Aluminium-containing phosphate binders have long been used for treatment of hyperphosphatemia in dialysis patients. Their safety became controversial in the early 1980's after reports of aluminium related neurological and bone disease began to appear. Available historical evidence however, suggests that neurological toxicity may have primarily been caused by excessive exposure to aluminium in dialysis fluid, rather than aluminium-containing oral phosphate binders. Limited evidence suggests that aluminium bone disease may also be on the decline in the era of aluminium removal from dialysis fluid, even with continued use of aluminium binders.
The K/DOQI and KDIGO guidelines both suggest avoiding aluminium-containing binders. These guidelines will tend to promote the use of the newer, more expensive binders (lanthanum, sevelamer), which have limited evidence for benefit and, like aluminium, limited long-term safety data. Treating hyperphosphatemia in dialysis patients continues to represent a major challenge, and there is a large body of evidence linking serum phosphate concentrations with mortality. Most nephrologists agree that phosphate binders have the potential to meaningfully reduce mortality in dialysis patients. Aluminium is one of the cheapest, most effective and well tolerated of the class, however there are no prospective or randomised trials examining the efficacy and safety of aluminium as a binder. Aluminium continues to be used as a binder in Australia as well as some other countries, despite concern about the potential for toxicity. There are some data from selected case series that aluminium bone disease may be declining in the era of reduced aluminium content in dialysis fluid, due to rigorous water testing.
This paper seeks to revisit the contemporary evidence for the safety record of aluminium-containing binders in dialysis patients. It puts their use into the context of the newer, more expensive binders and increasing concerns about the risks of calcium binders, which continue to be widely used. The paper seeks to answer whether the continued use of aluminium is justifiable in the absence of prospective data establishing its safety, and we call for prospective trials to be conducted comparing the available binders both in terms of efficacy and safety.
Post-transplant anaemia remains a common problem after kidney transplantation, with an incidence ranging from nearly 80% at day 0 to about 25% at 1 year. It has been associated with poor graft outcome, and recently has also been shown to be associated with increased mortality.
Our transplant unit routinely administers oral iron supplements to renal transplant recipients but this is frequently accompanied by side effects, mainly gastrointestinal intolerance. Intravenous iron is frequently administered to dialysis patients and we sought to investigate this mode of administration in transplant recipients after noticing less anaemia in several patients who had received intravenous iron just prior to being called in for transplantation.
This study is a single-centre, prospective, open-label, randomised, controlled trial of oral versus intravenous iron supplements in renal transplant recipients and aims to recruit approximately 100 patients over a 12-month period. Patients will be randomised to receive a single dose of 500 mg iron polymaltose (intravenous iron group) or 2 ferrous sulphate slow-release tablets daily (oral iron group). The primary outcome is time to normalisation of haemoglobin post-transplant. Prospective power calculations have indicated that a minimum of 48 patients in each group would have to be followed up for 3 months in order to have a 90% probability of detecting a halving of the time to correction of haemoglobin levels to ≥110 g/l in iron-treated patients, assuming an α of 0.05. All eligible adult patients undergoing renal transplantation at the Princess Alexandra Hospital will be offered participation in the trial. Exclusion criteria will include iron overload (transferrin saturation >50% or ferritin >800 μg/l), or previous intolerance of either oral or intravenous iron supplements.
If the trial shows a reduction in the time to correction of anaemia with intravenous iron or less side effects than oral iron, then intravenous iron may become the standard of treatment in this patient group.
Background. Serum creatinine concentration is an unreliable and insensitive marker of chronic kidney disease (CKD). To improve CKD detection, the Australasian Creatinine Consensus Working Committee recommended reporting of estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) using the four-variable Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD) formula with every request for serum creatinine concentration. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of automated laboratory reporting of eGFR on the quantity and quality of referrals to nephrology services in Southeast Queensland, Australia.
Methods. Outpatient referrals to a tertiary and regional renal service, and a single private practice were prospectively audited over 3–12 months prior to and 12 months following the introduction of automated eGFR reporting and concomitant clinician education. The appropriateness of referrals to a nephrologist was assessed according to the Kidney Check Australia Taskforce (KCAT) criteria. Significant changes in the quantity and/or quality of referrals over time were analysed by exponentially weighed moving average (EWMA) charts with control limits based on ±3 standard deviations.
