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author:("colic, Adrian")
1.  Uric Acid Level and Erectile Dysfunction In Patients With Coronary Artery Disease 
The journal of sexual medicine  2013;11(1):165-172.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a frequent complaint of elderly subjects, and is closely associated with endothelial dysfunction and cardiovascular disease. Uric acid is also associated with endothelial dysfunction, oxidative stress and cardiovascular disease, raising the hypothesis that an increased serum uric acid might predict erectile dysfunction in patients who are at risk for coronary artery disease.
To evaluate the association of serum uric acid levels with presence and severity of ED in patients presenting with chest pain of presumed cardiac origin.
This is a cross-sectional study of 312 adult male patients with suspected coronary artery disease who underwent exercise stress test (EST) for workup of chest pain and completed a sexual health inventory for men (SHIM) survey form to determine the presence and severity of ED. Routine serum biochemistry (and uric acid levels) were measured. Logistic regression analysis was used to assess risk factors for ED.
Main Outcome Measures
The short version of the international index of erectile function (IIEF-5) questionnaire diagnosed ED (cutoff score ≤21). Serum Uric acid levels were determined. Patients with chest pain of suspected cardiac origin underwent an exercise stress test.
149 of 312 (47.7%) male subjects had ED by survey criteria. Patients with ED were older and had more frequent CAD, hypertension, diabetes, and impaired renal function, and also had significantly higher levels of uric acid, fibrinogen, glucose, CRP, triglycerides compared with patients without ED. Uric acid levels were associated with ED by univariate analysis (OR = 1.36, p = 0.002); however, this association was not observed in multivariate analysis adjusted for eGFR.
Subjects presenting with chest pain of presumed cardiac origin are more likely to have ED if they have elevated uric acid levels.
PMCID: PMC3962193  PMID: 24433559
Uric Acid; Erectile Dysfunction; Coronary Artery Disease; Endothelial Dysfunction
2.  The dysfunctional endothelium in CKD and in cardiovascular disease: mapping the origin(s) of cardiovascular problems in CKD and of kidney disease in cardiovascular conditions for a research agenda 
Endothelial dysfunction resulting in disintegration of vascular structure and function is a key element in the progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Many risk factors—traditional and non-traditional—are thought to have a role in the progression and development of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in patients with CKD. However, many risk factors await definitive confirmation of their clinical relevance obtained from intervention trials. Moreover, the investigation of the relative contribution of these factors to the twin-risk problem of CVD and progression in patients with CKD is one of the most important future challenges for nephrologists.
PMCID: PMC4089605  PMID: 25018895
biomarkers; cardiovascular disease; chronic kidney disease; endothelium
3.  The complexity of the cardio–renal link: taxonomy, syndromes, and diseases 
Bidirectional mechanisms exist that link diseases affecting the heart and kidney. This link is complex and remains poorly understood; therefore, charting the shared territory of cardiovascular (CV) and renal medicine poses major problems. Until now, no convincing rationale for delineating new syndromes existed. The multiple connections of the arterial system and the heart and kidney with other systems, from energy and protein balance to the musculoskeletal, clearly require special focus and rigorous framing. Nephrologists have yet to fully understand why the application of dialysis has had only limited success in halting the parallel burdens of CV and non-CV death in patients with end-stage renal disease. Cardiologists, intensivists, and nephrologists alike should settle whether and when extracorporeal ultrafiltration benefits patients with decompensated heart failure. These sparse but interconnected themes spanning from the basic science–clinical transition phase to clinical science, epidemiology, and medical technology already form the basis for the young discipline of ‘CV and renal medicine'.
PMCID: PMC4089616  PMID: 25028622
cardio-renal; cardiovascular risk; CKD; death; ESRD; progression of CKD
4.  The lingering dilemma of arterial pressure in CKD: what do we know, where do we go? 
Despite many advances in the management of hypertensive chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients, both on and off dialysis, there exist several gaps in our knowledge. Although the modern techniques to measure blood pressure (BP) indirectly have been available for a long time, among those with CKD, how to best assess hypertension and the level to which it should be lowered are mired in controversy. Other controversial areas relate to a lack of a consensus definition of hypertension among hemodialysis patients, uncertainty in the definition and assessment of volume excess, and the lack of adequately powered randomized trials to evaluate the level to which BP can be lowered in those on dialysis. This review discusses the limitations of the available evidence base and suggests areas for future research. Suggestions include evaluation of techniques to assess volume, randomized trials to target different levels of BP among hypertensive hemodialysis patients, evaluation of ambulatory BP monitoring, and non-pharmacological means to lower BP in CKD. It is hoped that among patients with CKD these data will improve the dismal cardiovascular outcomes.
