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1.  Effect of Clopidogrel on Early Failure of Arteriovenous Fistulas for Hemodialysis 
JAMA  2008;299(18):2164-2171.
Context
The arteriovenous fistula is the preferred type of vascular access for hemodialysis because of lower thrombosis and infection rates and lower health care expenditures compared with synthetic grafts or central venous catheters. Early failure of fistulas due to thrombosis or inadequate maturation is a barrier to increasing the prevalence of fistulas among patients treated with hemodialysis. Small, inconclusive trials have suggested that antiplatelet agents may reduce thrombosis of new fistulas.
Objective
To determine whether clopidogrel reduces early failure of hemodialysis fistulas.
Design, Setting, and Participants
Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial conducted at 9 US centers composed of academic and community nephrology practices in 2003–2007. Eight hundred seventy-seven participants with end-stage renal disease or advanced chronic kidney disease were followed up until 150 to 180 days after fistula creation or 30 days after initiation of dialysis, whichever occurred later.
Intervention
Participants were randomly assigned to receive clopidogrel (300-mg loading dose followed by daily dose of 75 mg; n = 441) or placebo (n = 436) for 6 weeks starting within 1 day after fistula creation.
Main Outcome Measures
The primary outcome was fistula thrombosis, determined by physical examination at 6 weeks. The secondary outcome was failure of the fistula to become suitable for dialysis. Suitability was defined as use of the fistula at a dialysis machine blood pump rate of 300 mL/min or more during 8 of 12 dialysis sessions.
Results
Enrollment was stopped after 877 participants were randomized based on a stopping rule for intervention efficacy. Fistula thrombosis occurred in 53 (12.2%) participants assigned to clopidogrel compared with 84 (19.5%) participants assigned to placebo (relative risk, 0.63; 95% confidence interval, 0.46–0.97; P = .018). Failure to attain suitability for dialysis did not differ between the clopidogrel and placebo groups (61.8% vs 59.5%, respectively; relative risk, 1.05; 95% confidence interval, 0.94–1.17; P = .40).
Conclusion
Clopidogrel reduces the frequency of early thrombosis of new arteriovenous fistulas but does not increase the proportion of fistulas that become suitable for dialysis.
Trial Registration
clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00067119
doi:10.1001/jama.299.18.2164
PMCID: PMC4943222  PMID: 18477783
2.  Differential expression and regulation of Klotho by paricalcitol in the kidney, parathyroid and aorta of uremic rats 
Kidney international  2015;87(6):1141-1152.
Klotho plays an important role in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease in chronic kidney disease (CKD). Klotho is highly expressed in the kidney and parathyroid glands, but its presence in the vasculature is debated. Renal Klotho is decreased in CKD, but the effect of uremia on Klotho in other tissues is not defined. The effect of vitamin D receptor activator therapy in CKD on expression of Klotho in various tissues is also in debate. In uremic rats (surgical 5/6th nephrectomy model), we compared 3-months of treatment with and without paricalcitol on Klotho immunostaining in the kidney, parathyroid glands and aorta. With uremia, Klotho was unchanged in the parathyroid, significantly decreased in the kidney (66%) and the intimal-medial area of the aorta (69%), and significantly increased in the adventitial area of the aorta (67%) compared with controls. Paricalcitol prevented the decrease in Klotho in the kidney, increased expression in the parathyroid (31%), had no effect in the aortic media, but blunted the increase of Klotho in aortic adventitia. We propose that fibroblasts are responsible for expression of Klotho in the adventitia. In hyperplastic human parathyroid tissue from uremic patients, Klotho was higher in oxyphil compared with chief cells. Thus, under our conditions of moderate CKD and mild-to-moderate hyperphosphatemia in rats, the differential expression of Klotho and its regulation by paricalcitol in uremia is tissue-dependent.
doi:10.1038/ki.2015.22
PMCID: PMC4449811  PMID: 25692955
Klotho; Renal; Aorta; Parathyroid; renal failure; uremic rats; VDRA
3.  Cardiac and Renal Effects of Atrasentan in Combination with Enalapril and Paricalcitol in Uremic Rats 
Kidney & blood pressure research  2014;39(4):340-352.
Background/Aims
The search for new therapies providing cardiorenal protection in chronic kidney disease (CKD) has led to treatments that combine conventional renin-angiotensin-aldosterone-system inhibitors with other drugs that exhibit potential in disease management.
Methods
In rats made uremic by renal ablation, we examined the effects of addition of the endothelin-A receptor antagonist atrasentan to a previously examined combination of enalapril (angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor) and paricalcitol (vitamin D receptor activator) on cardiac and renal parameters. The effects of the individual and combined drugs were examined after a 3-month treatment.
Results
A decrease in systolic blood pressure, serum creatinine and proteinuria, and improvement of renal histology in uremic rats were attributed to enalapril and/or paricalcitol treatment; atrasentan alone had no effect. In heart tissue, individual treatment with the drugs blunted the increase in cardiomyocyte size, and combined treatment additively decreased cardiomyocyte size to normal levels. Perivascular fbrosis was blunted in uremic control rats with atrasentan or enalapril treatment.
