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1.  Genome-wide association study identifies a susceptibility locus for thoracic aortic aneurysms and aortic dissections spanning FBN1 at 15q21.1 
Nature genetics  2011;43(10):996-1000.
Although thoracic aortic aneurysms and dissections (TAAD) can be inherited as a single-gene disorder, the genetic predisposition in the majority of affected people is poorly understood. In a multistage genome-wide association study (GWAS), we compared 765 individuals who had sporadic TAAD (STAAD) with 874 controls and identified common SNPs at a 15q21.1 locus that were associated with STAAD, with odds ratios of 1.6–1.8 that achieved genome-wide significance. We followed up 107 SNPs associated with STAAD with P < 1 × 10−5 in the region, in two separate STAAD cohorts. The associated SNPs fall into a large region of linkage disequilibrium encompassing FBN1, which encodes fibrillin-1. FBN1 mutations cause Marfan syndrome, whose major cardiovascular complication is TAAD. This study shows that common genetic variants at 15q21.1 that probably act via FBN1 are associated with STAAD, suggesting a common pathogenesis of aortic disease in Marfan syndrome and STAAD.
PMCID: PMC3244938  PMID: 21909107
2.  Developments in the management of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease 
Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is the most frequent life- threatening, hereditary disease. ADPKD is more common than sickle cell anemia, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, hemophilia, Down’s syndrome, and Huntington’s disease combined. ADPKD is a multisystemic disorder characterized by the progressive development of renal cysts and marked renal enlargement. Structural and functional renal deterioration occurs in ADPKD patients and is the fourth leading cause of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in adults. Aside from the renal manifestations, extrarenal structural abnormalities, such as liver cysts, cardiovascular abnormalities, and intracranial aneurysms may lead to morbidity and mortality. Recent studies have identified prognostic factors for progressive renal impairment including gender, race, age, proteinuria, hematuria, hypertension and increased left ventricular mass index (LVMI). Early diagnosis and better understanding of the pathophysiology of the disease provides the opportunity to aggressivly treat hypertension with renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibitors and thereby potentially reduce LVMI, prevent cardiovascular morbidity and mortality and slow progression of the renal disease.
PMCID: PMC2504069  PMID: 18728845
hypertension; liver cysts; renal pain; left ventricular hypertrophy; cerebral aneurysms
3.  The role of hemodialysis machines dedication in reducing Hepatitis C transmission in the dialysis setting in Iran: A multicenter prospective interventional study 
BMC Nephrology  2004;5:13.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a significant problem among patients undergoing maintenance hemodialysis (HD). We conducted a prospective multi-center study to evaluate the effect of dialysis machine separation on the spread of HCV infection.
Twelve randomly selected dialysis centers in Tehran, Iran were randomly divided into two groups; those using dedicated machines (D) for HCV infected individuals and those using non-dedicated HD machines (ND). 593 HD cases including 51 HCV positive (RT-PCR) cases and 542 HCV negative patients were enrolled in this study. The prevalence of HCV infection in the D group was 10.1% (range: 4.6%– 13.2%) and it was 7.1% (range: 4.2%–16.8%) in the ND group. During the study conduction 5 new HCV positive cases and 169 new HCV negative cases were added. In the D group, PCR positive patients were dialyzed on dedicated machines. In the ND group all patients shared the same machines.
In the first follow-up period, the incidence of HCV infection was 1.6% and 4.7% in the D and ND group respectively (p = 0.05). In the second follow-up period, the incidence of HCV infection was 1.3% in the D group and 5.7% in the ND group (p < 0.05).
In this study the incidence of HCV in HD patients decreased by the use of dedicated HD machines for HCV infected patients. Additional studies may help to clarify the role of machine dedication in conjunction with application of universal precautions in reducing HCV transmission.
PMCID: PMC529260  PMID: 15469615
4.  Metabolic and endocrinologic complications in beta-thalassemia major: a multicenter study in Tehran 
The combination of transfusion and chelation therapy has dramatically extended the life expectancy of thalassemic patients. The main objective of this study is to determine the prevalence of prominent thalassemia complications.
Two hundred twenty patients entered the study. Physicians collected demographic and anthropometric data and the history of therapies as well as menstrual histories. Patients have been examined to determine their pubertal status. Serum levels of 25(OH) D, calcium, phosphate, iPTH were measured. Thyroid function was assessed by T3, T4 and TSH. Zinc and copper in serum were determined by flame atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Bone mineral density (BMD) measurements at lumbar and femoral regions have been done using dual x-ray absorptiometry. The dietary calcium, zinc and copper intakes were estimated by food-frequency questionnaires.
Short stature was seen in 39.3% of our patients. Hypogonadism was seen in 22.9% of boys and 12.2% of girls. Hypoparathyroidism and primary hypothyroidism was present in 7.6% and 7.7% of the patients. About 13 % of patients had more than one endocrine complication with mean serum ferritin of 1678 ± 955 micrograms/lit. Prevalence of lumbar osteoporosis and osteopenia were 50.7% and 39.4%. Femoral osteoporosis and osteopenia were present in 10.8% and 36.9% of the patients. Lumbar BMD abnormalities were associated with duration of chelation therapy. Low serum zinc and copper was observed in 79.6% and 68% of the study population respectively. Serum zinc showed significant association with lumbar but not femoral BMD. In 37.2% of patients serum levels of 25(OH) D below 23 nmol/l were detected.
High prevalence of complications among our thalassemics signifies the importance of more detailed studies along with therapeutic interventions.
PMCID: PMC194672  PMID: 12914670

Results 1-4 (4)