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1.  Comparison of classical and non‐classical cardiovascular risk factors influencing the patency of native arteriovenous fistulas after percutaneous transluminal angioplasty therapy among haemodialysis patients 
Postgraduate Medical Journal  2007;83(982):547-551.
To evaluate the classical and non‐classical cardiovascular risk factors that effect patency of native arteriovenous fistulas (AVF) in end stage renal disease (ESRD) patients who are undergoing regular haemodialysis treatment and have a percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA) procedure.
All PTAs performed between 1 October 2002 and 30 September 2004 were identified from case notes and the computerised database and follow up to 31 March 2005. The definition of patency of AVF after PTA was including primary or secondary patencies. Risks were analysed to assess the influence on survival following PTAs of age, sex, serum cholesterol, serum triglyceride, diabetes, use of aspirin, current smoking and hypertension, serum albumin, serum calcium–phosphate product, intact parathyroid hormone (I‐PTH), and urea reduction ratio (URR).
The patency rate of AVFs of all interventions was 65% at 6 months. Factors with poor patencies of AVFs after PTA procedures were higher serum calcium–phosphate product (p = 0.033), higher URR (p<0.001), lower serum albumin (p<0.001), non‐hypertension (p = 0.010) and “non‐smoker + ex‐smoker group” (p = 0.033). The hypertensive patients and current smokers had lower patency failure after PTAs (p<0.01 and p<0.05, respectively).
Unfavourable cumulative patency rates are observed in haemodialysis patients with higher URR, higher serum calcium–phosphate product and hypoalbuminaemia (lower serum albumin before the PTA procedure). Hypertension and current smoking were associated with better patency rates of AVF after PTA.
PMCID: PMC2600117  PMID: 17675549
2.  Association of response to hepatitis B vaccination and survival in dialysis patients 
BMC Nephrology  2012;13:97.
The status of immunocompromised patients is well recognized in end stage renal disease (ESRD). As described recently, this acquired immune dysfunction in the uremic milieu may be one of the main pathogenic factors for mortality in ESRD. The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between the immune response following a hepatitis B vaccination (HBV vaccination) and the survival of maintenance dialysis patients.
A total of 156 patients (103 on hemodialysis and 53 on continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis) were recruited. After receiving a full dose of the HBV vaccination, all patients were followed up for to 5 years to evaluate the association of patient survival, cause of mortality, and immune response.
The response rate to the hepatitis B vaccination was 70.5%. There was no significant association between the immune response and the 5-year survival rate (p =0.600) or between the post-vaccination anti-HBs titers and the 5-year survival rate (p = 0.201). The logistic prediction model with the coefficient as non-response following HBV vaccination, diabetes mellitus, old age, and low albumin level could significantly predict infection-cause mortality (sensitivity = 0.842, specificity = 0.937).
There was no significant association between the immune response to HBV vaccination and the 5-year survival rate. However, non-response following HBV vaccination might be associated with infection-cause mortality in dialysis patients.
PMCID: PMC3471045  PMID: 22935561
Hepatitis B vaccination; Immune response; Post-vaccination anti-HBs titers
3.  Real-Time PCR Analysis of the Intestinal Microbiotas in Peritoneal Dialysis Patients 
Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus can beneficially affect the host by producing acetic acid and lactic acid, which lower pH and thereby inhibit the growth of pathogens or allow the probiotic bacteria to compete with pathogens for epithelial adhesion sites and nutrients. The transmural migration of enteric organisms into the peritoneal cavity can cause peritonitis in peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients. We hypothesized that the composition of the intestinal microbiota with regard to Lactobacillus species and Bifidobacterium species differed between PD patients and healthy controls. The aim of the study was to investigate these differences by real-time PCR analysis of fecal samples. From 1 August 2009 to 31 March 2010, a total of 29 nondiabetic PD patients and 41 healthy controls from China Medical University Hospital were recruited after giving their informed consent. Fecal samples were collected from the PD patients and their age-matched counterparts in the morning using a standardized procedure. DNA extracted from these samples was analyzed by real-time PCR. All bifidobacteria, Bifidobacterium catenulatum, B. longum, B. bifidum, Lactobacillus plantarum, L. paracasei, and Klebsiella pneumoniae were less frequently detected in the patient samples. Dysbiosis (microbial imbalance) may impair intestinal barrier function and increase host vulnerability to pathogen invasion. Further studies are necessary to confirm our findings before clinical trials with probiotic supplementation in PD patients.
PMCID: PMC3273023  PMID: 22179250
6.  Effectiveness of Influenza Vaccination in Patients with End-Stage Renal Disease Receiving Hemodialysis: A Population-Based Study 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(3):e58317.
Little is known on the effectiveness of influenza vaccine in ESRD patients. This study compared the incidence of hospitalization, morbidity, and mortality in end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients undergoing hemodialysis (HD) between cohorts with and without influenza vaccination.
We used the insurance claims data from 1998 to 2009 in Taiwan to determine the incidence of these events within one year after influenza vaccination in the vaccine (N = 831) and the non-vaccine (N = 3187) cohorts. The vaccine cohort to the non-vaccine cohort incidence rate ratio and hazard ratio (HR) of morbidities and mortality were measured.
The age-specific analysis showed that the elderly in the vaccine cohort had lower hospitalization rate (100.8 vs. 133.9 per 100 person-years), contributing to an overall HR of 0.81 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.72–0.90). The vaccine cohort also had an adjusted HR of 0.85 [95% CI 0.75–0.96] for heart disease. The corresponding incidence of pneumonia and influenza was 22.4 versus 17.2 per 100 person-years, but with an adjusted HR of 0.80 (95% CI 0.64–1.02). The vaccine cohort had lowered risks than the non-vaccine cohort for intensive care unit (ICU) admission (adjusted HR 0.20, 95% CI 0.12–0.33) and mortality (adjusted HR 0.50, 95% CI 0.41–0.60). The time-dependent Cox model revealed an overall adjusted HR for mortality of 0.30 (95% CI 0.26–0.35) after counting vaccination for multi-years.
ESRD patients with HD receiving the influenza vaccination could have reduced risks of pneumonia/influenza and other morbidities, ICU stay, hospitalization and death, particularly for the elderly.
PMCID: PMC3596393  PMID: 23516462

Results 1-6 (6)