PMCID: PMC4089679  PMID: 25018898
ambulatory blood pressure; cardiovascular disease; CKD; hypervolemia; outcome studies; risk factors
5.  Arterial aging and arterial disease: interplay between central hemodynamics, cardiac work, and organ flow—implications for CKD and cardiovascular disease 
Cardiovascular disease is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end-stage renal disease (ESRD). All epidemiological studies have clearly shown that accelerated arterial and cardiac aging is characteristic of these populations. Arterial premature aging is heterogeneous. It principally involves the aorta and central capacitive arteries, and is characterized by preferential aortic stiffening and disappearance of stiffness/impedance gradients between the central and peripheral arteries. These changes have a double impact: on the heart, upstream, with left ventricular hypertrophy and decreased coronary perfusion; and, downstream, on renal and brain microcirculation (decrease in glomerular filtration and cognitive functions). Multifactorial at origin, the pathophysiology of aortic ‘progeria' and microvascular disorders in CKD/ESRD is not well understood and should be the focus of interest in future studies.
PMCID: PMC4089718  PMID: 25018896
aging; arteriosclerosis; arterial stiffness; end-stage renal disease; pressure waves
6.  Cardiovascular and non-cardiovascular mortality in dialysis patients: where is the link? 
Over the past decade, the research agenda in dialysis has been dominated by studies on risk factors associated with cardiovascular mortality. It has now become increasingly clear that in dialysis patients, non-cardiovascular causes of death are increased to the same extent as cardiovascular mortality, and therefore research efforts in this area deserve an equally prominent place on the nephrology research agenda. As previous research has suggested an association between cardiovascular disease and infections, more research on potential links between the causal pathways of cardiovascular events and infections is also warranted.
PMCID: PMC4089722  PMID: 25028623
cardiovascular disease; cardiovascular mortality; dialysis; mortality; non-cardiovascular mortality; renal replacement therapy
7.  Major pathways of the reno–cardiovascular link: the sympathetic and renin–angiotensin systems 
Chronic kidney disease is often characterized by enhanced activity of the renin–angiotensin system (RAS) and the sympathetic nervous system. Independent of their effect on blood pressure, these systems also contribute to the pathogenesis of both structural and functional cardiovascular abnormalities and contribute importantly to clinical outcome. There is much evidence that the diseased kidneys are of central importance in the pathogenesis of both abnormalities. Inhibitors of the RAS also reduce sympathetic overactivity. Future research should be aimed at addressing the pathophysiological mechanisms causing the enhanced activities. Given the fact that even a small kidney lesion can cause enhanced activity of the RAS and the sympathetic nervous system, it is likely that these pathophysiological mechanisms are operational in more disease conditions, including essential hypertension, heart failure, and obesity/metabolic syndrome.
PMCID: PMC4089777  PMID: 25018897
chronic kidney disease; hypertension; renin angiotensin; sympathetic activity
8.  Heart Failure in Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease: A Systematic Integrative Review 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:937398.
Introduction. Heart failure (HF) is highly prevalent in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and is strongly associated with mortality in these patients. However, the treatment of HF in this population is largely unclear. Study Design. We conducted a systematic integrative review of the literature to assess the current evidence of HF treatment in CKD patients, searching electronic databases in April 2014. Synthesis used narrative methods. Setting and Population. We focused on adults with a primary diagnosis of CKD and HF. Selection Criteria for Studies. We included studies of any design, quantitative or qualitative. Interventions. HF treatment was defined as any formal means taken to improve the symptoms of HF and/or the heart structure and function abnormalities. Outcomes. Measures of all kinds were considered of interest. Results. Of 1,439 results returned by database searches, 79 articles met inclusion criteria. A further 23 relevant articles were identified by hand searching. Conclusions. Control of fluid overload, the use of beta-blockers and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers, and optimization of dialysis appear to be the most important methods to treat HF in CKD and ESRD patients. Aldosterone antagonists and digitalis glycosides may additionally be considered; however, their use is associated with significant risks. The role of anemia correction, control of CKD-mineral and bone disorder, and cardiac resynchronization therapy are also discussed.
