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1.  The impact of an “acute dialysis start” on the mortality attributed to the use of central venous catheters: a retrospective cohort study 
BMC Nephrology  2012;13:72.
Central venous catheters (CVCs) are associated with early mortality in dialysis patients. However, some patients progress to end stage renal disease after an acute illness, prior to reaching an estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) at which one would expect to establish alternative access (fistula/peritoneal dialysis catheter). The purpose of this study was to determine if exclusion of this “acute start” patient group alters the association between CVCs and mortality.
We conducted a retrospective cohort study of 406 incident dialysis patients from 1 Jan 2006 to 31 Dec 2009. Patients were classified as acute starts if 1) the eGFR was >25 ml/min/1.73 m2, ≤3 months prior to dialysis initiation and declined after an acute event (n = 45), or 2) in those without prior eGFR measurements, there was no supporting evidence of chronic kidney disease on history or imaging (n = 12). Remaining patients were classified as chronic start (n = 349).
98 % and 52 % of acute and chronic starts initiated dialysis with a CVC. There were 148 deaths. The adjusted mortality hazard ratio (HR) for acute vs. chronic start patients was 1.84, (95 % CI [1.19-2.85]). The adjusted mortality HR for patients dialyzing with a CVC compared to alternative access was 1.19 (95 % CI [0.80-1.77]). After excluding acute start patients, the adjusted HR fell to 1.03 (95 % CI [0.67-1.57]).
A significant proportion of early dialysis mortality occurs after an acute start. Exclusion of this population attenuates the mortality risk associated with CVCs.
PMCID: PMC3470959  PMID: 22846341
Vascular; Mortality; Dialysis; Catheter; Incident; Access; Fistula; Peritoneal; Acute; Chronic
2.  Kidney transplant survival in pediatric and young adults 
BMC Nephrology  2011;12:54.
There is a perception that kidney transplant recipients transferred from pediatric centers to adult care have an increased risk of graft loss. It is not clear whether young adults transplanted in adult centers also suffer from high graft loss rates.
We examined death censored graft survival in 3 cohorts of young patients transplanted at a single center. Pediatric (PED) patients transplanted at the pediatric center were compared to a cohort of young adults (YAD; age 18- < 25) and a cohort of adults (ADL; age 25-35).
In a multivariate Cox model for death-censored graft survival, PED survival was statistically similar to the YAD (HR 0.86, 95% CI 0.44, 1.7, p = 0.66), however the ADL cohort (HR 0.45, 95% CI 0.25, 0.82, p = 0.009) demonstrated better survival. Admitted non-adherence rates were not different among cohorts. Patients were transferred within a narrow age window (18.6 ± 1.0 age in years) but at a wide range of times from the date of transplantation (5.1 ± 3.5 years) and with a wide range of graft function (serum creatinine 182 ± 81 μmol/L).
The perception that pediatric transfers do poorly reflects advanced graft dysfunction in some at the time of transfer. The evidence also suggests that it is not the transfer of care that is the critical issue but rather recipients, somewhere between the ages of 11-14 and 25, are a unique and vulnerable cohort. Effective strategies to improve outcomes across this age group need to be identified and applied consistently.
PMCID: PMC3198885  PMID: 21982270
3.  Macrocytosis may be associated with mortality in chronic hemodialysis patients: a prospective study 
BMC Nephrology  2011;12:19.
Macrocytosis occurs in chronic hemodialysis (CHD) patients; however, its significance is unknown. The purpose of this study was to establish the prevalence and distribution of macrocytosis, to identify its clinical associations and to determine if macrocytosis is associated with mortality in stable, chronic hemodialysis patients.
We conducted a single-centre prospective cohort study of 150 stable, adult CHD patients followed for nine months. Macrocytosis was defined as a mean corpuscular volume (MCV) > 97 fl. We analyzed MCV as a continuous variable, in tertiles and using a cutoff point of 102 fl.
The mean MCV was 99.1 ± 6.4 fl, (range 66-120 fl). MCV was normally distributed. 92 (61%) of patients had an MCV > 97 fl and 45 (30%) > 102 fl. Patients were not B12 or folate deficient in those with available data and three patients with an MCV > 102 fl had hypothyroidism. In a logistic regression analysis, an MCV > 102 fl was associated with a higher Charlson-Age Comorbidity Index (CACI) and higher ratios of darbepoetin alfa to hemoglobin (Hb), [(weekly darbepoetin alfa dose in micrograms per kg body weight / Hb in g/L)*1000]. There were 23 deaths at nine months in this study. Unadjusted MCV > 102 fl was associated with mortality (HR 3.24, 95% CI 1.42-7.39, P = 0.005). Adjusting for the CACI, an MCV > 102 fl was still associated with mortality (HR 2.47, 95% CI 1.07-5.71, P = 0.035).
Macrocytosis may be associated with mortality in stable, chronic hemodialysis patients. Future studies will need to be conducted to confirm this finding.
PMCID: PMC3114714  PMID: 21569355

Results 1-3 (3)