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1.  Long-term effects of the iron-based phosphate binder, sucroferric oxyhydroxide, in dialysis patients 
Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation  2015;30(6):1037-1046.
Hyperphosphatemia necessitates the use of phosphate binders in most dialysis patients. Long-term efficacy and tolerability of the iron-based phosphate binder, sucroferric oxyhydroxide (previously known as PA21), was compared with that of sevelamer carbonate (sevelamer) in an open-label Phase III extension study.
In the initial Phase III study, hemo- or peritoneal dialysis patients with hyperphosphatemia were randomized 2:1 to receive sucroferric oxyhydroxide 1.0−3.0 g/day (2−6 tablets/day; n = 710) or sevelamer 2.4−14.4 g/day (3−18 tablets/day; n = 349) for 24 weeks. Eligible patients could enter the 28-week extension study, continuing the same treatment and dose they were receiving at the end of the initial study.
Overall, 644 patients were available for efficacy analysis (n = 384 sucroferric oxyhydroxide; n = 260 sevelamer). Serum phosphorus concentrations were maintained during the extension study. Mean ± standard deviation (SD) change in serum phosphorus concentrations from extension study baseline to Week 52 end point was 0.02 ± 0.52 mmol/L with sucroferric oxyhydroxide and 0.09 ± 0.58 mmol/L with sevelamer. Mean serum phosphorus concentrations remained within Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative target range (1.13–1.78 mmol/L) for both treatment groups. Mean (SD) daily tablet number over the 28-week extension study was lower for sucroferric oxyhydroxide (4.0 ± 1.5) versus sevelamer (10.1 ± 6.6). Patient adherence was 86.2% with sucroferric oxyhydroxide versus 76.9% with sevelamer. Mean serum ferritin concentrations increased over the extension study in both treatment groups, but transferrin saturation (TSAT), iron and hemoglobin concentrations were generally stable. Gastrointestinal-related adverse events were similar and occurred early with both treatments, but decreased over time.
The serum phosphorus-lowering effect of sucroferric oxyhydroxide was maintained over 1 year and associated with a lower pill burden, compared with sevelamer. Sucroferric oxyhydroxide was generally well tolerated long-term and there was no evidence of iron accumulation.
PMCID: PMC4438742  PMID: 25691681
hemodialysis; peritoneal dialysis; sucroferric oxyhydroxide
2.  Antibacterial Responses by Peritoneal Macrophages Are Enhanced Following Vitamin D Supplementation 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(12):e116530.
Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), who usually display low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25D) and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25D), are at high risk of infection, notably those undergoing peritoneal dialysis (PD). We hypothesized that peritoneal macrophages from PD patients are an important target for vitamin D-induced antibacterial activity. Dialysate effluent fluid was obtained from 27 non-infected PD patients. Flow cytometry indicated that PD cells were mainly monocytic (37.9±17.7% cells CD14+/CD45+). Ex vivo analyses showed that PD cells treated with 25D (100 nM, 6 hrs) or 1,25D (5 nM, 6 hrs) induced mRNA for antibacterial cathelicidin (CAMP) but conversely suppressed mRNA for hepcidin (HAMP). PD cells from patients with peritonitis (n = 3) showed higher baseline expression of CAMP (18-fold±9, p<0.05) and HAMP (64-fold±7) relative to cells from non-infected patients. In 12 non-infected PD patients, oral supplementation with a single dose of vitamin D2 (100,000 IU) increased serum levels of 25D from 18±8 to 41±15 ng/ml (p = 0.002). This had no significant effect on PD cell CD14/CD45 expression, but mRNA for HAMP was suppressed significantly (0.5-fold, p = 0.04). Adjustment for PD cell CD14/CD45 expression using a mixed linear statistical model also revealed increased expression of CAMP (mRNA in PD cells and protein in effluent) in vitamin D-supplemented patients. These data show for the first time that vitamin D supplementation in vitro and in vivo promotes innate immune responses that may enhance macrophage antibacterial responses in patients undergoing PD. This highlights a potentially important function for vitamin D in preventing infection-related complications in CKD.
