In Japan, the Research Committee on Intractable Vasculitides, supported by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, has been promoting basic and clinical research on vasculitis since 1972. The present Research Committee on Intractable Vasculitides comprises 4 subcommittees under the direction of a Principal Investigator: Basic and Pathological Research Subcommittee, Clinical Research Subcommittee of Small and Medium-sized Vessel Vasculitis, Clinical Research Subcommittee of Large-sized Vessel Vasculitis, and International Cooperation Research Subcommittee. Since 2008, 9 nationwide clinical studies for vasculitis have been conducted and 8 clinical and basic studies are in progress.
Antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitis; Eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis; Granulomatosis with polyangiitis; Microscopic polyangiitis
The epidemiology of systemic vasculitides differs between Japan, Europe and North America. Takayasu’s arteritis occurs frequently in Japan, unlike giant cell arteritis. A collaborative international study comparing the epidemiology of anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis between Japan and the United Kingdom (UK) demonstrated that microscopic polyangiitis and myeloperoxidase-ANCA were more common in Japan whereas granulomatosis with polyangiitis and pronase 3-ANCA were more common in the UK. These differences may be attributed to differences in latitude and genetic backgounds. These findings provide useful information on the aetiology and pathogenesis of primary systemic vasculitides in various geographical regions.
Microscopic polyangiitis; Granulomatosis with polyangiitis; Takayasu’s arteritis; Giant cell arteritis; Rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis; HLA-DRB1*09:01
It is well known that antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCAs) are pathogenic and have a diagnostic value for ANCA-associated vasculitis. We demonstrated that a rise in myeloperoxidase (MPO)-ANCA titers during remission is often predictive of a future relapse in MPO-ANCA-associated vasculitis. Pathological examination of renal biopsies indicated that not only MPO-ANCAs, but also extracellular MPO, an in situ immune complex composed of MPO and MPO antibodies, may play important roles in the pathogenesis of glomerular capillary injury in MPO-ANCA-associated vasculitis.
MPO-ANCA-associated glomerulonephritis; Extracellular MPO; MPO-positive cells; In situ immune complex
Tolvaptan, a diuretic with a new mechanism of action, selectively binds to the vasopressin V2 receptor and inhibits reabsorption of water. Its effect on heart failure is proven, but its benefit for patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) has not been not confirmed. In this study, we examined the effect of tolvaptan on patients with severe CKD.
We analyzed patients with stage 4 or higher CKD who had congestive heart failure that was resistant to existing diuretics. The patients were administered an initial tolvaptan dose of 7.5 mg/day. We assumed urine volume and urine osmolality to be the main effective endpoint and recorded free water clearance, serum osmolality, serum creatinine (Cr) level, and adverse events.
There was no instance of clinically significant hypernatremia. The urine volume increased significantly (P < 0.0001), as did the urine osmolality (P = 0.0053). Free water clearance showed a tendency to increase, although the difference was not statistically significant. The serum creatinine level did not change significantly, and there was no clear effect on renal function. However, in patients with stage 5 CKD, the serum creatinine level decreased significantly (n = 5, P = 0.0435). There were no adverse events.
We confirmed that tolvaptan has a diuretic effect in patients with both severe CKD and congestive heart failure without causing either clinically significant hypernatremia or an adverse effect on renal function. Tolvaptan is an effective diuretic for patients with CKD.
Tolvaptan; Chronic kidney disease; Diuretic; Congestive heart failure; Renoprotection
The social and economic burdens of dialysis are growing worldwide as the number of patients increases. Dialysis is becoming a heavy burden even in developed countries. Thus, preventing end-stage kidney disease is of the utmost importance. Early detection and treatment is recommended because late referral is common, with most chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients remaining asymptomatic until a late stage. Three-quarters of dialysis patients initiated dialysis therapy within 1 year after referral to the facility. Since its introduction in 2002, the definition of CKD has been widely accepted not only by nephrologists but also by other medical specialties, such as cardiologists and general practitioners. Japan has a long history of general screening for school children, university students, and employees of companies and government offices, with everybody asked to participate. The urine test for proteinuria and hematuria is popular among Japanese people; however, the outcomes have not been well studied. We examined the effects of clinical and laboratory data from several sources on survival of dialysis patients and also predictors of developing dialysis from community-based screening (Okinawa Dialysis Study, OKIDS). At an early CKD stage, patients are usually asymptomatic; therefore, regular health checks using a urine dipstick and serum creatinine are recommended. The intervals for follow-up, however, are debatable due to the cost. CKD is a strong risk factor for developing cardiovascular disease and death and also plays an important role in infection and malignancies, particularly in elderly people. People can live longer with healthy kidneys.