Results. A total of 1019 patients were referred to the centres during the study period. Monthly referrals overall increased by 40% following the introduction of eGFR reporting, and this was most marked for the tertiary renal service (52% above baseline). The appropriateness of nephrologist referrals, as adjudicated by the KCAT criteria, fell significantly from 74.3% in the 3 months pre-eGFR reporting to 65.2% in the 12 months thereafter (P < 0.05). Nevertheless, a greater absolute number of CKD patients were appropriately being referred for nephrologist review in the post-eGFR period (24 versus 15 per month). Patients referred following the introduction of eGFR were significantly more likely to be older (median 63.2 versus 59.3 years, P < 0.05), diabetic (25 versus 18%, P = 0.05) and have stage 3 CKD (48% versus 36%, P < 0.01).
Conclusion. The introduction of automated eGFR calculation has led to an overall increase in referrals with a small but significant decrease in referral quality. The increase in referrals was seen predominantly in older and diabetic patients with stage 3 CKD and appeared to result in net benefit.
chronic kidney disease; Cockcroft–Gault equation; glomerular filtration rate; Modification of Diet in Renal Disease equation; serum creatinine
Nightly extended hours hemodialysis may improve left ventricular hypertrophy and function and endothelial function but presents problems of sustainability and increased cost. The effect of alternate nightly home hemodialysis (NHD) on cardiovascular structure and function is not known.
Sixty-three patients on standard hemodialysis (SHD: 3.5-6 hours/session, 3-5 sessions weekly) converted to NHD (6-10 hours/session overnight for 3-5 sessions weekly). 2Dimensional transthoracic echocardiography and ultrasound measures of brachial artery reactivity (BAR), carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT), total arterial compliance (TAC) and augmentation index (AIX) were performed post dialysis at baseline and 18-24 months following conversion to NHD. In 37 patients, indices of oxidative stress: plasma malonyldialdehyde (MDA) and anti-oxidant enzymes: catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPX) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity and total antioxidant status (TAS) were measured at baseline, 3 and 6 months.
Left ventricular mass index (LVMI) remained stable. Despite significant derangement at baseline, there were no changes in diastolic function measures, CIMT, BAR and TAC. AIX increased. Conversion to NHD improved bone mineral metabolism parameters and blood pressure control. Interdialytic weight gains increased. No definite improvements in measures of oxidative stress were demonstrated.
Despite improvement in uremic toxin levels and some cardiovascular risk factors, conversion to an alternate nightly NHD regimen did not improve cardiovascular structure and function. Continuing suboptimal control of uremic toxins and interdialytic weight gains may be a possible explanation. This study adds to the increasing uncertainty about the nature of improvement in cardiovascular parameters with conversion to intensive hemodialysis regimens. Future randomized controlled trials will be important to determine whether increases in dialysis session duration, frequency or both are most beneficial for improving cardiovascular disease whilst minimizing costs and the impact of dialysis on quality of life.
Diastolic Function; Ejection Fraction; Left Ventricular Mass Index; Left Ventricular Hypertrophy; Nocturnal Hemodialysis; Carotid Intima-Media Thickness; Oxidative Stress; Arterial Compliance
Catheter-related bacteraemias (CRBs) contribute significantly to morbidity, mortality and health care costs in dialysis populations. Despite international guidelines recommending avoidance of catheters for haemodialysis access, hospital admissions for CRBs have doubled in the last decade. The primary aim of the study is to determine whether weekly instillation of 70% ethanol prevents CRBs compared with standard heparin saline.
The study will follow a prospective, open-label, randomized controlled design. Inclusion criteria are adult patients with incident or prevalent tunneled intravenous dialysis catheters on three times weekly haemodialysis, with no current evidence of catheter infection and no personal, cultural or religious objection to ethanol use, who are on adequate contraception and are able to give informed consent. Patients will be randomized 1:1 to receive 3 mL of intravenous-grade 70% ethanol into each lumen of the catheter once a week and standard heparin locks for other dialysis days, or to receive heparin locks only. The primary outcome measure will be time to the first episode of CRB, which will be defined using standard objective criteria. Secondary outcomes will include adverse reactions, incidence of CRB caused by different pathogens, time to infection-related catheter removal, time to exit site infections and costs. Prospective power calculations indicate that the study will have 80% statistical power to detect a clinically significant increase in median infection-free survival from 200 days to 400 days if 56 patients are recruited into each arm.
