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1.  Serum Bilirubin Affects Graft Outcomes through UDP-Glucuronosyltransferase Sequence Variation in Kidney Transplantation 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e93633.
Background
Oxidative stress is a major mediator of adverse outcome after kidney transplantation. Bilirubin is produced by heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), catalyzed by UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT1A1), and has potential as an antioxidant. In this study, we investigated the effects of HO-1 and UGT1A1 sequence variations on kidney allograft outcomes.
Methods
Clinical data were collected from 429 Korean recipients who underwent kidney transplantation from 1990–2008. Genotyping for UGT1A1*28 and HO-1 (A−413T) was performed. Acute rejection and graft survival were monitored as end-points.
Results
Serum levels of total bilirubin were significantly increased after transplantation (0.41±0.19 mg/dL to 0.80±0.33 mg/dL, P<0.001). Post-transplant 1-year bilirubin level was higher in 6/7 or 7/7 carriers compared with 6/6 homozygotes in terms of the UGT1A1*28 polymorphism (6/6 vs. 6/7 vs. 7/7: 0.71±0.27 vs. 1.06±0.36 vs. 1.10±0.45 mg/dL, P<0.001). According to an additive model of genotype analysis, the 7-allele genotype had a protective effect on the development of acute rejection compared with the 6-allele (odds ratio 0.43, 95% CI 0.25–0.73, P for trend = 0.006). Multivariate Cox regression analysis revealed that individuals carrying the 7-allele had a decreased risk of graft loss, by a factor of 0.36 (95% CI 0.15–0.85, P = 0.019). The HO-1 (A−413T) polymorphism had no effect on serum bilirubin levels or graft outcomes.
Conclusions
The UGT1A1*28 polymorphism is associated with changes in serum bilirubin and with graft outcome after kidney transplantation.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0093633
PMCID: PMC3972238  PMID: 24690955
2.  Severe hyperkalemia requiring hospitalization: predictors of mortality 
Critical Care  2012;16(6):R225.
Introduction
Severe hyperkalemia, with potassium (K+) levels ≥ 6.5 mEq/L, is a potentially life-threatening electrolyte imbalance. For prompt and effective treatment, it is important to know its risk factors, clinical manifestations, and predictors of mortality.
Methods
An observational cohort study was performed at 2 medical centers. A total of 923 consecutive Korean patients were analyzed. All were 19 years of age or older and were hospitalized with severe hyperkalemia between August 2007 and July 2010; the diagnosis of severe hyperkalemia was made either at the time of admission to the hospital or during the period of hospitalization. Demographic and baseline clinical characteristics at the time of hyperkalemia diagnosis were assessed, and clinical outcomes such as in-hospital mortality were reviewed, using the institutions' electronic medical record systems.
Results
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) was the most common underlying medical condition, and the most common precipitating factor of hyperkalemia was metabolic acidosis. Emergent admission was indicated in 68.6% of patients, 36.7% had electrocardiogram findings typical of hyperkalemia, 24.5% had multi-organ failure (MOF) at the time of hyperkalemia diagnosis, and 20.3% were diagnosed with severe hyperkalemia at the time of cardiac arrest. The in-hospital mortality rate was 30.7%; the rate was strongly correlated with the difference between serum K+ levels at admission and at their highest point, and with severe medical conditions such as malignancy, infection, and bleeding. Furthermore, a higher in-hospital mortality rate was significantly associated with the presence of cardiac arrest and/or MOF at the time of diagnosis, emergent admission, and intensive care unit treatment during hospitalization. More importantly, acute kidney injury (AKI) in patients with normal baseline renal function was a strong predictor of mortality, compared with AKI superimposed on CKD.
Conclusions
Severe hyperkalemia occurs in various medical conditions; the precipitating factors are similarly diverse. The mortality rate is especially high in patients with severe underlying disease, coexisting medical conditions, and those with normal baseline renal function.
doi:10.1186/cc11872
PMCID: PMC3672605  PMID: 23171442
3.  Soluble Epoxide Hydrolase Activity Determines the Severity of Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury in Kidney 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(5):e37075.
Soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH) in endothelial cells determines the plasma concentrations of epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs), which may act as vasoactive agents to control vascular tone. We hypothesized that the regulation of sEH activity may have a therapeutic value in preventing acute kidney injury by controlling the concentration of EETs. In this study, we therefore induced ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI) in C57BL/6 mice and controlled sEH activity by intraperitoneal administration of the sEH inhibitor 12-(3-adamantan-1-ylureido)-dodecanoic acid (AUDA). The deterioration of kidney function induced by IRI was partially moderated and prevented by AUDA treatment. In addition, AUDA treatment significantly attenuated tubular necrosis induced by IRI. Ischemic injury induced the down-regulation of sEH, and AUDA administration had no effect on the expression pattern of sEH induced by IRI. In vivo sEH activity was assessed by measuring the substrate epoxyoctadecenoic acid (EpOME) and its metabolite dihydroxyoctadec-12-enoic acid (DHOME). Ischemic injury had no effects on the plasma concentrations of EpOME and DHOME, but inhibition of sEH by AUDA significantly increased plasma EpOME and the EpOME/DHOME ratio. The protective effect of the sEH inhibitor was achieved by suppression of proinflammatory cytokines and up-regulation of regulatory cytokines. AUDA treatment prevented the intrarenal infiltration of inflammatory cells, but promoted endothelial cell migration and neovascularization. The results of this study suggest that treatment with sEH inhibitors can reduce acute kidney injury.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0037075
PMCID: PMC3349654  PMID: 22590647
4.  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.
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1186/1471-2369-13-19
PMCID: PMC3404912  PMID: 22530944
Chronic kidney disease; EuroQol-5D; Preference-based health utility
5.  Lower Residual Renal Function is a Risk Factor for Depression and Impaired Health-Related Quality of Life in Korean Peritoneal Dialysis Patients 
We retrospectively evaluated demographic and biochemical parameters associated with depression and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in maintenance peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients. This study included 105 patients maintaining PD at Seoul National University Hospital. Data were collected from electronic medical record. Korean Beck's Depression Inventory and Korean version of Kidney Disease Quality of Life short form, version 1.3 were used to evaluate depression and HRQOL, respectively. Moderate to severe depression was found in 24.8% of patients. Patients with lower normalized protein equivalent of nitrogen appearance (nPNA) (< 1.2 g/kg/day), lower weekly renal Kt/Vurea (< 0.2), and lower serum albumin level (≤ 4.0 g/dL) were associated with depression (P < 0.05). Among them, lower weekly renal Kt/Vurea was the only independent risk factor associated with depression (OR = 3.1, P = 0.007). Depressed patients showed significantly lower scores in every dimension of HRQOL (P < 0.001). Lower weekly renal Kt/Vurea (β = 0.24, P = 0.005) and lower nPNA (β = 0.15, P = 0.03) were the independent risk factors associated with lower kidney dialysis component summary, whereas lower plasma hemoglobin level was the consistent risk factor for lower physical component summary (β = 0.22, P = 0.03) and mental component summary (β = 0.22, P = 0.01). Depression is a prevalent psychological problem in PD population. Residual renal function is the most important factor associated with depression and impaired HRQOL in PD patients.
doi:10.3346/jkms.2012.27.1.64
PMCID: PMC3247777  PMID: 22219616
Peritoneal Dialysis; Depression; Health-Related Quality of Life; Residual Renal Function; Beck's Depression Inventory; KDQOL-SF
6.  Experience of Meningovascular Syphilis in Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infected Patient 
Since the start of the antibiotic era, syphilis has become rare. However, in recent times, it has tended to be prevalent concomitantly with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and coinfection in North America and Europe. Now, such cases are expected to increase in elsewhere including Korea. A 40-year-old male patient visited hospital complaining of a headache for about one month. Brain computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging, showed leptomeninged enhancing mass with edema an right porisylvian region, which was suspected to be glioma. Patient underwent a blood test and was diagnosed with syphilis and acquired immune deficiency syndrome. Partial cortical and subcortical resection were performed after small craniotomy. The dura was thick, adhered to the brain cortex, and was accompanied by hyperemic change of the cortex. The pathologic diagnosis was meningovascular syphilis (MS) in HIV infection. After the operation, the patient was treated with aqueous penicillin G. Thereafter, he had no neurological deficit except intermittent headache. At first, this case was suspected to be glioma, but it was eventually diagnosed as MS in HIV coinfection. At this point the case was judged to be worth reporting.
doi:10.3340/jkns.2009.46.4.413
PMCID: PMC2773404  PMID: 19893736
HIV; AIDS; Neurosyphilis
7.  A Morphometric Aspect of the Brachial Plexus in the Periclavicular Region 
Objective
The purpose of this study was to determine the normal morphometric landmarks of the uniting and dividing points of the brachial plexus (BP) in the periclavicular region to provide useful guidance in surgery of BP injuries.
Methods
A total of 20 brachial plexuses were obtained from 10 adult, formalin-fixed cadavers. Distances were measured on the basis of the Chassaignac tubercle (CT), and the most lateral margin of the BP (LMBP) crossing the superior and inferior edge of the clavicle.