Survival; Predictor; Chronic kidney disease (CKD); End-stage kidney disease (ESKD); Proteinuria
Although left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) has been established as a predictor of cardiovascular events in chronic kidney disease (CKD), the relationship between the prevalence of LVH and CKD stage during the predialysis period has not been fully examined.
We measured left ventricular mass index (LVMI) in a cross-sectional cohort of participants in the Chronic Kidney Disease Japan Cohort (CKD-JAC) study in order to identify factors that are associated with increased LVMI in patients with stage 3–5 CKD. LVH was defined as LVMI > 125 g/m2 in male patients and >110 g/m2 in female patients.
We analyzed baseline characteristics in 1185 participants (male 63.7 %, female 36.3 %). Diabetes mellitus was the underlying disease in 41.3 % of patients, and mean age was 61.8 ± 11.1 years. LVH was detected in 21.7 % of patients at baseline. By multivariate logistic analysis, independent risk factors for LVH were past history of cardiovascular disease (odds ratio [OR] 0.574; 95 % confidence interval [CI] 0.360–0.916; P = 0.020), systolic blood pressure (OR 1.179; 95 % CI 1.021–1.360; P = 0.025), body mass index (OR 1.135; 95 % CI 1.074–1.200; P < 0.001), and serum calcium level (OR 0.589; 95 % CI 0.396–0.876; P = 0.009).
Cross-sectional baseline data from the CKD-JAC study shed light on the association between LVH and risk factors in patients with decreased renal function. Further longitudinal analyses of the CKD-JAC cohort are needed to evaluate the prognostic value of LVH in CKD patients.
Chronic kidney disease; Left ventricular hypertrophy; Hypertension; Body mass index; Albuminuria; Mineral metabolism; Antihypertensive agent
The prognostic value of renal biopsy in anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated glomerulonephritis is widely recognized; however, there is no consensus regarding its pathological classification. Berden et al. proposed a new classification of glomerulonephritis in ANCA-associated vasculitis (AAV) categorized into focal, crescentic, mixed, and sclerotic classes and showed its prognostic value in 100 international multicenter cohorts for 1- and 5-year renal outcomes. In order to evaluate whether this new classification has predictive value and reproducibility in Japanese AAV cases, 87 cohorts with only microscopic polyangiitis in 3 limited centers in Japan were analyzed. In addition, those from Japan, Europe (Berden’s cohorts) and China were compared in a recent report.
Anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody; Vasculitis; Renal histology; Glomerulonephritis; Classification; Microscopic polyangiitis; Japan
Vascular endothelial cells (VECs) play crucial roles in physiological and pathologic conditions in tissues and organs. Most of these roles are related to VEC plasma membrane proteins. In the kidney, VECs are closely associated with structures and functions; however, plasma membrane proteins in kidney VECs remain to be fully elucidated.
Rat kidneys were perfused with cationic colloidal silica nanoparticles (CCSN) to label the VEC plasma membrane. The CCSN-labeled plasma membrane fraction was collected by gradient ultracentrifugation. The VEC plasma membrane or whole-kidney lysate proteins were separated by sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and digested with trypsin in gels for liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry. Enrichment analysis was then performed.
The VEC plasma membrane proteins were purified by the CCSN method with high yield (approximately 20 μg from 1 g of rat kidney). By Mascot search, 582 proteins were identified in the VEC plasma membrane fraction, and 1,205 proteins were identified in the kidney lysate. In addition to 16 VEC marker proteins such as integrin beta-1 and intercellular adhesion molecule-2 (ICAM-2), 8 novel proteins such as Deltex 3-like protein and phosphatidylinositol binding clathrin assembly protein (PICALM) were identified. As expected, many key functions of plasma membranes in general and of endothelial cells in particular (i.e., leukocyte adhesion) were significantly overrepresented in the proteome of CCSN-labeled kidney VEC fraction.