This investigator-initiated study has been designed to provide evidence to help nephrologists reduce the incidence of CRBs in haemodialysis patients with tunnelled intravenous catheters.
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry Number: ACTRN12609000493246
The main hypothesis of this study is that oral heme iron polypeptide (HIP; Proferrin® ES) administration will more effectively augment iron stores in erythropoietic stimulatory agent (ESA)-treated peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients than conventional oral iron supplementation (Ferrogradumet®).
Inclusion criteria are peritoneal dialysis patients treated with darbepoietin alpha (DPO; Aranesp®, Amgen) for ≥ 1 month. Patients will be randomized 1:1 to receive either slow-release ferrous sulphate (1 tablet twice daily; control) or HIP (1 tablet twice daily) for a period of 6 months. The study will follow an open-label design but outcome assessors will be blinded to study treatment. During the 6-month study period, haemoglobin levels will be measured monthly and iron studies (including transferring saturation [TSAT] measurements) will be performed bi-monthly. The primary outcome measure will be the difference in TSAT levels between the 2 groups at the end of the 6 month study period, adjusted for baseline values using analysis of covariance (ANCOVA). Secondary outcome measures will include serum ferritin concentration, haemoglobin level, DPO dosage, Key's index (DPO dosage divided by haemoglobin concentration), and occurrence of adverse events (especially gastrointestinal adverse events).
This investigator-initiated multicentre study has been designed to provide evidence to help nephrologists and their peritoneal dialysis patients determine whether HIP administration more effectively augments iron stores in ESP-treated PD patients than conventional oral iron supplementation.
Australia New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry number ACTRN12609000432213.
To explore the beliefs and expectations of patients and their caregivers about home haemodialysis in Italy where the prevalence of home haemodialysis is low.
Semistructured, qualitative interview study with purposive sampling and thematic analysis.
Four dialysis centres in Italy without home haemodialysis services (Bari, Marsala, Nissoria and Taranto).
22 patients receiving in-centre haemodialysis and 20 of their identified caregivers.
We identified seven major themes that were central to patient and caregiver perceptions of home haemodialysis in regions without established services. Three positive themes were: flexibility and freedom (increased autonomy, minimised wasted time, liberation from strict dialysis schedules and gaining self-worth); comfort in familiar surroundings (family presence and support, avoiding the need for dialysis in hospital) and altruistic motivation to do home haemodialysis as an exemplar for other patients and families. Four negative themes were: disrupting sense of normality; family burden (an onerous responsibility, caregiver uncertainty and panic and visually confronting); housing constraints; healthcare by ‘professionals’ not ‘amateurs’ (relinquishing security and satisfaction with in-centre services) and isolation from peer support.
Patients without direct experience or previous education about home haemodialysis and their caregivers recognise the autonomy of home haemodialysis but are very concerned about the potential burden and personal sacrifice home haemodialysis will impose on caregivers and feel apprehensive about accepting the medical responsibilities of dialysis. To promote acceptance and uptake of home haemodialysis among patients and caregivers who have no experience of home dialysis, effective strategies are needed that provide information about home haemodialysis to patients and their caregivers, assure access to caregiver respite, provide continuous availability of medical and technical advice and facilitate peer patient support.
One of the molecules regulated by the transcription factor, hypoxia inducible factor (HIF), is the hypoxia-responsive hematopoietic factor, erythropoietin (EPO). This may have relevance to the development of renal cell carcinoma (RCC), where mutations of the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) gene are major risk factors for the development of familial and sporadic RCC. VHL mutations up-regulate and stabilize HIF, which in turn activates many downstream molecules, including EPO, that are known to promote angiogenesis, drug resistance, proliferation and progression of solid tumours. HIFs typically respond to hypoxic cellular environment. While the hypoxic microenvironment plays a critical role in the development and progression of tumours in general, it is of special significance in the case of RCC because of the link between VHL, HIF and EPO. EPO and its receptor, EPOR, are expressed in many cancers, including RCC. This limits the use of recombinant human EPO (rhEPO) to treat anaemia in cancer patients, because the rhEPO may be stimulatory to the cancer. EPO may also stimulate epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in RCC, and pathological EMT has a key role in cancer progression. In this mini review, we summarize the current knowledge of the role of EPO in RCC. The available data, either for or against the use of EPO in RCC patients, are equivocal and insufficient to draw a definitive conclusion.