PMCID: PMC4052068  PMID: 24959595
9.  An Update on Coronary Artery Disease and Chronic Kidney Disease 
Despite the improvements in diagnostic tools and medical applications, cardiovascular diseases (CVD), especially coronary artery disease (CAD), remain the most common cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). The main factors for the heightened risk in this population, beside advanced age and a high proportion of diabetes and hypertension, are malnutrition, chronic inflammation, accelerated atherosclerosis, endothelial dysfunction, coronary artery calcification, left ventricular structural and functional abnormalities, and bone mineral disorders. Chronic kidney disease is now recognized as an independent risk factor for CAD. In community-based studies, decreased glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and proteinuria were both found to be independently associated with CAD. This paper will discuss classical and recent epidemiologic, pathophysiologic, and clinical aspects of CAD in CKD patients.
PMCID: PMC3964836  PMID: 24734178
10.  Lipid, blood pressure and kidney update 2013 
The year 2013 proved to be very exciting as far as landmark trials and new guidelines in the field of lipid disorders, blood pressure and kidney diseases. Among these are the International Atherosclerosis Society Global Recommendations for the Management of Dyslipidemia, European Society of Cardiology (ESC)/European Society of Hypertension Guidelines for the Management of Arterial Hypertension, American Diabetes Association Clinical Practice Recommendations, the Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes Clinical Practice Guidelines for Managing Dyslipidemias in Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) Patients, the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Guideline on the Treatment of Blood Cholesterol to Reduce Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Risk in Adults, the Joint National Committee Expert Panel (JNC 8) Evidence-Based Guideline for the Management of High Blood Pressure in Adults, the American Society of Hypertension/International Society of Hypertension Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Hypertension in the Community, the American College of Physicians Clinical Practice Guideline on Screening, Monitoring, and Treatment of Stage 1–3 CKD and many important trials presented among others during the ESC Annual Congress in Amsterdam and the American Society of Nephrology Annual Meeting—Kidney Week in Atlanta, GA. The paper is an attempt to summarize the most important events and reports in the mentioned areas in the passing year.
PMCID: PMC4012155  PMID: 24573394
Anemia; Blood pressure; Cholesterol; Dyslipidemia; Hypertension; Lipids; Renal disease; Transplantation
11.  A longitudinal study on illness perceptions in hemodialysis patients: changes over time 
Self-regulatory theory explains how patients’ illness representations influence self-management behavior. The aim of this study was to examine the changes that occur in disease perceptions after 6 years in hemodialysis patients.
Material and methods
A total of 81 clinically stable patients (53.6% males, meanage 54 ±12.54 years, mean hemoglobin level 11 ±1.52 g/dl, mean Kt/V 1.49 ±0.21) who were treated with hemodialysis three times weekly completed questionnaires on illness representations in 2005, and then at follow-up, in December 2011, 47 patients. IPQ-R (Illness Perceptions Questionnaire-Revised) was used to assess patients’ illness perceptions.
After a long period of years (6 years), patients had a stronger perception of a chronic course of the disease (timeline; p < 0.001), considered hemodialysis more efficient in controlling end stage renal disease (ESRD) (treatment control; p < 0.05), considered that their disease had less serious consequences for their life (consequences; p < 0.05), and also registered a less intense emotional response to their illness (emotional representation; p < 0.05). Two of the seven components of illness representations (personal control, cyclical symptoms) remained unchanged. Treatment control perceptions were also predictive of mortality after controlling for covariates (age, gender, dialysis vintage, blood hemoglobin level and Kt/V) (HR = 0.13, 95% CI: 0.02–0.75, p = 0.022).
Our results show that patients’ illness perceptions vary over a significantly long follow-up period, in the sense of having more optimistic views towards their illness perceptions.
PMCID: PMC3832830  PMID: 24273565
end-stage renal disease; hemodialysis; illness perceptions; Illness Perceptions Questionnaire-Revised
12.  Hyperphosphatemia in patients with ESRD: assessing the current evidence linking outcomes with treatment adherence 
BMC Nephrology  2013;14:153.
In recent years, the imbalance in phosphate homeostasis in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) has been the subject of much research. It appears that, while hyperphosphatemia may be a tangible indicator of deteriorating kidney function, lack of phosphate homeostasis may also be associated with the increased risk of cardiovascular events and mortality that has become a hallmark of ESRD. The need to maintain phosphorus concentrations within a recommended range is reflected in evidence-based guidelines. However, these do not reflect serum phosphorus concentrations achieved by most patients in clinical practice. Given this discrepancy, it is important to consider ways in which dietary restriction of phosphorus intake and, in particular, use of phosphate binders in patients with ESRD can be made more effective. Poor adherence is common in patients with ESRD and has been associated with inadequate control of serum phosphorus concentrations. Studies indicate that, among other factors, major reasons for poor adherence to phosphate binder therapy include high pill burden and patients’ lack of understanding of their condition and its treatment. This review examines available evidence, seeking to understand fully the reasons underlying poor adherence in patients with ESRD and consider possible strategies for improving adherence in clinical practice.