The CCSN method is a reliable technique for isolation of VEC plasma membrane from the kidney, and proteomic analysis followed by bioinformatics revealed the characteristics of in vivo VECs in the kidney.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10157-012-0708-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Vascular endothelial cell plasma membrane; Cationic colloidal silica nanoparticles; Proteomic analysis; Deltex 3-like
The relationship between the urinary protein excretion (UPE) initially achieved after steroid therapy and the long-term renal outcome of IgA nephropathy (IgAN) has not been clarified. We investigated the threshold UPE at 1 year after steroid therapy which predicts a favorable renal survival.
We enrolled 141 IgAN patients who received 6 months of steroid therapy. The endpoint was defined as a 50 % increase in serum creatinine from baseline. The spline model was used to define the threshold UPE predicting renal survival.
Thirteen patients (9.2 %) reached the endpoint at a median follow-up of 3.8 years. When evaluating the relative hazard ratio (HR) of the UPE at 1 year for the endpoint, we found an inflection point at 0.40 g/day on the spline curve. The multivariate Cox model revealed that, in addition to the Disappeared category of UPE (range <0.30 g/day), the Mild category (range 0.30–0.39 g/day) was associated with more reduced risk of the endpoint [HR 0.02, 95 % confidence intervals (CI) 0.00–0.29] relative to the Severe category (range ≥1.00 g/day), whereas the Moderate category (range 0.40–0.99 g/day) was not. The estimated glomerular filtration rate <60 ml/min/1.73 m2 was also an independent predictor of the endpoint. When renal survival was adjusted with pathological parameters in the Cox model, UPE <0.40 g/day was still an independent favorable predictor (HR 0.08, 95 % CI 0.01–0.45).
In IgAN patients receiving 6 months of steroid therapy, the achievement of proteinuria <0.4 g/day at 1 year could be a therapeutic indicator for a favorable renal outcome.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10157-012-0744-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Corticosteroid therapy; Proteinuria; Threshold; Clinical remission; Endocapillary hypercellularity; Tonsillectomy
The assessment of hydration status remains a challenging task in hemodialysis (HD) management. There are only limited data available on the relevance of clinical decisions in the estimation of dialysis overhydration (OH). The objective of this study was to examine the significance of clinical judgment in the assessment of pre-dialysis OH.
We compared the performance of three methods of OH assessment: (1) clinical judgment guided by a single clinical examination with (2) multifrequency bioimpedance analysis (BIA) and (3) complex systematic clinical approach. We additionally studied the associations of these methods with selected laboratory and imaging parameters.
Any of the single parameters alone reached a sufficient level of accuracy for reliable prediction of OH. Clinical judgment was the single most important factor in OH estimation, and also had the highest contribution when in combination with other parameters. BIA reliably measured extracellular fluid, but the automatically calculated OHBIA exhibited a substantial degree of inaccuracy that precludes the use of BIA as a standard at present. The combination of clinical judgment with additional clinical parameters had the highest prediction accuracy for OH. Among the parameters studied, vena cava collapsibility index and calf circumference showed the strongest association with OH. Echocardiography, cardiothoracic index, atrial natriuretic peptide levels and spirometry did not have acceptable sensitivity.
