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1.  Vitamin K Intake and Plasma Desphospho-Uncarboxylated Matrix Gla-Protein Levels in Kidney Transplant Recipients 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e47991.
Vitamin K is essential for activation of γ-carboxyglutamate (Gla)-proteins including the vascular calcification inhibitor matrix Gla-protein (MGP). Insufficient vitamin K intake leads to production of uncarboxylated, mostly inactive proteins and contributes to an increased cardiovascular risk. In kidney transplant recipients, cardiovascular risk is high but vitamin K intake and status have not been defined. We investigated dietary vitamin K intake, vascular vitamin K status and its determinants in kidney transplant recipients. We estimated vitamin K intake in a cohort of kidney transplant recipients (n = 60) with stable renal function (creatinine clearance 61 [42–77] (median [interquartile range]) ml/min), who were 75 [35–188] months after transplantation, using three-day food records and food frequency questionnaires. Vascular vitamin K status was assessed by measuring plasma desphospho-uncarboxylated MGP (dp-ucMGP). Total vitamin K intake was below the recommended level in 50% of patients. Lower vitamin K intake was associated with less consumption of green vegetables (33 vs 40 g/d, p = 0.06) and increased dp-ucMGP levels (621 vs 852 pmol/L, p<0.05). Accordingly, dp-ucMGP levels were elevated (>500 pmol/L) in 80% of patients. Multivariate regression identified creatinine clearance, coumarin use, body mass index, high sensitivity-CRP and sodium excretion as independent determinants of dp-ucMGP levels. In a considerable part of the kidney transplant population, vitamin K intake is too low for maximal carboxylation of vascular MGP. The high dp-ucMGP levels may result in an increased risk for arterial calcification. Whether increasing vitamin K intake may have health benefits for kidney transplant recipients should be addressed by future studies.
PMCID: PMC3485347  PMID: 23118917
2.  Indomethacin Reduces Glomerular and Tubular Damage Markers but Not Renal Inflammation in Chronic Kidney Disease Patients: A Post-Hoc Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(5):e37957.
Under specific conditions non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be used to lower therapy-resistant proteinuria. The potentially beneficial anti-proteinuric, tubulo-protective, and anti-inflammatory effects of NSAIDs may be offset by an increased risk of (renal) side effects. We investigated the effect of indomethacin on urinary markers of glomerular and tubular damage and renal inflammation. We performed a post-hoc analysis of a prospective open-label crossover study in chronic kidney disease patients (n = 12) with mild renal function impairment and stable residual proteinuria of 4.7±4.1 g/d. After a wash-out period of six wks without any RAAS blocking agents or other therapy to lower proteinuria (untreated proteinuria (UP)), patients subsequently received indomethacin 75 mg BID for 4 wks (NSAID). Healthy subjects (n = 10) screened for kidney donation served as controls. Urine and plasma levels of total IgG, IgG4, KIM-1, beta-2-microglobulin, H-FABP, MCP-1 and NGAL were determined using ELISA. Following NSAID treatment, 24 h -urinary excretion of glomerular and proximal tubular damage markers was reduced in comparison with the period without anti-proteinuric treatment (total IgG: UP 131[38–513] vs NSAID 38[17–218] mg/24 h, p<0.01; IgG4: 50[16–68] vs 10[1–38] mg/24 h, p<0.001; beta-2-microglobulin: 200[55–404] vs 50[28–110] ug/24 h, p = 0.03; KIM-1: 9[5]–[14] vs 5[2]–[9] ug/24 h, p = 0.01). Fractional excretions of these damage markers were also reduced by NSAID. The distal tubular marker H-FABP showed a trend to reduction following NSAID treatment. Surprisingly, NSAID treatment did not reduce urinary excretion of the inflammation markers MCP-1 and NGAL, but did reduce plasma MCP-1 levels, resulting in an increased fractional MCP-1 excretion. In conclusion, the anti-proteinuric effect of indomethacin is associated with reduced urinary excretion of glomerular and tubular damage markers, but not with reduced excretion of renal inflammation markers. Future studies should address whether the short term glomerulo- and tubulo-protective effects as observed outweigh the possible side-effects of NSAID treatment on the long term.