Results
LMBP was located within 25 mm medially from the midpoint in all subjects. In the supraclavicular region, the upper trunk uniting at 21 ± 7 mm from the CT, separating into divisions at 42 ± 5 mm from the CT, and dividing at 19 ± 4 mm from the LMBP crossing the superior edge of the clavicle. In the infraclavicular region, the distance from the inferior edge of the clavicle to the musculocutaneous nerve (MCN) origin was 49 ± 1 mm, to the median nerve origin 57 ± 7 mm, and the ulnar nerve origin 48 ± 6 mm. From the lateral margin of the pectoralis minor to the MCN origin the distance averaged 3.3 ± 10 mm. Mean diameter of the MCN was 4.3 ± 1.1 mm (range, 2.5-6.0) in males (n = 6), and 3.1 ± 1.5 mm (range, 1.6-4.0) in females (n = 4).
Conclusion
We hope these data will aid in understanding the anatomy of the BP and in planning surgical treatment in BP injuries.
doi:10.3340/jkns.2009.46.2.130
PMCID: PMC2744022  PMID: 19763215
Brachial plexus; Musculocutaneous nerve; Clavicle; Pectoralis muscles
8.  Kidney Transplantation in Sensitized Recipients; A Single Center Experience 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2009;24(Suppl 1):S143-S147.
A successful transplantation, across a positive crossmatch barrier, is one of the most persistent long-standing problems in the field of kidney transplant medicine. The aim of this study was to describe seven consecutive living renal transplantations in recipients with positive crossmatch for donors or positive for donor specific antibodies (DSAs). A preconditioning regimen including plasmapheresis and intravenous immunoglobulin was delivered three times a week until the crossmatch and/or DSAs became negative. Mycophenolate mofetil and tacrolimus were started two days before the plasmapheresis. The protocol was modified to include administration of anti-CD 20 antibody (rituximab, 375 mg/m2) from the patient number 3 through the patient number 7. All seven patients achieved negative conversion of the crossmatch or DSAs, and the kidney transplantations were successfully performed in all cases. Acute cellular rejection occurred in two patients, which were subclinical and controlled with high dose steroid treatment. Antibody-mediated rejection occurred in one patient, which was easily reversed with plasmapheresis. All recipients attained normal graft function during the 7-24 months of follow up. Our study suggests that sensitized patients can be transplanted successfully with desensitization pretreatment.
doi:10.3346/jkms.2009.24.S1.S143
PMCID: PMC2633205  PMID: 19194544
Desensitization, Immunologic; Immunoglobulins, Intravenous; Kidney Transplantation; Plasmapheresis; Rituximab
9.  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.
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0072605
PMCID: PMC3755993  PMID: 24015265
10.  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.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0055323
PMCID: PMC3555934  PMID: 23372849
11.  Genetic Predisposition of Donors Affects the Allograft Outcome in Kidney Transplantation; Polymorphisms of Stromal-Derived Factor-1 and CXC Receptor 4 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(2):e16710.
Genetic interaction between donor and recipient may dictate the impending responses after transplantation. In this study, we evaluated the role of the genetic predispositions of stromal-derived factor-1 (SDF1) [rs1801157 (G>A)] and CXC receptor 4 (CXCR4) [rs2228014 (C>T)] on renal allograft outcomes. A total of 335 pairs of recipients and donors were enrolled. Biopsy-proven acute rejection (BPAR) and long-term graft survival were traced. Despite similar allele frequencies between donors and recipients, minor allele of SDF1 rs1801157 (GA+AA) from donor, not from recipients, has a protective effect on the development of BPAR compared to wild type donor (GG) (P = 0.005). Adjustment for multiple covariates did not affect this result (odds ratio 0.39, 95% C.I 0.20–0.76, P = 0.006). CXCR4 rs2228014 polymorphisms from donor or recipient did not affect the incidence of acute rejection. SDF1 was differentially expressed in renal tubular epithelium with acute rejection according to genetic variations of donor rs1801157 showing higher expressions in the grafts from GG donors. Contrary to the development of BPAR, the presence of minor allele rs1801157 A, especially homozygocity, predisposed poor graft survival (P = 0.001). This association was significant after adjusting for several risk factors (hazard ratio 3.01; 95% C.I = 1.19–7.60; P = 0.020). The allelic variation of recipients, however, was not associated with graft loss. A donor-derived genetic polymorphism of SDF1 has influenced the graft outcome. Thus, the genetic predisposition of donor should be carefully considered in transplantation.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0016710
PMCID: PMC3033398  PMID: 21304904

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