The systematic clinical approach combining physician and patient inputs, laboratory and imaging data enables an individualized decision and a superior accuracy in OH assessment.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10157-012-0745-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Hemodialysis; Overhydration; Clinical judgment; Bioimpedance
Control of the renin system by physiological mechanisms such as the baroreceptor or the macula densa (MD) is characterized by asymmetry in that the capacity for renin secretion and expression to increase is much larger than the magnitude of the inhibitory response. The large stimulatory reserve of the renin–angiotensin system may be one of the causes for the remarkable salt-conserving power of the mammalian kidney. Physiological stimulation of renin secretion and expression relies on the activation of regulatory pathways that converge on the cyclic adenosine monophosphate/protein kinase A (cAMP/ PKA) pathway. Mice with selective Gs-alpha (Gsα) deficiency in juxtaglomerular granular cells show a marked reduction of basal renin secretion, and an almost complete unresponsiveness of renin release to furosemide, hydralazine, or isoproterenol. Cyclooxygenase-2 generating prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and prostacyclin (PGI2) in MD and thick ascending limb cells is one of the main effector systems utilizing Gsα-coupled receptors to stimulate the renin–angiotensin system. In addition, β-adrenergic receptors are critical for the expression of high basal levels of renin and for its release response to lowering blood pressure or MD sodium chloride concentration. Nitric oxide generated by nitric oxide synthases in the MD and in endothelial cells enhances cAMP-dependent signaling by stabilizing cAMP through cyclic guanosine monophosphate-dependent inhibition of phosphodiesterase 3. The stimulation of renin secretion by drugs that inhibit angiotensin II formation or action results from the convergent activation of cAMP probably through indirect augmentation of the activity of PGE2 and PGI2 receptors, β-adrenergic receptors, and nitric oxide.
Cyclooxygenase; Nitric oxide synthase; Phosphodiesterase; Macula densa; Baroreceptor; ACE inhibition
The results of recent randomized, controlled trials in patients with chronic kidney disease and anemia have suggested that hyporesponsiveness to erythropoiesis stimulating agents (ESA) is a significant predictor of poor patient outcomes. Functional iron deficiency (FID) is the most common cause of suboptimal ESA response, and intravenous iron administration (IVFe) efficiently raises hemoglobin (Hb) concentrations even under the condition of FID. Consequently, renal anemia correction has conceptually shifted from ‘higher Hb values with high ESA doses’ to ‘prevention of ESA hyporesponsiveness with IVFe’. The discovery of hepcidin has profoundly changed our understanding of the place of FID in renal anemia therapy. Hepcidin reduces the abundance of iron transport proteins which facilitate iron absorption from the gut and iron mobilization from macrophages. Serum hepcidin is mainly modulated by iron stores, as is serum ferritin. High hepcidin or ferritin levels block intestinal iron absorption and iron recycling in macrophages and decrease iron availability for erythropoiesis, leading to FID. Iron administration, especially IVFe, increases hepcidin levels and concomitantly inhibits iron supply to erythroid cells. This in turn could lead to a vicious circle, exacerbating FID and increasing iron demand. Therefore, physicians should be cautious with unrestricted IVFe to chronic kidney disease patients with FID.
Hepcidin; Iron; Renal anemia; Erythropoiesis stimulating agents; Ferritin
Multiple myeloma (MM) and AL amyloidosis are caused by the expansion of monoclonal plasma cells and secretion of dysproteinemia (Bence Jones protein and free light chain) and some patients require the hemodialysis. Myeloma kidney is mainly caused by the cast nephropathy of the distal tubuli, whereas, AL amyloid-protein is mainly deposited in glomeruli with massive fibrillar involvement. Therefore, almost MM patients presents a symptom of renal insufficiency, whereas, almost patients of AL amyloidosis present a nephrotic syndrome with severe hypoalbuminemia. These two diseases have some similar characteristics such as up-regulation of cyclin D1 gene by 11:14 chromosomal translocation. High-dose chemotherapy supported with autologous peripheral blood stem cells is effective for these two diseases. However, they are still difficult to be cured and require long-term disease control. In recent years, introduction of novel agents has changed their treatment strategies from the palliation therapy to the clinical cure.
Multiple myeloma; AL amyloidosis; ASCT; Renal insufficiency
To clarify the therapeutic impact of tonsillectomy and combined therapies of tonsillectomy plus steroid on the long-term prognosis of immunoglobulin A nephropathy (IgAN).
A retrospective study was conducted on 208 patients with IgAN between 1986 and 2009. According to the strategies for treatments, patients were divided into four groups: tonsillectomy and steroid pulse (TSP, n = 47), tonsillectomy and oral steroid (TOS, n = 33), tonsillectomy alone (T, n = 56), and N group (no particular therapy, n = 72). Multivariate analysis based on the Cox’s regression model was used to assess the relative risk of reaching the outcome of doubling creatinine based on the influence of baseline prognostic factors.