PMCID: PMC3728082  PMID: 23865421
Adherence; Chronic kidney disease; Hyperphosphatemia; Phosphate binder; Pill burden
13.  Changes in the histological spectrum of glomerular diseases in the past 16 years in the North-Eastern region of Romania 
BMC Nephrology  2013;14:148.
The aim of this study was to describe the findings of renal biopsies from a large nephrology center in Iasi, Romania, performed between 2005 and 2010. We compared these findings with our previous ones, from 1995 to 2004, as well as with similar reports.
We studied retrospectively 239 renal biopsies. The indications for renal biopsy were categorized into: nephrotic syndrome, acute nephritic syndrome, asymptomatic urinary abnormalities, acute kidney injury, and chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology.
During the past 16 years, a gradual increase in the annual number of renal biopsies/per million population (p.m.p.)/year was observed, although this incidence remained lower than in other European countries. Nephrotic syndrome was the indication for renal biopsy in over 50% of cases. Glomerulonephritis (GN) was the main histological diagnosis in 91% of cases, of which 56% were primary GN and 35% were secondary GN. The frequency of various types of primary GN was: membranoproliferative GN (MPGN) - 29.3%, membranous nephropathy (MN) -27.5%, focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) - 17.2%, mesangial GN (including IgAN) -13.7%, crescentic GN - 9.4%, and minimal change disease (MCD) - 2.5%. Compared to the previously reported period (1994–2004), we observed a significant decrease in the frequency of MPGN and significant increases in the frequency of FSGS and, particularly MN - which more than doubled.
We report significant changes in the histological spectrum of GN in North-Eastern Romania in 2005–2010, compared to the previously reported 10-yrs. These changes seem to be following a trend that has also been observed in Western countries a few decades ago, and which may have a socioeconomic explanation.
PMCID: PMC3716947  PMID: 23855530
Glomerular disease; Glomerulonephritis; Kidney disease; Tubulointerstitial disease
14.  Soluble TWEAK independently predicts atherosclerosis in renal transplant patients 
BMC Nephrology  2013;14:144.
Cardiovascular risk is increased in the early stages of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and also found to be ongoing in renal transplant (Rtx) patients. As a sign of atherosclerosis, increased carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) has been widely accepted as a strong predictor of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and mortality in CKD patients. A novel markers, soluble tumor necrosis factor-like weak inducer of apoptosis (sTWEAK) and neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) were introduced as potential markers in inflammatory disorders including CKD. The role of Rtx in terms of atherogenesis is still unclear. We aimed to investigate the relationship between sTWEAK, NLR and CIMT in Rtx patients without overt CVD and to compare these results with those obtained from healthy subjects.
Cross-sectional analysis in which CIMT measurements, NLR and serum TWEAK levels were assessed in 70 Rtx patients (29 females; mean age, 40.6 ± 12.4 years) and 25 healthy subjects (13 females, mean age; 37.4±8.8 years).
sTWEAK levels were significantly decreased (p=0.01) and hs-CRP, NLR and CIMT levels of Rtx patients were significantly increased compared to healthy subjects (p<0.0001, p=0.001, p<0.0001, respectively). sTWEAK was also found to be decreased when eGFR was decreased (p=0.04 between all groups). CIMT was positively correlated with sTWEAK and NLR in Rtx patients (r=0.81, p<0.0001 and r=0.33, p=0.006, respectively). sTWEAK was also positively correlated with NLR (r=0.37, p=0.002). In the multivariate analysis only sTWEAK was found to be an independent variable of increased CIMT.
sTWEAK might have a role in the pathogenesis of ongoing atherosclerosis in Rtx patients.
PMCID: PMC3711729  PMID: 23849432
sTWEAK; Neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio; Carotid intima-media thickness; Renal transplantation
15.  A comparison of calcium acetate/magnesium carbonate and sevelamer-hydrochloride effects on fibroblast growth factor-23 and bone markers: post hoc evaluation from a controlled, randomized study 
Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation  2013;28(9):2383-2392.
Different phosphate binders exert differing effects on bone mineral metabolism and levels of regulating hormones. The objective of this post hoc evaluation of the CALcium acetate MAGnesium carbonate (CALMAG) study was to compare the effects of calcium acetate/magnesium carbonate (CaMg) and a calcium-free phosphate binder, sevelamer-hydrochloride (HCl), on serum levels of fibroblast growth factor-23 (FGF-23) and markers of bone turnover.
