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1.  Advancing donor management research: design and implementation of a large, randomized, placebo-controlled trial 
Background
Given the persistent shortage of organs for transplantation, new donor management strategies to improve both organ utilization and quality of procured organs are needed. Current management protocols for the care of the deceased donor before organ procurement are based on physiological rationale, experiential reasoning, and retrospective studies without rigorous testing. Although many factors contribute to the lack of controlled clinical trials in donor management, a major factor is the unique challenges posed by research in the brain-dead organ donor.
Methods and Results
This article describes the study design and the challenges faced during implementation of the Beta-agonists for Oxygenation in Lung Donors (BOLD) study, a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial of nebulized albuterol vs. placebo in 500 organ donors. The study design and implementation are described with emphasis on aspects of the study that are unique to research in brain-dead organ donors.
Conclusions
Experience gained during the design and implementation of the BOLD study should be useful for investigators planning future clinical trials in the brain-dead donor population and for intensivists who are involved in the care of the brain-dead organ donor.
doi:10.1186/2110-5820-1-20
PMCID: PMC3224478  PMID: 21906362
2.  FGF-23 and PTH levels in patients with acute kidney injury: A cross-sectional case series study 
Background
Fibroblast growth factor-23 (FGF-23), a novel regulator of mineral metabolism, is markedly elevated in chronic kidney disease and has been associated with poor long-term outcomes. However, whether FGF-23 has an analogous role in acute kidney injury is unknown. The goal of this study was to measure FGF-23 levels in critically ill patients with acute kidney injury to determine whether FGF-23 levels were elevated, as in chronic kidney disease.
Methods
Plasma FGF-23 and intact parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels were measured in 12 patients with acute kidney injury and 8 control subjects.
Results
FGF-23 levels were significantly higher in acute kidney injury cases than in critically ill subjects without acute kidney injury, with a median FGF-23 level of 1948 RU/mL (interquartile range (IQR), 437-4369) in cases compared with 252 RU/mL (IQR, 65-533) in controls (p = 0.01). No correlations were observed between FGF-23 and severity of acute kidney injury (defined by the Acute Kidney Injury Network criteria); among patients with acute kidney injury, FGF-23 levels were higher in nonsurvivors than survivors (median levels of 4446 RU/mL (IQR, 3455-5443) versus 544 RU/mL (IQR, 390-1948; p = 0.02). Severe hyperparathyroidism (defined as intact PTH >250 mg/dL) was present in 3 of 12 (25%) of the acute kidney injury subjects versus none of the subjects without acute kidney injury, although this result did not meet statistical significance.
Conclusions
We provide novel data that demonstrate that FGF-23 levels are elevated in acute kidney injury, suggesting that FGF-23 dysregulation occurs in acute kidney injury as well as chronic kidney disease. Further studies are needed to define the short- and long-term clinical effects of dysregulated mineral metabolism in acute kidney injury patients.
doi:10.1186/2110-5820-1-21
PMCID: PMC3224491  PMID: 21906363

Results 1-2 (2)