The mean observation periods were 53.8 months in the TSP group, 122.0 months in the TOS group, 102.9 months in the T group, and 84.6 months in the N group. During an observation period, serum creatinine levels doubled as follows: one in the TSP group (2.1 %), two in the TOS group (6.1 %), five in the T group (8.9 %), histological severity, and 22 in the N group (30.6 %). The Cox’s regression proportional hazard model showed that gender, age, histological activity, dialysis induction risk and therapy were associated with doubling creatinine levels. Hazard ratios (95 % CI) and (P value) in T, TOS, and TSP groups versus N were 0.314 (0.11–0.93, P = 0.037), 0.213 (0.04–1.10, P = 0.065), and 0.032 (0.00–0.28, P = 0.002), respectively.
A combination therapy of tonsillectomy and steroid pulse had the most significant therapeutic impact compared to other therapies.
IgA nephropathy; Tonsillectomy; Steroid therapy; Treatment
Chronic renal failure (CRF) is associated with hypertriglyceridemia and impaired clearance of very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) and chylomicrons which are largely due to lipoprotein lipase (LPL) deficiency/dysfunction. After its release from myocytes and adipocytes, LPL binds to the endothelium in the adjacent capillaries where it catalyzes hydrolysis of triglycerides in VLDL and chylomicrons. The novel endothelium-derived molecule, glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored binding protein 1 (GPIHBP1), plays a critical role in LPL metabolism and function by anchoring LPL to the endothelium and binding chylomicrons. GPIHBP1-deficient mice and humans exhibit severe hypertriglyceridemia and diminished heparin-releasable LPL, pointing to the critical role of GPIHBP1 in regulation of LPL activity. Given its central role in regulation of LPL activity and triglyceride metabolism, we explored the effect of chronic kidney disease (CKD) on GPIHBP1 expression.
Expression of GPIHBP1 and LPL were determined by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, Western blot and immunohistochemical analyses in the adipose tissue, skeletal muscle and myocardium of rats 12 weeks after 5/6 nephrectomy (CRF) or sham-operation (control).
Compared to the controls, the CRF group exhibited severe hypertriglyceridemia, significant reduction of the skeletal muscle, myocardium and adipose tissue LPL mRNA and protein abundance. This was accompanied by parallel reductions of GPIHBP1 mRNA abundance and immunostaining in the tested tissues.
LPL deficiency in CKD is associated with and compounded by GPIHBP1 deficiency. Together these abnormalities contribute to impaired clearance of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins, diminished availability of lipid fuel for energy storage in adipocytes and energy production in myocytes and consequent hypertriglyceridemia, cachexia, muscle weakness and atherosclerosis.
Lipid metabolism; Triglyceride metabolism; Atherosclerosis; Impaired exercise capacity; Malnutrition syndrome; Cardiovascular disease; End-stage renal disease; Muscle and fat tissues
Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) has recently been found to play beneficial roles in ameliorating several diseases, including hypertension, atherosclerosis and cardiac/renal ischemia–reperfusion injuries. Cystathionine β-synthase (CBS) and cystathionine γ-lyase (CSE), the main enzymes in the transsulfuration pathway, catalyze H2S production in mammalian tissues. However, the distributions and precise roles of these enzymes in the kidney have not yet been identified.
The present study examined the localization of both enzymes in the normal kidney and the effect of the H2S donor sodium hydrosulfide (NaHS) in the renal peritubular capillary (PTC) under conditions of diabetic nephropathy, using pancreatic β-cell-specific calmodulin-overexpressing transgenic mice as a model of diabetes.
In the normal kidney, we detected expression of both CBS and CSE in the brush border and cytoplasm of the proximal tubules, but not in the glomeruli, distal tubules and vascular endothelial cells of renal PTCs. Administration of NaHS increased PTC diameter and blood flow. We further evaluated whether biosynthesis of H2S was altered in a spontaneous diabetic model that developed renal lesions similar to human diabetic nephropathy. CSE expression was markedly reduced under diabetic conditions, whereas CBS expression was unaffected. Progressive diabetic nephropathy showed vasoconstriction and a loss of blood flow in PTCs that was ameliorated by NaHS treatment.
These findings suggest that CSE expression in the proximal tubules may also regulate tubulointerstitial microcirculation via H2S production. H2S may represent a target of treatment to prevent progression of ischemic injury in diabetic nephropathy.