Objective. This paper assessed the effectiveness of pre-, pro-, and synbiotics on reducing two protein-bound uremic toxins, p-cresyl sulphate (PCS) and indoxyl sulphate (IS). Methods. English language studies reporting serum, urinary, or fecal PCS and/or IS (or their precursors) following pre-, pro-, or synbiotic interventions (>1 day) in human adults were included. Population estimates of differences in the outcomes between the pre- and the postintervention were estimated for subgroups of studies using four meta-analyses. Quality was determined using the GRADE approach. Results. 19 studies met the inclusion criteria, 14 in healthy adults and five in haemodialysis patients. Eight studies investigated prebiotics, six probiotics, one synbiotics, one both pre- and probiotics, and three studies trialled all three interventions. The quality of the studies ranged from moderate to very low. 12 studies were included in the meta-analyses with all four meta-analyses reporting statistically significant reductions in IS and PCS with pre- and probiotic therapy. Conclusion. There is a limited but supportive evidence for the effectiveness of pre- and probiotics on reducing PCS and IS in the chronic kidney disease population. Further studies are needed to provide more definitive findings before routine clinical use can be recommended.
To explore clinician beliefs and attitudes about home haemodialysis in global regions where the prevalence of home haemodialysis is low, and to identify barriers to developing home haemodialysis services and possible strategies to increase acceptance and uptake of home haemodialysis.
Semistructured interviews, thematic analysis.
15 dialysis centres in Italy, Portugal, France, Germany, Sweden and Argentina.
28 nephrologists and 14 nurses caring for patients receiving in-centre haemodialysis.
We identified four major themes as being central to clinician beliefs about home haemodialysis in regions without established services: external structural barriers (ready access to dialysis centres, inadequate housing conditions, unstable economic environment); dialysis centre characteristics (availability of alternative treatments, competing service priorities, commercial interests); clinician responsibility and motivation (preserving safety and security, lack of awareness, knowledge and experience, potential to offer lifestyle benefits, professional interest and advancement); and cultural apprehension (an unrelenting imposition, carer burden, attachment to professional healthcare provision, limited awareness).
Despite recognising the potential benefits of home haemodialysis, clinicians practicing in Europe and South America felt apprehensive and doubted the feasibility of home haemodialysis programmes. Programmes that provide clinicians with direct experience of home haemodialysis could increase acceptance and motivation for home-based haemodialysis, as might service prioritisation and funding models that favour home haemodialysis.
The pathogenesis and progression of cardiovascular diseases are thought to be exacerbated by stress. Basic research indicates that the Transcendental Meditation® technique produces acute and longitudinal reductions in sympathetic tone and stress reactivity. In adolescents at risk for hypertension, the technique has been found to reduce resting and ambulatory blood pressure, left ventricular mass, cardiovascular reactivity, and to improve school behavior. Research on adults with mild or moderate essential hypertension has reported decreased blood pressure and reduced use of anti-hypertensive medication. The technique has also been reported to decrease symptoms of angina pectoris and carotid atherosclerosis, to reduce cardiovascular risk factors, including alcohol and tobacco use, to markedly reduce medical care utilization for cardiovascular diseases, and to significantly decrease cardiovascular and all-cause morbidity and mortality. These findings have important implications for inclusion of the Transcendental Meditation program in efforts to prevent and treat cardiovascular diseases and their clinical consequences.
®Transcendental Meditation and TM are trademarks registered in the US. Patent and Trademark Office, licensed to Maharishi Vedic Education Development Corporation and are used with permission.