This secondary analysis of the controlled, randomized CALMAG study, comparing the effect of CaMg and sevelamer-HCl on serum phosphorus (P), aimed to investigate the parameters described above. The analysis included 204 patients who completed the initial study per protocol (CaMg, n = 105; sevelamer-HCl, n = 99).
The study showed that serum levels of FGF-23 were significantly reduced with CaMg and sevelamer-HCl, with no difference between groups at Week 25 [analysis of covariance (ANCOVA); log-intact FGF-23 (iFGF-23), P = 0.1573]. FGF-23 levels strongly correlated with serum P levels at all time points in both groups. The bone turnover parameters alkaline phosphatase (AP), bone AP (BAP), procollagen type 1 amino-terminal propeptide 1 (P1NP), osteoprotegerin (OPG), beta-crosslaps (β-CTX) and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase 5b (TRAP 5b) increased significantly in the sevelamer-HCl group; they remained almost unchanged in the CaMg group, after the initial phase of P lowering (ANCOVA, P < 0.0001 for all except OPG, P = 0.1718).
CaMg and sevelamer-HCl comparably lower serum levels of iFGF-23. Changes in bone parameters were dependent on characteristics of the phosphate binder; in contrast with sevelamer-HCl, CaMg had no influence on bone turnover markers.
PMCID: PMC3769980  PMID: 23787550
bone markers; calcium acetate; fibroblast growth factor-23; haemodialysis; magnesium carbonate; phosphate binder
17.  Relationship between Uric Acid and Subtle Cognitive Dysfunction in Chronic Kidney Disease 
American Journal of Nephrology  2011;34(1):49-54.
Elevated serum uric acid has been associated with cognitive dysfunction and vascular cognitive impairment in the elderly. Serum uric acid is also commonly elevated in chronic kidney disease (CKD), but its relationship with cognitive function in these patients has not been addressed.
Subjects with CKD (defined as eGFR <60/ml/min/1.73 m2) were evaluated for cognitive dysfunction using the validated Standardized Mini-Mental State Examination (SMMSE). Individuals with dementia, depression or other psychiatric disorders were excluded, as were subjects on uric acid-lowering therapy or with serious illnesses such as severe anemia or active or ongoing cardiovascular or cerebrovascular disease.
247 subjects were enrolled. SMMSE scores showed stepwise deterioration with increasing quartile of serum uric acid (26.4; 26.1; 25.5; 25.3, score range 20–30, p = 0.019). Post-hoc analysis demonstrated that there was no linear trend and only groups 1 and 4 were different with respect to SMMSE scores (p = 0.025). Stepwise multivariate linear regression revealed that age, educational status, presence of cerebrovascular disease, and serum uric acid were independently related to SMMSE scores.
Serum uric acid levels are independently and inversely associated with mild cognitive dysfunction in subjects with CKD.
PMCID: PMC3121541  PMID: 21659739
Cognitive function; Chronic kidney disease; Uric acid
18.  Serum Uric Acid Level and Endothelial Dysfunction in Patients with Nondiabetic Chronic Kidney Disease 
American Journal of Nephrology  2011;33(4):298-304.
An elevated serum uric acid level is strongly associated with endothelial dysfunction and inflammation, both of which are common in chronic kidney disease (CKD). We hypothesized that endothelial dysfunction in subjects with CKD would correlate with uric acid levels.
Materials and Methods
We evaluated the association between serum uric acid level and ultrasonographic flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) in 263 of 486 patients with recently diagnosed CKD (stage 3–5) (48% male, age 52 ± 12 years). To minimize confounding, 233 patients were excluded because they were diabetic, had established cardiovascular complications or were taking drugs (renin-angiotensin system blockers, statins) interfering with vascular function.
Serum uric acid level was significantly increased in all stages of CKD and strongly correlated with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR-MDRD); FMD was inversely associated with serum uric acid (r = −0.49, p < 0.001). The association of serum uric acid with FMD remained after adjustment for age, gender, smoking, LDL cholesterol, eGFR, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, systolic blood pressure, proteinuria, and homeostatic model assessment index (β = −0.27, p < 0.001).
Increased serum uric acid is an independent predictor of endothelial dysfunction in subjects with CKD.
PMCID: PMC3064939  PMID: 21389694
Chronic kidney disease; Uric acid; Endothelial dysfunction
19.  Uric Acid and Pentraxin-3 Levels Are Independently Associated with Coronary Artery Disease Risk in Patients with Stage 2 and 3 Kidney Disease 
American Journal of Nephrology  2011;33(4):325-331.