Hydrogen sulfide (H2S); Cystathionine β-synthase (CBS); Cystathionine γ-lyase (CSE); Diabetic nephropathy
This study aimed to describe the epidemiologic characteristics of microscopic polyangiitis (MPA) and granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA) in Japan.
We used the database of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) from 2006 to 2008, and analyzed data from 938 patients (MPA = 697, GPA = 241) who fulfilled the MHLW diagnostic criteria and had registered within a year after onset.
The mean ages of the MPA and GPA patients were 69.4 ± 0.4 and 58.4 ± 1.1 years, respectively. Renal (86.9 %), chest (73.7 %), and nervous system (45.2 %) symptoms were common in MPA patients. Ear, nose, and throat (86.7 %), chest (78.0 %), and renal (60.6 %) symptoms were frequently observed in GPA patients. The concomitant use of cyclophosphamide (CY) with corticosteroids was observed in 22.2 % of the MPA patients and 58.5 % of the GPA patients. In multivariate analysis, the concomitant use of CY was associated with a younger age and pulmonary hemorrhage in MPA patients, and the avoidance of CY was associated with nervous system symptoms and rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis in GPA patients. Plasma exchanges were inducted in 5.2 % of the MPA patients and 4.1 % of the GPA patients. The addition of plasma exchange was associated with elevation of the serum creatinine level in patients with both MPA and GPA.
A dominance of MPA and a reduced frequency of renal involvement in GPA patients may be significant features of the Japanese population. Clinical practice relating to MPA and GPA in Japan can be characterized as follows: CY is used less commonly, and plasma exchange is employed for patients with deteriorated renal function.
Anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA) associated vasculitis (AAV); Cyclophosphamide; Microscopic polyangiitis (MPA); Plasma exchange; Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA)
Immunoglobulin (Ig) A nephropathy (IgAN) is characterized by mesangial deposits of IgA1 and C3, often with co-deposits of IgG. We attempted to clarify the clinical significance of mesangial IgG deposition in patients with IgAN.
We retrospectively reviewed 57 patients who were diagnosed with IgAN on the basis of pathological examination of renal biopsy specimens obtained between October 2006 and December 2010. Subjects were divided into two groups: IgA+IgG deposition (IgA-IgG) group (n = 29) and IgA deposition alone (IgA) group (n = 28). The study outcome was complete remission (CR), defined as negative proteinuria by dipstick urinalysis and urinary erythrocytes of less than 1–4/high-power field.
Proteinuria was greater in the IgA-IgG group than the IgA group (1.1 ± 0.8 vs. 0.7 ± 0.6 g/day, Mann–Whitney U test, P = 0.042). Capillary wall IgA deposits were noted more frequently in the IgA-IgG group than the IgA group (59 vs. 11 %, Fisher’s exact test, P = 0.014). During the median follow-up period of 33.3 months (range 6–55 months) in the 57 patients, we observed CR in 24 cases (42.1 %). After the start of treatment, urinary abnormalities disappeared earlier in the IgA group than in the IgA-IgG group (log rank test, P = 0.012). Cox’s regression model showed that IgG deposition reduced the hazard ratio for CR (hazard ratio 0.35; 95 % confidence interval 0.14–0.82, P = 0.014). Therefore, IgG deposition is a risk factor for persistent urinary abnormalities.
Mesangial IgG deposition is associated with more severe clinical features in patients with IgAN.
IgA nephropathy; IgG deposition; IgA-IgG nephropathy
Secondary focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) follows congenital or acquired tubulointerstitial alterations such as in Dent’s disease, Lowe syndrome, and reflux nephropathy. Failure of adequate regeneration after tubulointerstitial injury, or abnormal tubulogenesis, can disturb intrarenal blood circulation, causing excessive glomerular filtration. The epithelial cell-transforming sequence 2 gene (ECT2) contributes to tight junction function in epithelial cells.
We encountered two patients with a nonfunctioning ECT2 genotype who later developed FSGS. Both developed proteinuria associated with acute renal failure in early childhood.