Adolescents; meditation; blood pressure; cardiovascular disease; randomized clinical trial; stress reduction; mortality
Peritoneal dialysis (PD) is a preferred home dialysis modality and has a number of added advantages including improved initial patient survival and cost effectiveness over haemodialysis. Despite these benefits, uptake of PD remains relatively low, especially in developed countries. Wider implementation of PD is compromised by higher technique failure from infections (e.g., PD peritonitis) and ultrafiltration failure. These are inevitable consequences of peritoneal injury, which is thought to result primarily from continuous exposure to PD fluids that are characterised by their “unphysiologic” composition. In order to overcome these barriers, a number of more biocompatible PD fluids, with neutral pH, low glucose degradation product content, and bicarbonate buffer have been manufactured over the past two decades. Several preclinical studies have demonstrated their benefit in terms of improvement in host cell defence, peritoneal membrane integrity, and cytokine profile. This paper aims to review randomised controlled trials assessing the use of biocompatible PD fluids and their effect on clinical outcomes.
Tunnelled central venous dialysis catheter use is significantly limited by the occurrence of catheter-related infections. This randomised controlled trial assessed the efficacy of a 48 hour 70% ethanol lock vs heparin locks in prolonging the time to the first episode of catheter related blood stream infection (CRBSI).
Patients undergoing haemodialysis (HD) via a tunnelled catheter were randomised 1:1 to once per week ethanol locks (with two heparin locks between other dialysis sessions) vs thrice per week heparin locks.
Observed catheter days in the heparin (n=24) and ethanol (n=25) groups were 1814 and 3614 respectively. CRBSI occurred at a rate of 0.85 vs. 0.28 per 1000 catheter days in the heparin vs ethanol group by intention to treat analysis (incident rate ratio (IRR) for ethanol vs. heparin 0.17; 95%CI 0.02-1.63; p=0.12). Flow issues requiring catheter removal occurred at a rate of 1.6 vs 1.4 per 1000 catheter days in the heparin and ethanol groups respectively (IRR 0.85; 95% CI 0.20-3.5 p =0.82 (for ethanol vs heparin).
Catheter survival and catheter-related blood stream infection were not significantly different but there was a trend towards a reduced rate of infection in the ethanol group. This study establishes proof of concept and will inform an adequately powered multicentre trial to definitively examine the efficacy and safety of ethanol locks as an alternative to current therapies used in the prevention of catheter-associated blood stream infections in patients dialysing with tunnelled catheters.
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12609000493246
Catheter related blood stream infection (CRBSI); Central venous catheter; Ethanol; Lock therapy; Haemodialysis (HD); Prophylaxis
Administration of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins), prior to ischemia or prior to reperfusion has been shown to decrease ischemia-reperfusion renal injury in animal studies. It is unknown whether this protective effect is applicable to renal transplantation in humans. The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between prior statin use in renal transplant recipients and the subsequent risk of delayed graft function.
All patients who underwent deceased or living donor renal transplantation at the Princess Alexandra Hospital between 1 July 2008 and 1 August 2010 were included in this retrospective, observational cohort study. Graft function was classified as immediate graft function (IGF), dialysis-requiring (D-DGF) and non-dialysis-requiring (ND-DGF) delayed graft function. The independent predictors of graft function were evaluated by multivariable logistic regression, adjusting for donor characteristics, recipient characteristics, HLA mismatch and ischaemic times.
Overall, of the 266 renal transplant recipients, 21% exhibited D-DGF, 39% had ND-DGF and 40% had IGF. Statin use prior to renal transplantation was not significantly associated with the risk of D-DGF (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 1.05, 95% CI 0.96 – 1.15, P = 0.28). This finding was not altered when D-DGF and ND-DGF were pooled together (OR 0.98; 95% CI 0.89-1.06, p = 0.56).
The present study did not show a significant, independent association between prior statin use in kidney transplant recipients and the occurrence of delayed graft function.
The balANZ trial recently reported that neutral pH, low glucose degradation product (biocompatible) peritoneal dialysis (PD) solutions significantly delayed anuria and reduced peritonitis rates compared with conventional solutions. This article reports a secondary outcome analysis of the balANZ trial with respect to peritoneal membrane function.
Adult, incident PD patients with residual renal function were randomized to receive either biocompatible or conventional (control) PD solutions for 2 years. Peritoneal equilibration tests were performed at 1, 6, 12, 18 and 24 months. Peritoneal small solute clearances and ultra-filtration (UF) were measured at 3, 6, 9, 12, 18 and 24 months.