Background and Objectives
Cardiovascular disease is prevalent in chronic kidney disease (CKD). Uric acid is increased in subjects with CKD and has been linked with cardiovascular mortality in this population. However, no study has evaluated the relationship of uric acid with angiographically proven coronary artery disease (CAD) in this population. We therefore investigated the link between serum uric acid (SUA) levels and (i) extent of CAD assessed by the Gensini score and (ii) inflammatory parameters, including C-reactive protein (CRP) and pentraxin-3, in patients with mild-to-moderate CKD.
Material and Methods
In an unselected population of 130 patients with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) between 90 and 30 ml/min/1.73 m2, we measured SUA, serum pentraxin-3, CRP, urinary protein-to-creatinine ratio, lipid parameters and the severity of CAD as assessed by coronary angiography and quantified by the Gensini lesion severity score.
The mean serum values for SUA, pentraxin-3 and CRP in the entire study population were 5.5 ± 1.5 mg/dl, 6.4 ± 3.4 ng/ml and 3.5 ± 2.6 mg/dl, respectively. The Gensini scores significantly correlated in univariate analysis with gender (R = −0.379, p = 0.02), uric acid (R = 0.42, p = 0.001), pentraxin-3 (R = 0.54, p = 0.001), CRP (R = 0.29, p = 0.006) levels, eGFR (R = −0.33, p = 0.02), proteinuria (R = 0.21, p = 0.01), and presence of hypertension (R = 0.37, p = 0.001), but not with smoking status, diabetes mellitus, and lipid parameters. After adjustments for traditional cardiovascular risk factors, only uric acid (R = 0.21, p = 0.02) and pentraxin-3 (R = 0.28, p = 0.01) remained significant predictors of the Gensini score.
SUA and pentraxin-3 levels are independent determinants of severity of CAD in patients with mild-to-moderate CKD. We recommend a clinical trial to determine whether lowering uric acid could prevent progression of CAD in patients with CKD.
PMCID: PMC3064941  PMID: 21389698
Chronic kidney disease; Coronary artery disease; Uric acid; Pentraxin-3
20.  Consequences of Advanced Glycation End Products Accumulation in Chronic Kidney Disease and Clinical Usefulness of Their Assessment Using a Non-invasive Technique – Skin Autofluorescence 
Mædica  2011;6(4):298-307.
Accelerated formation and accumulation of advanced glycation end-products occur under circumstances of increased supply of substrates such as hyperglycaemic or oxidative stress and in age-related and chronic diseases like diabetes mellitus, chronic renal failure, neurodegenerative diseases, osteoarthritis and also non-diabetic atherosclerosis and chronic heart failure. Advanced glycation end-products accumulation occurs especially on long-lived proteins such as collagen in the skin and in vascular basement membranes leading to vascular damage. Adequate renal clearance capacity is an important factor in the effective removal of advanced glycation end-products. The Autofluorescence Reader was developed as a marker, representative for tissue advanced glycation end-products accumulation, easily applicable in a clinical setting, initially for predicting diabetes related complications. Studies have already shown a relationship between skin autofluorescence and diabetes complications, as well as its predictive value for total and cardiovascular mortality in type 2 diabetes. Moreover skin autofluorescence was demonstrated to be superior to Haemoglobin A1c and other conventional risk factors. Advanced glycation end-products have been proposed as a novel factor involved in the development and progression of chronic heart failure. Assessment of advanced glycation end-products accumulation in end-stage renal disease and undergoing renal replacement therapies patients has become of great importance. Cardiovascular and connective tissue disorders are very common in patients with end-stage renal disease, and the accumulation of advanced glycation end-products is significantly increased in these patients. Mortality is markedly increased in patients with decreased kidney function, particularly in patients with end-stage renal disease. Skin advanced glycation end-products levels are strong predictors of survival in haemodialysis patients independent of other established risk factors. The Autofluorescence Reader may be useful as a clinical tool for rapid assessment of risk for advanced glycation end-products related long-term complications, not only in diabetes, but in other conditions associated with advanced glycation end-products accumulation as well.
PMCID: PMC3391948  PMID: 22879845
advanced glycation end-products; skin autofluorescence; metabolic stess; chronic kidney disease
21.  Fluid Status in Peritoneal Dialysis Patients: The European Body Composition Monitoring (EuroBCM) Study Cohort 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(2):e17148.
Euvolemia is an important adequacy parameter in peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients. However, accurate tools to evaluate volume status in clinical practice and data on volume status in PD patients as compared to healthy population, and the associated factors, have not been available so far.
