = 0.004). The cTNFR2 level within the highest tertile also significantly increased the risk of renal progression (HR, 3.29; 95% CI, 1.43–7.54; P = 0.005). Renal tubular TNFRs expression was associated with cTNFRs level. However, the cTNFRs levels were not associated with autoantibody against phospholipase A2 receptor reactivity/levels or treatment response. This study demonstrated that cTNFRs levels at the time of initial diagnosis could predict renal progression in patients with iMN.
PMCID: PMC4123977  PMID: 25098821
2.  Non-linear association of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D with urinary albumin excretion rate in normoalbuminuric subjects 
BMC Nephrology  2014;15:97.
Vitamin D deficiencies and increases in urinary albumin excretion (UAE) are both important and potentially related health problems; however, the nature of their relationship has not been established in normoalbuminuric subjects.
We obtained data from 14,594 normoalbuminuric Korean adults who underwent voluntary health screenings. We used a generalized additive model to examine the threshold level for relationship between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] and urinary-albumin creatinine ratio (UACR) levels. We conducted multivariate logistic regression for high-normal UAE (UACR, 10–29 mg/g), according to various categories of vitamin D status.
The generalized additive model confirmed a non-linear relationship between serum 25(OH)D and UACR levels, and the threshold concentration of 25(OH)D was 8.0 ng/mL after multivariate adjustment. Comparing subjects who fell into the lowest category of serum 25(OH)D levels with subjects who were in the reference range (the highest category), we observed that the multivariate adjusted odds ratio (OR) for high-normal UAE was significantly increased, regardless of the criteria used to categorize vitamin D levels: OR of the 1st quartile over the 4th quartile, 1.20 (95% CI, 1.04-1.39); OR of the 1.0-4.9th percentile over the 50-100th percentile, 1.56 (95% CI, 1.25-1.93); and OR of vitamin D deficiency group over vitamin D sufficiency group, 1.28 (95% CI, 1.08-1.52).
We demonstrated that there was an inverse relationship between serum 25(OH)D less than 8.0 ng/mL and UACR in normoalbuminuric subjects, suggesting that severe vitamin D deficiency could cause an increase in UAE in subjects with normoalbuminuria.
PMCID: PMC4079922  PMID: 24957097
Epidemiology; Low-grade albuminuria; Threshold; Vitamin D deficiency
3.  Dose selection method for pharmacokinetic study in hemodialysis patients using a subpharmacological dose: oseltamivir as a model drug 
BMC Nephrology  2014;15:46.
Dose selection is an important step in pharmacokinetic (PK) studies of hemodialysis patients. We propose a simulation-based dose-selection method for PK studies of hemodialysis patients using a subpharmacological dose of oseltamivir as a model drug.
The concentrations of oseltamivir and its active metabolite, oseltamivir carboxylate (OC), were measured by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. To determine a low oseltamivir dose exhibiting PK linearity, a pilot low dose determination investigation (n = 4) was performed using a single administration dose-escalation study. After the dose was determined, a low dose study (n = 10) was performed, and the optimal dose required to reach the hypothetical target OC exposure (area under the concentration-time curve [AUC] of 60,000 ng · hr/mL) was simulated using a nonparametric superposition method. Finally, observed PKs at the optimal dose were compared to the simulated PKs to verify PK predictability.
In the pilot low dose determination study, 2.5 mg of oseltamivir was determined to be the low dose. Subsequently, we performed a single-dose PK study with the low oseltamivir dose in an additional group of 10 hemodialysis patients. The predicted AUClast of OC following continuous oseltamivir doses was simulated, and 35 mg of oseltamivir corresponded to the hypothetical target AUClast of OC. The observed PK profiles of OC at a 35-mg oseltamivir dose and the simulated data based on the low dose study were in close alignment.
The results indicate that the proposed method provides a rational approach to determine the proper PK dose in hemodialysis patients.
PMCID: PMC3995549  PMID: 24636040
Hemodialysis; Pharmacokinetics; Drug; Dosage
4.  Non-Linear Relationship between Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D and Hemoglobin in Korean Females: The Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2010–2011 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e72605.
Anemia and vitamin D deficiency are both important health issues; however, the nature of the association between vitamin D and either hemoglobin or anemia remains unresolved in the general population.