Of the 185 patients recruited into the trial, 85 patients in the Balance group and 82 patients in the control group had peritoneal membrane function evaluated. Mean 4-h dialysate:plasma creatinine ratios (D:P Cr 4h) at 1 month were significantly higher in the Balance group compared with controls (0.67 ± 0.10 versus 0.62 ± 0.10, P = 0.002). Over the 2-year study period, mean D:P Cr 4 h measurements remained stable in the Balance group but increased significantly in controls [difference −0.004 per month, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) −0.005 to −0.002, P < 0.001]. Similar results were obtained for dialysate glucose ratios (D/D0 glucose). Peritoneal UF was significantly lower in the Balance group than in controls at 3 and 6 months. Over the 2-year study period, peritoneal UF increased significantly in the Balance group but remained stable in controls (difference 24 mL/day/month, 95% CI 9–39, P = 0.002). No differences in peritoneal small solute clearances, prescribed dialysate fill volumes or peritoneal glucose exposure were observed between the two groups.
Biocompatible and conventional PD solutions exert differential effects on peritoneal small solute transport rate and UF over time. Adequately powered trials assessing the impact of these differential membrane effects on PD technique and patient survival rates are warranted.
biocompatibility; glucose degradation products; outcomes; peritoneal dialysis; peritoneal equilibration test
For every patient with chronic kidney disease who undergoes renal-replacement therapy, there is one patient who undergoes conservative management of their disease. We aimed to determine the most important characteristics of dialysis and the trade-offs patients were willing to make in choosing dialysis instead of conservative care.
We conducted a discrete choice experiment involving adults with stage 3–5 chronic kidney disease from eight renal clinics in Australia. We assessed the influence of treatment characteristics (life expectancy, number of visits to the hospital per week, ability to travel, time spent undergoing dialysis [i.e., time spent attached to a dialysis machine per treatment, measured in hours], time of day at which treatment occurred, availability of subsidized transport and flexibility of the treatment schedule) on patients’ preferences for dialysis versus conservative care.
Of 151 patients invited to participate, 105 completed our survey. Patients were more likely to choose dialysis than conservative care if dialysis involved an increased average life expectancy (odds ratio [OR] 1.84, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.57–2.15), if they were able to dialyse during the day or evening rather than during the day only (OR 8.95, 95% CI 4.46–17.97), and if subsidized transport was available (OR 1.55, 95% CI 1.24–1.95). Patients were less likely to choose dialysis over conservative care if an increase in the number of visits to hospital was required (OR 0.70, 95% CI 0.56–0.88) and if there were more restrictions on their ability to travel (OR = 0.47, 95%CI 0.36–0.61). Patients were willing to forgo 7 months of life expectancy to reduce the number of required visits to hospital and 15 months of life expectancy to increase their ability to travel.
Patients approaching end-stage kidney disease are willing to trade considerable life expectancy to reduce the burden and restrictions imposed by dialysis.
Acute and chronic environmental and psychosocial stress contributes to the pathogenesis and progression of cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Stress reduction via Transcendental Meditation (TM)® has been shown to lower blood pressure (BP) levels and reduce CVD risk in adults and adolescents. This article reviews recent findings indicating a beneficial BP-lowering impact of TM in hypertensive adults at rest and in pre-hypertensive adolescents at rest, during acute laboratory stress and during normal daily activity. These findings have important implications for inclusion of TM in efforts to prevent and treat cardiovascular diseases and its clinical consequences.
This report discusses the case of a 52 year old female with post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder, confined to the central nervous system, which was managed with high dose methotrexate (HDMTX) in the context of end stage renal disease. The patient received two doses of HDMTX followed by extended hours high-flux hemodialysis, plasma methotrexate concentration monitoring and leucovorin rescue. The hemodialysis technique used was effective in clearing plasma methotrexate and allowed delivery of HDMTX to achieve complete remission with limited and reversible direct methotrexate-related toxicity. Dialysis-dependent renal failure does not preclude the use of HDMTX when required for curative therapy of malignancy.