We used a bio-impedance spectroscopy device, the Body Composition Monitor (BCM) to assess volume status in a cross-sectional cohort of prevalent PD patients in different European countries. The results were compared to an age and gender matched healthy population.
Only 40% out of 639 patients from 28 centres in 6 countries were normovolemic. Severe fluid overload was present in 25.2%. There was a wide scatter in the relation between blood pressure and volume status. In a multivariate analysis in the subgroup of patients from countries with unrestricted availability of all PD modalities and fluid types, older age, male gender, lower serum albumin, lower BMI, diabetes, higher systolic blood pressure, and use of at least one exchange per day with the highest hypertonic glucose were associated with higher relative tissue hydration. Neither urinary output nor ultrafiltration, PD fluid type or PD modality were retained in the model (total R2 of the model = 0.57).
The EuroBCM study demonstrates some interesting issues regarding volume status in PD. As in HD patients, hypervolemia is a frequent condition in PD patients and blood pressure can be a misleading clinical tool to evaluate volume status. To monitor fluid balance, not only fluid output but also dietary input should be considered. Close monitoring of volume status, a correct dialysis prescription adapted to the needs of the patient and dietary measures seem to be warranted to avoid hypervolemia.
PMCID: PMC3044747  PMID: 21390320
22.  Evaluation of calcium acetate/magnesium carbonate as a phosphate binder compared with sevelamer hydrochloride in haemodialysis patients: a controlled randomized study (CALMAG study) assessing efficacy and tolerability 
Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation  2010;25(11):3707-3717.
Background. Phosphate binders are required to control serum phosphorus in dialysis patients. A phosphate binder combining calcium and magnesium offers an interesting therapeutic option.
Methods. This controlled randomized, investigator-masked, multicentre trial investigated the effect of calcium acetate/magnesium carbonate (CaMg) on serum phosphorus levels compared with sevelamer hydrochloride (HCl). The study aim was to show non-inferiority of CaMg in lowering serum phosphorus levels into Kidney Disease Outcome Quality Initiative (K/DOQI) target level range after 24 weeks. Three hundred and twenty-six patients from five European countries were included. After a phosphate binder washout period, 255 patients were randomized in a 1:1 fashion. Two hundred and four patients completed the study per protocol (CaMg, N = 105; dropouts N = 18; sevelamer-HCl, N = 99; dropouts N = 34). Patient baseline characteristics were similar in both groups.
Results. Serum phosphorus levels had decreased significantly with both drugs at week 25, and the study hypothesis of CaMg not being inferior to sevelamer-HCl was confirmed. The area under the curve for serum phosphorus (P = 0.0042) and the number of visits above K/DOQI (≤1.78 mmol/L, P = 0.0198) and Kidney disease: Improving global outcomes (KDIGO) targets (≤1.45 mmol/L, P = 0.0067) were significantly lower with CaMg. Ionized serum calcium did not differ between groups; total serum calcium increased in the CaMg group (treatment difference 0.0477 mmol/L; P = 0.0032) but was not associated with a higher risk of hypercalcaemia. An asymptomatic increase in serum magnesium occurred in CaMg-treated patients (treatment difference 0.2597 mmol/L, P < 0.0001). There was no difference in the number of patients with adverse events.
Conclusion. CaMg was non-inferior to the comparator at controlling serum phosphorus levels at Week 25. There was no change in ionized calcium; there was minimal increase in total serum calcium and a small increase in serum magnesium. It had a good tolerability profile and thus may represent an effective treatment of hyperphosphataemia.
PMCID: PMC2957591  PMID: 20530499
calcium acetate; haemodialysis; magnesium carbonate; phosphate binder; safety parameters
23.  The safety and efficacy of intravenous ferric carboxymaltose in anaemic patients undergoing haemodialysis: a multi-centre, open-label, clinical study 
Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation  2010;25(8):2722-2730.
Background. Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) often present with iron depletion and iron deficiency anaemia (IDA) because of frequent blood (and iron) loss. Therapy consists of repletion of iron stores and intravenous (i.v.) iron has become the standard care in this setting. However, older i.v. iron preparations have their limitations. This study primarily investigated the safety, and also the efficacy, of ferric carboxymaltose (FCM), a next-generation i.v. iron formulation, given as a bolus–push injection in patients with CKD undergoing maintenance haemodialysis (HD).
Methods. Patients (aged 18–65 years) with IDA undergoing HD received 100–200 mg of iron as FCM via an i.v. bolus–push injection into the HD venous line, two to three times weekly for ≤6 weeks. Safety assessments included incidence of adverse events (AEs). Treatment responders were patients attaining ≥1.0 g/dl increase in haemoglobin (Hb) from baseline at any time during the study. Enrolled patients (safety population) receiving ≥1 dose of study medication were included in the efficacy analyses [intent-to-treat (ITT) population].