Renal biopsy specimens showed marked tubulointerstitial nephritis at the onset of proteinuria, later progressing to FSGS consequent to tubulointerstitial injury. The patients did not respond to corticosteroids and attained only incomplete remission upon cyclosporine A administration. One patient received a maternal renal transplant with good function and no rejection.
ECT2 is important for tight junction function and maintenance of cell polarity. Nonfunction of this gene may cause renal tubulointerstitial injury, progressing to glomerular sclerosis.
Hyperfiltration; Tight junction; Tubular epithelial cell; Tubulointerstitial injury
Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease is a lifelong progressive disorder. However, how age, blood pressure, and stage of chronic kidney disease (CKD) affect the rate of kidney function deterioration is not clearly understood.
In this long-term observational case study up to 13.9 years (median observation period for slope was 3.3 years), serum creatinine was serially measured in 255 mostly adult patients. The glomerular filtration rate was estimated (eGFR) using a modified Modification of Diet in Renal Disease Study method. The total kidney volume (TKV) has been measured in 86 patients at one center since 2006.
As age increased, eGFR declined significantly (P < 0.0001), but the annual rate of decline of eGFR did not correlate with age or initially measured eGFR. In patients with CKD stage 1, eGFR declined at a rate which was not significantly different from other advanced CKD stages. Hypertensive patients had lower eGFR and larger TKV than normotensive patients at a young adult age. The slopes of regression lines of eGFR and TKV in relation to age were not different between high and normal blood pressure groups.
The declining rate of eGFR was relatively constant and did not correlate with age or eGFR after adolescence. eGFR was already low in young adult patients with hypertension. As age increased after adolescence, eGFR declined and TKV increased similarly between normal and high blood pressure groups. eGFR starts to decline in patients with normal eGFR, suggesting that the decline starts earlier than previously thought.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10157-012-0611-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease; Glomerular filtration rate; Kidney volume; Kidney function; Kidney failure
The only tool to diagnose immunoglobulinn A nephropathy (IgAN) is renal biopsy which requires hospitalization; moreover, renal biopsy has a risk of critical bleeding. Therefore, a non-invasive method for accurate diagnosis of IgAN is desirable and a must-to-have tool for the clinics. For this purpose, we evaluated the diagnostic value of the IgA–uromodulin complex in the urine of patients with IgAN for its feasibility and adequacy.
We determined the IgA–uromodulin complex as a candidate for a diagnostic marker of IgAN by immunoprecipitation, liquid chromatography−mass spectrometry (LC–MS) and Western blot analysis. The enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for the IgA–uromodulin complex was developed and applied to urine samples obtained from various kidney disease patients.
One hundred and three of 126 urine samples (81.7%) from IgAN patients were positive for the IgA–uromodulin complex, while only 25 out of 94 urine samples (26.6%) in other kidney disease patients were positive. Sensitivity was 81.7%, specificity was 73.4%, and diagnosis efficiency was 78.2%. The complex was negative in eight urine samples obtained from patients with Alport syndrome which is almost impossible to discriminate from IgAN by routine urinalysis.
Detection of the urinary IgA–uromodulin complex by ELISA is a useful non-invasive method to diagnose IgAN.
IgA nephropathy; Diagnosis; Uromodulin; Immune complex; ELISA
Hypertension is a leading cause of cardiovascular (CV) disease in the general population. Although hypertension is very common in maintenance hemodialysis (HD) patients, adequate blood pressure (BP) values and measurement timing have not been defined.
A total of 49 hypertensive HD patients were recruited. Average age was 63 ± 11 years, and duration of dialysis therapy was 6.2 ± 4.2 years. Dialysis unit BPs and various types of home BPs were separately measured, and which BPs were the most critical markers in evaluating the effect of hypertension on left ventricular hypertrophy and CV events was investigated.
Predialysis systolic BPs were not correlated with any home BPs. Left ventricular mass index (LVMI) had a significant positive correlation with home BPs, especially morning systolic BPs on HD days (P < 0.01) and non-HD days (P < 0.05), on univariate and multivariate analysis. In contrast, predialysis BPs did not correlate with LVMI. During the follow-up period (47 ± 18 months), it was demonstrated that diabetes and home BPs, especially systolic BPs on the morning of HD days, were significant predictors of CV events on multivariate Cox regression analysis. A 10 mmHg increase in BP had a significantly elevated relative risk for CV events.