High dose methotrexate; end stage renal disease; dialysis; primary central nervous system lymphoma; post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder
Canada is among the most prosperous nations in the world, yet the health and wellness outcomes of Canadian children are surprisingly poor. There is some evidence to suggest that these poor health outcomes are partly due to clinical practice variation, which can stem from failure to apply the best available research evidence in clinical practice, otherwise known as knowledge translation (KT). Surprisingly, clinical practice variation, even for common acute paediatric conditions, is pervasive. Clinical practice variation results in unnecessary medical treatments, increased suffering, and increased healthcare costs. This study focuses on improving health outcomes for common paediatric acute health concerns by evaluating strategies that improve KT and reduce clinical practice variation.
Using a multiple case study design, qualitative and quantitative data will be collected from four emergency departments in western Canada. Data sources will include: pre- and post-implementation focus group data from multidisciplinary healthcare professionals; individual interviews with the local champions, KT intervention providers, and unit/site leaders/managers; Alberta Context Tool (ACT) survey data; and aggregated patient outcome data. Qualitative and quantitative data will be systematically triangulated, and matrices will be built to do cross-case comparison. Explanations will be built about the success or lack of success of the clinical practice guidelines (CPG) and clinical pathways (CPs) uptake based upon the cross-case comparisons.
This study will generate new knowledge about the potential causal mechanisms and factors which shape implementation. Future studies will track the impact of the CPG/CPs implementation on children's health outcome, and healthcare costs.
Croup is a common childhood illness. The majority of children presenting with an acute onset of barky cough, stridor and indrawing have croup. A careful history and physical examination is necessary to confirm the diagnosis of croup, and to rule out potentially serious alternative causes of upper airway obstruction. Nebulized adrenaline is effective for the temporary relief of airway obstruction. Corticosteroids are the mainstay of treatment in children with croup of all levels of severity.
Child; Corticosteroids; Croup; Inhaled adrenaline
The incidence of BK virus infection in kidney transplant recipients has increased over recent decades, coincident with the use of more potent immunosuppression. More importantly, posttransplant BK virus replication has emerged as an important cause of graft damage and subsequent graft loss. Immunosuppression has been accepted as a major risk for BK virus replication. However, the specific contribution of individual immunosuppressive medications to this risk has not been well established. The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the recent literature on the influence of the various immunosuppressant drugs and drug combinations on posttransplant BK virus replication. Evidence supporting the various immunosuppression reduction strategies utilised in the management of BK virus will also be briefly discussed.
Assessment of albumin and/or protein excretion in the urine is a key step in the early detection and appropriate management of chronic kidney disease. The approach to testing for albuminuria/proteinuria in the community is variable and often suboptimal. It is hampered by: variation in laboratory measurement; lack of standard reference materials and testing procedures; variable definitions and units of reporting; conflicting recommendations and practices regarding who to test; and uncertainty over when and how testing is most appropriately done. This review discusses the current status of proteinuria guidelines around the world and the key clinical issues that need to be addressed before a unifying global guideline can be developed.
The main hypothesis of this study is that neutral pH, low glucose degradation product (GDP) peritoneal dialysis (PD) fluid better preserves residual renal function in PD patients over time compared with conventional dialysate.
Inclusion criteria are adult PD patients (CAPD or APD) aged 18-81 years whose first dialysis was within 90 days prior to or following enrolment and who have a residual GFR ≥ 5 ml/min/1.73 m2, a urine output ≥ 400 ml/day and an ability to understand the nature and requirements of this trial. Pregnant or lactating patients or individuals with an active infection at the time of enrolment, a contra-indication to PD or participation in any other clinical trial where an intervention is designed to moderate rate of change of residual renal function are excluded. Patients will be randomized 1:1 to receive either neutral pH, low GDP dialysis solution (Balance®) or conventional dialysis solution (Stay.safe®) for a period of 2 years. During this 2 year study period, urinary urea and clearance measurements will be performed at 0, 3, 6, 9, 12, 18 and 24 months. The primary outcome measure will be the slope of residual renal function decline, adjusted for centre and presence of diabetic nephropathy. Secondary outcome measures will include time from initiation of peritoneal dialysis to anuria, peritoneal small solute clearance, peritoneal transport status, peritoneal ultrafiltration, technique survival, patient survival, peritonitis rates and adverse events. A total of 185 patients has been recruited into the trial.
This investigator-initiated study has been designed to provide evidence to help nephrologists determine the optimal dialysis solution for preserving residual renal function in PD patients.