Conclusions
We found distinct cardiac and renal effects of atrasentan. Combination treatment with atrasentan, enalapril and paricalcitol provided positive effects on cardiac remodeling in uremic rats, whereas combination treatment did not offer further protective effects on blood pressure, proteinuria or renal histology.
doi:10.1159/000355811
PMCID: PMC4225010  PMID: 25300759
ACE inhibitor; Endothelin-1 receptor A; Renal failure; Uremic rats; VDRA; Vitamin D
4.  Effect of Dipyridamole plus Aspirin on Hemodialysis Graft Patency 
The New England journal of medicine  2009;360(21):2191-2201.
BACKGROUND
Arteriovenous graft stenosis leading to thrombosis is a major cause of complications in patients undergoing hemodialysis. Procedural interventions may restore patency but are costly. Although there is no proven pharmacologic therapy, dipyridamole may be promising because of its known vascular antiproliferative activity.
METHODS
We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of extended-release dipyridamole, at a dose of 200 mg, and aspirin, at a dose of 25 mg, given twice daily after the placement of a new arteriovenous graft until the primary outcome, loss of primary unassisted patency (i.e., patency without thrombosis or requirement for intervention), was reached. Secondary outcomes were cumulative graft failure and death. Primary and secondary outcomes were analyzed with the use of a Cox proportional-hazards regression with adjustment for prespecified covariates.
RESULTS
At 13 centers in the United States, 649 patients were randomly assigned to receive dipyridamole plus aspirin (321 patients) or placebo (328 patients) over a period of 4.5 years, with 6 additional months of follow-up. The incidence of primary unassisted patency at 1 year was 23% (95% confidence interval [CI], 18 to 28) in the placebo group and 28% (95% CI, 23 to 34) in the dipyridamole–aspirin group, an absolute difference of 5 percentage points. Treatment with dipyridamole plus aspirin significantly prolonged the duration of primary unassisted patency (hazard ratio, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.68 to 0.98; P = 0.03) and inhibited stenosis. The incidences of cumulative graft failure, death, the composite of graft failure or death, and serious adverse events (including bleeding) did not differ significantly between study groups.
CONCLUSIONS
Treatment with dipyridamole plus aspirin had a significant but modest effect in reducing the risk of stenosis and improving the duration of primary unassisted patency of newly created grafts. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00067119.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa0805840
PMCID: PMC3929400  PMID: 19458364
5.  Effects of Sodium Thiosulfate on Vascular Calcification in End-Stage Renal Disease: A Pilot Study of Feasibility, Safety and Efficacy 
American Journal of Nephrology  2011;33(2):131-138.
Background and Objectives
Vascular calcification is a major contributor to morbidity and mortality in hemodialysis. The objective of this pilot study was to determine the feasibility, safety and efficacy of sodium thiosulfate (STS) in the progression of vascular calcification in hemodialysis patients.
Methods
Chronic hemodialysis patients underwent a battery of cardiovascular tests. Those with coronary artery calcium (Agatston scores >50) received intravenous STS after each dialysis for 5 months (n = 22) and the tests were repeated. Changes in MDCT-determined calcification were assessed as the mean annualized rate of change in 3 vascular beds (coronary, thoracic and carotid arteries) and in L1-L2 vertebral bone density.
Results
Although individual analyses showed coronary artery calcification progression in 14/22 subjects, there was no progression in the mean annualized rate of change of vascular calcification in the entire group. The L1-L2 vertebral bone density showed no changes. There were no correlations between rates of progression of vascular calcification and phosphorus, fetuin or C-reactive protein levels. Changes in coronary artery calcification scores correlated with those of the thoracic aorta.
Conclusion
STS treatment is feasible, appears safe and may decrease the rate of progression of vascular calcification in hemodialysis patients. A large, randomized, controlled trial is warranted.
doi:10.1159/000323550
PMCID: PMC3064860  PMID: 21242673
Hemodialysis; Sodium thiosulfate; Vascular calcification
6.  Relation of Serum Fetuin-A Levels to Coronary Artery Calcium in African-American Patients on Chronic Hemodialysis 
Vascular calcium deposition in end-stage renal disease occurs commonly, however its relationship to cardiovascular risk factors and fetuin-A levels in African-Americans is not known. Compliant African-American HD patients (n=17) agreed to undergo a 64-slice multidetector computed tomography for the assessment of coronary artery calcium score (CACS). The relationship between traditional cardiovascular risk factors (i.e., age, gender, dialysis vintage, history of diabetes, means of the previous 3 years of the weekly pre-dialysis blood pressure and hemoglobin, means of monthly values of calcium, phosphorus, alkaline phosphatase, uric acid and albumin, and means of quarterly measures of parathyroid hormone and lipids), and fetuin-A levels and CACS was explored by univariate analyses. Serum phosphorus levels over the previous 3 years were well controlled. The CACS range was 0-3,877 Agatston units (mean: 996; median :196). Among the tested variables, only fetuin-A was significantly and inversely associated with CACS (standardized β = -0.64 [95% confidence limits [CL]: -18.09, -3.62], p=0.006). There was no association between age and fetuin-A level (standardized β = -0.02 [95%CL: -0.10, 0.23]). In conclusion, African-American patients on long-term HD and with good phosphorus control exhibit a strong inverse correlation between fetuin-A levels and CACS which is independent of age.
doi:10.1016/j.amjcard.2008.08.032
PMCID: PMC2631229  PMID: 19101228
Fetuin-A; Hemodialysis; Coronary artery calcium score; African-American

Results 1-6 (6)