PMCID: PMC4280222  PMID: 25549329
3.  Impact of frequent hemodialysis on anemia management: results from the Frequent Hemodialysis Network (FHN) Trials 
Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation  2013;28(7):1888-1898.
The extent to which anemia management is facilitated by more frequent hemodialysis (HD) is controversial. We hypothesized as a preselected outcome that patients receiving HD six times (6×) compared with three times (3×) per week would require lower doses of erythropoietin-stimulating agents (ESA) and/or achieve higher blood hemoglobin (Hb) concentrations.
Subjects enrolled in the Frequent Hemodialysis Network (FHN) daily and nocturnal trials were studied. As the primary outcome for anemia, the dose of ESAs was recorded at 4-month intervals and the monthly dose of intravenous iron (IV Fe) was reported. Serum iron, transferrin saturation and ferritin were measured at baseline and then at 4-month intervals, whereas Hb concentration was measured monthly.
There was no significant treatment effect in the 6× versus 3× treatment groups on logESA dose or the ratio of log of ESA dose to Hb concentration in either trial. In the daily trial, Hb concentrations increased significantly in the 6× versus 3× group, at Month 12 compared with baseline (0.3 g/dL; 95% CI: 0.05–0.58, P < 0.021), but both groups had Hb concentrations in the usual target range. In the daily trial, the weekly logESA dose and the logESA dose to Hb concentration ratio tended to decline more in the 6× versus 3× group. This trend was not observed in the nocturnal trial. IV Fe doses were significantly lower in the 6× compared with the 3× group by Month 12 in the nocturnal trial, but not different in the daily trial.
In the FHN Daily and Nocturnal Trials, more frequent HD did not have a significant or clinically important effect on anemia management.
PMCID: PMC3707527  PMID: 23358899
anemia; erythropoietin; frequent; hemodialysis; nocturnal
4.  Multicenter Evaluation of the Clinical Outcomes of Daptomycin with and without Concomitant β-Lactams in Patients with Staphylococcus aureus Bacteremia and Mild to Moderate Renal Impairment 
Patients with underlying renal disease may be vulnerable to vancomycin-mediated nephrotoxicity and Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia treatment failure. In light of recent data demonstrating the successful use of β-lactam plus daptomycin in very difficult cases of S. aureus bacteremia, we examined safety and clinical outcomes for patients who received daptomycin with or without concomitant β-lactams. We identified 106 patients who received daptomycin for S. aureus bacteremia, had mild or moderate renal insufficiency according to FDA criteria, and enrolled in the Cubicin Outcomes Registry and Experience (CORE), a multicenter registry, from 2005 to 2009. Daptomycin treatment success was 81%. Overall treatment efficacy was slightly enhanced with the addition of a β-lactam (87% versus 78%; P = 0.336), but this trend was most pronounced for bacteremia associated with endocarditis or bone/joint infection or bacteremia from an unknown source (90% versus 57%; P = 0.061). Factors associated with reduced daptomycin efficacy (by logistic regression) were an unknown source of bacteremia (odds ratio [OR] = 7.59; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.55 to 37.2), moderate renal impairment (OR = 9.11; 95% CI = 1.46 to 56.8), and prior vancomycin failure (OR = 11.2; 95% CI = 1.95 to 64.5). Two patients experienced an increase in creatine phosphokinase (CPK) that resolved after stopping daptomycin. No patients developed worsening renal insufficiency related to daptomycin. In conclusion, daptomycin appeared to be effective and well tolerated in patients with S. aureus bacteremia and mild to moderate renal insufficiency. Daptomycin treatment efficacy might be enhanced with β-lactam combination therapy in primary endovascular and bone/joint infections. Additional studies will be necessary to confirm these findings.