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry Number: ACTRN12606000044527
In developing countries, pneumonia is one of the leading causes of death in children under five years of age and hence timely and accurate diagnosis is critical. In North America, pneumonia is also a common source of childhood morbidity and occasionally mortality. Clinicians traditionally have used the chest radiograph as the gold standard in the diagnosis of pneumonia, but they are becoming increasingly aware that it is not ideal. Numerous studies have shown that chest radiography findings lack precision in defining the etiology of childhood pneumonia. There is no single test that reliably distinguishes bacterial from non-bacterial causes. These factors have resulted in clinicians historically using a combination of physical signs and chest radiographs as a ‘gold standard’, though this combination of tests has been shown to be imperfect for diagnosis and assigning treatment. The objectives of this systematic review are to: 1) identify and categorize studies that have used single or multiple tests as a gold standard for assessing accuracy of other tests, and 2) given the ‘gold standard’ used, determine the accuracy of these other tests for diagnosing childhood bacterial pneumonia.
Methods and Findings
Search strategies were developed using a combination of subject headings and keywords adapted for 18 electronic bibliographic databases from inception to May 2008. Published studies were included if they: 1) included children one month to 18 years of age, 2) provided sufficient data regarding diagnostic accuracy to construct a 2×2 table, and 3) assessed the accuracy of one or more index tests as compared with other test(s) used as a ‘gold standard’. The literature search revealed 5,989 references of which 256 were screened for inclusion, resulting in 25 studies that satisfied all inclusion criteria. The studies examined a range of bacterium types and assessed the accuracy of several combinations of diagnostic tests. Eleven different gold standards were studied in the 25 included studies. Criterion validity was calculated for fourteen different index tests using eleven different gold standards. The most common gold standard utilized was blood culture tests used in six studies. Fourteen different tests were measured as index tests. PCT was the most common measured in five studies each with a different gold standard.
We have found that studies assessing the diagnostic accuracy of clinical, radiological, and laboratory tests for bacterial childhood pneumonia have used a heterogeneous group of gold standards, and found, at least in part because of this, that index tests have widely different accuracies. These findings highlight the need for identifying a widely accepted gold standard for diagnosis of bacterial pneumonia in children.
Approximately 50% of patients with stage 3 Chronic Kidney Disease are 25-hydroxyvitamin D insufficient, and this prevalence increases with falling glomerular filtration rate. Vitamin D is now recognised as having pleiotropic roles beyond bone and mineral homeostasis, with the vitamin D receptor and metabolising machinery identified in multiple tissues. Worryingly, recent observational data has highlighted an association between hypovitaminosis D and increased cardiovascular mortality, possibly mediated via vitamin D effects on insulin resistance and inflammation. The main hypothesis of this study is that oral Vitamin D supplementation will ameliorate insulin resistance in patients with Chronic Kidney Disease stage 3 when compared to placebo. Secondary hypotheses will test whether this is associated with decreased inflammation and bone/adipocyte-endocrine dysregulation.
This study is a single-centre, double-blinded, randomised, placebo-controlled trial. Inclusion criteria include; estimated glomerular filtration rate 30-59 ml/min/1.73 m2; aged ≥18 on entry to study; and serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels <75 nmol/L. Patients will be randomised 1:1 to receive either oral cholecalciferol 2000IU/day or placebo for 6 months. The primary outcome will be an improvement in insulin sensitivity, measured by hyperinsulinaemic euglycaemic clamp. Secondary outcome measures will include serum parathyroid hormone, cytokines (Interleukin-1β, Interleukin-6, Tumour Necrosis Factor alpha), adiponectin (total and High Molecular Weight), osteocalcin (carboxylated and under-carboxylated), peripheral blood mononuclear cell Nuclear Factor Kappa-B p65 binding activity, brachial artery reactivity, aortic pulse wave velocity and waveform analysis, and indirect calorimetry. All outcome measures will be performed at baseline and end of study.
To date, no randomised controlled trial has been performed in pre-dialysis CKD patients to study the correlation between vitamin D status with supplementation, insulin resistance and markers of adverse cardiovascular risk. We remain hopeful that cholecalciferol may be a safe intervention, with health benefits beyond those related to bone-mineral homeostasis.
Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12609000246280.