Data on 11,206 adults were obtained from the fifth Korean National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey. A generalized additive model was used to examine the threshold level for relationship between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] and hemoglobin levels. A multivariate logistic regression for anemia was conducted according to 25(OH)D quintiles. All analyses were stratified according to sex and menstrual status.
The generalized additive model confirmed a threshold 25(OH)D level of 26.4 ng/mL (male, 27.4 ng/mL; premenopausal females, 11.8 ng/mL; postmenopausal females, 13.4 ng/mL). The threshold level affected the pattern of association between 25(OH)D and anemia risk: the odds ratio of the 1st quintile but not the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th quintiles were significantly different from the 5th quintile in both premenopausal and postmenopausal females, however there was no obvious trend in males.
This population-based study demonstrated a non-linear relationship with a threshold effect between serum 25(OH)D and hemoglobin levels in females. Further interventional studies are warranted to determine whether the appropriate level of hemoglobin can be achieved by the correction of vitamin D deficiency.
PMCID: PMC3755993  PMID: 24015265
5.  Early Referral to a Nephrologist Improved Patient Survival: Prospective Cohort Study for End-Stage Renal Disease in Korea 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(1):e55323.
The timing of referral to a nephrologist may influence the outcome of chronic kidney disease patients, but its impact has not been evaluated thoroughly. The results of a recent study showing an association between early referral and patient survival are still being debated. A total of 1028 patients newly diagnosed as end-stage renal disease (ESRD) from July 2008 to October 2011 were enrolled. Early referral (ER) was defined as patients meeting with a nephrologist more than a year before dialysis and dialysis education were provided, and all others were considered late referral (LR). The relationship of referral pattern with mortality in ESRD patients was explored using a Cox proportional hazards regression models. Time from referral to dialysis was significantly longer in 599 ER patients than in 429 LR patients (62.3±58.9 versus 2.9±3.4 months, P<0.001). Emergency HD using a temporary vascular catheter was required in 485 (47.2%) out of all patients and in 262 (43.7%) of ER compared with 223 (52.0%) of LR (P = 0.009). After 2 years of follow-up, the survival rate in ER was better than that in LR (hazard ratio [HR] 2.38, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.27–4.45, P = 0.007). In patients with diabetes nephropathy, patient survival was also significantly higher in ER than in LR (HR 4.74, 95% CI 1.73–13.00, P = 0.002). With increasing age, HR also increased. Timely referral to a nephrologist in the predialytic stage is associated with reduced mortality.
PMCID: PMC3555934  PMID: 23372849
6.  The association of moderate renal dysfunction with impaired preference-based health-related quality of life: 3rd Korean national health and nutritional examination survey 
BMC Nephrology  2012;13:19.
Only a few large-scale studies have investigated the association between health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and renal function. Moreover, the HRQOL of patients with moderate renal dysfunction is frequently underestimated by healthcare providers. This study assessed the impact of renal function on preference-based HRQOL in Korean adult population.
We analyzed data for 5,555 adults from the 3rd Korean National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey 2005. The EuroQol-5D (EQ-5D) utility score was used to evaluate HRQOL. The study subjects were stratified into three groups based on their estimated glomerular filtration rates (eGFRs): ≥ 90.0, 60.0-89.9 and 30.0-59.9 mL/min/1.73 m2. Individuals with advanced renal dysfunction were excluded from the analysis.
The proportions of participants who reported problems in each of the five EQ-5D dimensions increased significantly with decreasing eGFR. However, a significant decrease in the EQ-5D utility score was observed among participants with an eGFR of 30.0-59.9 mL/min/1.73 m2. Participants with an eGFR of 30.0-59.9 mL/min/1.73 m2 had an almost 1.5-fold higher risk of impaired health utility (the lowest quartile of EQ-5D utility score) compared with those participants with eGFRs ≥ 90.0 mL/min/1.73 m2, after adjustment for age, gender, health-related behaviors, socioeconomic and psychological variables, and other comorbidities. Among the five dimensions of the EQ-5D, an eGFR of 30.0-59.9 mL/min/1.73 m2 was an independent determinant of self-reported problems in the mobility and pain/discomfort dimensions.
Although age affects the association between renal dysfunction and the EQ-5D, moderate renal dysfunction seems to be an important determinant of impaired health utility in a general population and may affect the mobility and pain/discomfort dimensions of health utility.
PMCID: PMC3404912  PMID: 22530944
Chronic kidney disease; EuroQol-5D; Preference-based health utility

Results 1-6 (6)