Results. Of 163 patients enrolled, 150 (92%) completed the study. The mean ± SD total cumulative dose of iron as FCM administered was 2133.3 ± 57.7 mg. In total, 193 AEs were reported in 89 out of 163 (54.6%) patients. Almost three-quarters of patients (73.6%) received erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs), but the dose remained stable during the study. Serious AEs occurred in 12 out of 163 (7.4%) patients and two patients died; none of these was considered by the investigator to be related to the study medication. Only five out of 163 (3.1%) patients discontinued study medication due to an AE. Overall, 100 out of 162 (61.7%; ITT population) patients were treatment responders, and mean Hb levels increased from 9.1 ± 1.30 g/dl at baseline to 10.3 ± 1.63 g/dl at follow-up.
Conclusions. FCM is well-tolerated and effective in the correction of Hb levels and iron stores in patients with IDA undergoing HD. As changes in anaemia treatment other than i.v. FCM (e.g. increased ESA doses) were not permitted during the study, the clinically relevant increase in Hb in the majority of patients can be solely attributed to efficient iron utilization. The incidence of AEs was as expected for this population.
PMCID: PMC2905444  PMID: 20190247
clinical trial; efficacy; ferric carboxymaltose; haemodialysis; iron deficiency anaemia; safety
24.  Trace elements in end-stage renal disease – unfamiliar territory to be revealed 
BMC Nephrology  2009;10:12.
Although associated with unfavorable outcomes in the general population, abnormal blood levels of various trace elements have not been consistently studied in the end-stage renal disease population (with the notable exception of aluminum). This is surprising, as the uremic patient treated by chronic dialysis loses one major route of trace element excretion and is exposed systematically to a foreign environment (the dialysis fluid) possibly contaminated with significant amounts of potential deleterious trace elements. Moreover, some biological important trace elements may be lost through the dialysis membrane. Most studies to date demonstrated significantly altered blood levels of trace elements in ESRD patients compared to healthy controls. However, the biological impact of these abnormalities in renal disease is largely unknown and should be clarified by future studies. A further step would be the design of well-controlled randomized interventional studies, examining the potential therapeutic benefit of supplementing one or more trace elements in ESRD patients, a population characterized by an impressive mortality due to cardiovascular, infectious and neoplasic disease.
PMCID: PMC2698895  PMID: 19490615
25.  A phase III study of the efficacy and safety of a novel iron-based phosphate binder in dialysis patients 
Kidney International  2014;86(3):638-647.
Efficacy of PA21 (sucroferric oxyhydroxide), a novel calcium-free polynuclear iron(III)-oxyhydroxide phosphate binder, was compared with that of sevelamer carbonate in an open-label, randomized, active-controlled phase III study. Seven hundred and seven hemo- and peritoneal dialysis patients with hyperphosphatemia received PA21 1.0–3.0 g per day and 348 received sevelamer 4.8–14.4 g per day for an 8-week dose titration, followed by 4 weeks without dose change, and then 12 weeks maintenance. Serum phosphorus reductions at week 12 were −0.71 mmol/l (PA21) and −0.79 mmol/l (sevelamer), demonstrating non-inferiority of, on average, three tablets of PA21 vs. eight of sevelamer. Efficacy was maintained to week 24. Non-adherence was 15.1% (PA21) vs. 21.3% (sevelamer). The percentage of patients that reported at least one treatment-emergent adverse event was 83.2% with PA21 and 76.1% with sevelamer. A higher proportion of patients withdrew owing to treatment-emergent adverse events with PA21 (15.7%) vs. sevelamer (6.6%). Mild, transient diarrhea, discolored feces, and hyperphosphatemia were more frequent with PA21; nausea and constipation were more frequent with sevelamer. After 24 weeks, 99 hemodialysis patients on PA21 were re-randomized into a 3-week superiority analysis of PA21 maintenance dose in 50 patients vs. low dose (250 mg per day (ineffective control)) in 49 patients. The PA21 maintenance dose was superior to the low dose in maintaining serum phosphorus control. Thus, PA21 was effective in lowering serum phosphorus in dialysis patients, with similar efficacy to sevelamer carbonate, a lower pill burden, and better adherence.
PMCID: PMC4150998  PMID: 24646861
adherence; dialysis; hyperphosphatemia; phosphate binder; PA21; sevelamer

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