PMCID: PMC3360674  PMID: 22662255
3.  Improvement of Sodium Status to Optimize the Efficacy of Renin-Angiotensin System Blockade 
Current Hypertension Reports  2011;13(6):397-399.
Blockade of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) offers superior renoprotection in the treatment of patients with hypertension, but the efficacy of RAAS inhibition strongly depends on sodium status, presumably in relation to extracellular volume status. Because assessing volume status by physical examination is challenging, 24-hour urine collection and NT-proBNP levels are useful tools for guiding volume management and achieving sodium status targets.
PMCID: PMC3212696  PMID: 21964882
Hypertension; Chronic kidney disease; Blood pressure; Therapy; Renoprotection; Sodium; Renin-angiotensin system; Renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system; RAAS blockade; N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide; NT-proBNP; 24-hour urine collection; Extracellular volume
4.  Moderate dietary sodium restriction added to angiotensin converting enzyme inhibition compared with dual blockade in lowering proteinuria and blood pressure: randomised controlled trial 
Objective To compare the effects on proteinuria and blood pressure of addition of dietary sodium restriction or angiotensin receptor blockade at maximum dose, or their combination, in patients with non-diabetic nephropathy receiving background treatment with angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibition at maximum dose.
Design Multicentre crossover randomised controlled trial.
Setting Outpatient clinics in the Netherlands.
Participants 52 patients with non-diabetic nephropathy.
Interventions All patients were treated during four 6 week periods, in random order, with angiotensin receptor blockade (valsartan 320 mg/day) or placebo, each combined with, consecutively, a low sodium diet (target 50 mmol Na+/day) and a regular sodium diet (target 200 mmol Na+/day), with a background of ACE inhibition (lisinopril 40 mg/day) during the entire study. The drug interventions were double blind; the dietary interventions were open label.
Main outcome measures The primary outcome measure was proteinuria; the secondary outcome measure was blood pressure.
Results Mean urinary sodium excretion, a measure of dietary sodium intake, was 106 (SE 5) mmol Na+/day during a low sodium diet and 184 (6) mmol Na+/day during a regular sodium diet (P<0.001). Geometric mean residual proteinuria was 1.68 (95% confidence interval 1.31 to 2.14) g/day during ACE inhibition plus a regular sodium diet. Addition of angiotensin receptor blockade to ACE inhibition reduced proteinuria to 1.44 (1.07 to 1.93) g/day (P=0.003), addition of a low sodium diet reduced it to 0.85 (0.66 to 1.10) g/day (P<0.001), and addition of angiotensin receptor blockade plus a low sodium diet reduced it to 0.67 (0.50 to 0.91) g/day (P<0.001). The reduction of proteinuria by the addition of a low sodium diet to ACE inhibition (51%, 95% confidence interval 43% to 58%) was significantly larger (P<0.001) than the reduction of proteinuria by the addition of angiotensin receptor blockade to ACE inhibition (21%, (8% to 32%) and was comparable (P=0.009, not significant after Bonferroni correction) to the reduction of proteinuria by the addition of both angiotensin receptor blockade and a low sodium diet to ACE inhibition (62%, 53% to 70%). Mean systolic blood pressure was 134 (3) mm Hg during ACE inhibition plus a regular sodium diet. Mean systolic blood pressure was not significantly altered by the addition of angiotensin receptor blockade (131 (3) mm Hg; P=0.12) but was reduced by the addition of a low sodium diet (123 (2) mm Hg; P<0.001) and angiotensin receptor blockade plus a low sodium diet (121 (3) mm Hg; P<0.001) to ACE inhibition. The reduction of systolic blood pressure by the addition of a low sodium diet (7% (SE 1%)) was significantly larger (P=0.003) than the reduction of systolic blood pressure by the addition of angiotensin receptor blockade (2% (1)) and was similar (P=0.14) to the reduction of systolic blood pressure by the addition of both angiotensin receptor blockade and low sodium diet (9% (1)), to ACE inhibition.
Conclusions Dietary sodium restriction to a level recommended in guidelines was more effective than dual blockade for reduction of proteinuria and blood pressure in non-diabetic nephropathy. The findings support the combined endeavours of patients and health professionals to reduce sodium intake.
Trial registration Netherlands Trial Register NTR675.
PMCID: PMC3143706  PMID: 21791491

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