Home BP, especially systolic BPs in the morning on HD days, can provide pivotal information for management of HD patients.
Hemodialysis; Hypertension; Home blood pressure; Left ventricular hypertrophy; Cardiovascular events
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a significant public health problem. Strategy for its early detection is still controversial. This study aims to assess the cost-effectiveness of population strategy, i.e. mass screening, and Japan’s health checkup reform.
Cost-effectiveness analysis was carried out to compare test modalities in the context of reforming Japan’s mandatory annual health checkup for adults. A decision tree and Markov model with societal perspective were constructed to compare dipstick test to check proteinuria only, serum creatinine (Cr) assay only, or both.
Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) of mass screening compared with do-nothing were calculated as ¥1,139,399/QALY (US $12,660/QALY) for dipstick test only, ¥8,122,492/QALY (US $90,250/QALY) for serum Cr assay only and ¥8,235,431/QALY (US $91,505/QALY) for both. ICERs associated with the reform were calculated as ¥9,325,663/QALY (US $103,618/QALY) for mandating serum Cr assay in addition to the currently used mandatory dipstick test, and ¥9,001,414/QALY (US $100,016/QALY) for mandating serum Cr assay and applying dipstick test at discretion.
Taking a threshold to judge cost-effectiveness according to World Health Organization’s recommendation, i.e. three times gross domestic product per capita of ¥11.5 million/QALY (US $128 thousand/QALY), a policy that mandates serum Cr assay is cost-effective. The choice of continuing the current policy which mandates dipstick test only is also cost-effective. Our results suggest that a population strategy for CKD detection such as mass screening using dipstick test and/or serum Cr assay can be justified as an efficient use of health care resources in a population with high prevalence of the disease such as in Japan and Asian countries.
Chronic kidney disease; Cost-effectiveness; Dipstick test; Mass screening; Proteinuria; Serum creatinine
Recently, there has been a paradigm shift away from an emphasis on the role of the endocrine (circulating) renin−angiotensin system (RAS) in the regulation of the sodium and extracellular fluid balance, blood pressure, and the pathophysiology of hypertensive organ damage toward a focus on the role of tissue RAS found in many organs, including kidney. A tissue RAS implies that RAS components necessary for the production of angiotensin II (Ang II) reside within the tissue and its production is regulated within the tissue, independent of the circulating RAS. Locally produced Ang II plays a role in many physiological and pathophysiological processes such as hypertension, inflammation, oxidative stress, and tissue fibrosis. Both glomerular and tubular compartments of the kidney have the characteristics of a tissue RAS. The purpose of this article is to review the recent advances in tissue RAS research with a particular focus on the role of the glomerular RAS in the progression of renal disease.
Renin−angiotensin system; Angiotensin II; TGF-β; Tissue fibrosis; Glomerulosclerosis
Achieving adequate blood pressure (BP) control often requires more than one antihypertensive agent. The purpose of this study was to determine whether a fixed-dose formulation of losartan (LOS) plus hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) (LOS/HCTZ) is effective in achieving a greater BP lowering in patients with uncontrolled hypertension.
The study was a prospective, multicenter, observational trial exploring the antihypertensive effect of a single tablet of LOS 50 mg/HCTZ 12.5 mg. A total of 228 patients whose BP had previously been treated with more than one antihypertensive agents without having achieved BP goal below 130/80 mmHg enrolled in the study.
A significant decrease in systolic and diastolic BP was observed in both clinic and home measurement after switching from the previous treatment to LOS/HCTZ. There was a significant decrease in both B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) and urinary albumin creatinine (Cr) excretion ratio (ACR), especially in patients with elevated values. In contrast, there was a significant increase in serum Cr concentration in conjunction with a decrease in estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). Overall serum uric acid (UA) concentration increased, whereas in patients with hyperuricemia there was a significant reduction in this value.
Switching to LOS/HCTZ provides a greater reduction in clinic and home BP in patients with uncontrolled hypertension. This combination therapy may lead to cardio-, reno protection and improve UA metabolism.
Losartan; Hydrochlorothiazide; Hypertension; BNP; Albuminuria