PMCID: PMC3591880  PMID: 23254428
5.  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
7.  Impact of Sleep Quality on Cardiovascular Outcomes in Hemodialysis Patients: Results from the Frequent Hemodialysis Network Study 
American Journal of Nephrology  2011;33(5):398-406.
Poor sleep quality is a common, persistent, and important problem to patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). This report examines whether sleep quality is associated with dialysis treatment factors and other modifiable clinical factors in a large group of hemodialysis (HD) patients.
Cross-sectional analyses were conducted on baseline data collected from participants in the Frequent Hemodialysis Network trials. Sleep quality was measured using the Medical Outcomes Study Sleep Problems Index II (SPI II), a 9-item measure of sleep quality with higher scores reflecting poorer sleep quality.
The participants had an age of 51.2 ± 13.6 years, 61% were male, 38% were black, and 42% had diabetes. Higher pre-dialysis serum phosphorus (per 0.5 mg/ml) (OR 0.91; 95% CI 0.85, 0.96) and depression (OR 0.16; 95% CI 0.10, 0.25) were independently associated with decrements in sleep quality. There was also a difference in time to recovery from dialysis for the fourth versus the first SPI II quartile (5.1 h; p < 0.0001).
These findings underscore the link between sleep and daytime function and suggest that improving sleep may provide an opportunity to improve outcomes in ESRD. Whether sleep problems may be improved by reduction of serum phosphorus or treatment of depression in the HD population merits further investigation.
PMCID: PMC3080580  PMID: 21474924
Hemodialysis; Sleep; Quality of life; Cognitive function; Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging
8.  The Cardiorenal Syndrome 
PMCID: PMC3133432  PMID: 21761003
9.  Sevelamer revisited: pleiotropic effects on endothelial and cardiovascular risk factors in chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease 
Endothelial dysfunction underlies multiple cardiovascular consequences of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and antecedent diabetes or hypertension. Endothelial insults in CKD or end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients include uremic toxins, serum uric acid, hyperphosphatemia, reactive oxygen species, and advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs). Sevelamer carbonate, a calcium-free intestinally nonabsorbed polymer, is approved for hyperphosphatemic dialysis patients in the US and hyperphosphatemic stage 3–5 CKD patients in many other countries. Sevelamer has been observed investigationally to reduce absorption of AGEs, bacterial toxins, and bile acids, suggesting that it may reduce inflammatory, oxidative, and atherogenic stimuli in addition to its on-label action of lowering serum phosphate. Some studies also suggest that noncalcium binders may contribute less to vascular calcification than calcium-based binders. Exploratory sevelamer carbonate use in patients with stages 2–4 diabetic CKD significantly reduced HbA1c, AGEs, fibroblast growth factor (FGF)-23, and total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol versus calcium carbonate; inflammatory markers decreased and defenses against AGEs increased. Sevelamer has also been observed to reduce circulating FGF-23, potentially reducing risk of left ventricular hypertrophy. Sevelamer but not calcium-based binders in exploratory studies increases flow-mediated vasodilation, a marker of improved endothelial function, in patients with CKD. In contrast, lanthanum carbonate and calcium carbonate effects on FMV did not differ in hemodialysis recipients. The recent INDEPENDENT-CKD randomized trial compared sevelamer versus calcium carbonate in predialysis CKD patients (investigational in the US, on-label in European participants); sevelamer reduced 36-month mortality and the composite endpoint of mortality or dialysis inception. Similarly, INDEPENDENT-HD in incident dialysis patients showed improved survival with 24 months of sevelamer versus calcium-based binders. This review discusses recent exploratory evidence for pleiotropic effects of sevelamer on endothelial function in CKD or ESRD. Endothelial effects of sevelamer may contribute mechanistically to the improved survival observed in some studies of CKD and ESRD patients.
PMCID: PMC3917706  PMID: 24327730
advanced glycation endproducts; atherosclerosis; fetuin-A; fibroblast growth factor-23; sevelamer; vascular dysfunction
10.  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

Results 1-10 (10)