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1.  Assessment of arterial stiffness, oxidative stress and inflammation in acute kidney injury 
BMC Nephrology  2009;10:15.
Background
It is well know that arterial stiffness, oxidative stress and inflammation are features of chronic kidney disease. The arterial changes have a multitude of potential interconnected causes including endothelial dysfunction, oxidative stress, inflammation, atherosclerosis and vascular calcification. There is evidence that arterial stiffness becomes progressively worse as CKD progresses. The contribution of the biochemical changes of uremic toxicity to arterial stiffness is less clear. The aim of this study is to elucidate the vascular changes in acute kidney injury. We hypothesise that arterial stiffness will be increased during acute kidney injury and this will return to normal after kidney function recovers.
Methods/Design
One hundred and forty four patients with acute kidney injury defined as an acute increase in serum creatinine to > 133 μmol/l or urea > 14.3 mmol/l or urine output < 410 ml/day will be recruited. Baseline measures of aortic pulse wave velocity, augmentation index, and brachial and central blood pressure will be recorded along with blood measures for oxidative stress and inflammation. Repeat measures will be taken at six and 12 months after the onset of the acute kidney injury.
Discussion
The role and contribution of the biochemical changes to arterial stiffness in the acute phase of kidney disease is not known. This study will primarily assess the time course changes in pulse wave velocity from the onset of acute kidney injury and after recovery. In addition it will assess augmentation index, central blood pressure and oxidative stress and inflammation. This may shed light on the contribution of biochemical kidney toxins on arterial stiffness in both acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease.
Trial Registration
ACTRN 12609000285257
doi:10.1186/1471-2369-10-15
PMCID: PMC2702366  PMID: 19538714
2.  Comparison of markers of oxidative stress, inflammation and arterial stiffness between incident hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis patients – an observational study 
BMC Nephrology  2009;10:8.
Background
Patients on peritoneal and hemodialysis have accelerated atherosclerosis associated with an increase in cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. The atherosclerosis is associated with increased arterial stiffness, endothelial dysfunction and elevated oxidative stress and inflammation. The aims of this study are to investigate the effects of peritoneal and hemodialysis on arterial stiffness, vascular function, myocardial structure and function, oxidative stress and inflammation in incident patients with end stage kidney disease.
Methods
This is an observational study. Eighty stage five CKD patients will be enrolled and followed for one-year. Primary outcome measures will be changes in 1) arterial stiffness measured by aortic pulse wave velocity, 2) oxidative stress assessed by plasma F2 isoprostanes and 3) inflammation measured by plasma pentraxin-3. Secondary outcomes will include additional measures of oxidative stress and inflammation, changes in vascular function assessed using the brachial artery reactivity technique, carotid artery intimal medial thickness, augmentation index and trans thoracic echocardiography to assess left ventricular geometry, and systolic and diastolic function. Patients will undergo these measures at baseline (6–8 weeks prior to starting dialysis therapy), then at six and 12 months after starting dialysis.
Discussion
The results of this study may guide the choice of dialysis modality in the first year of treatment. It may also lead to a larger study prospectively assessing the effect of dialysis modality on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.
Trial Registration
ACTRN12609000049279
doi:10.1186/1471-2369-10-8
PMCID: PMC2666726  PMID: 19284599
3.  Intradialytic versus home based exercise training in hemodialysis patients: a randomised controlled trial 
BMC Nephrology  2009;10:2.
Background
Exercise training in hemodialysis patients improves fitness, physical function, quality of life and markers of cardiovascular disease such as arterial stiffness. The majority of trials investigating this area have used supervised exercise training during dialysis (intradialytic), which may not be feasible for some renal units. The aim of this trial is to compare the effects of supervised intradialytic with unsupervised home-based exercise training on physical function and arterial stiffness.
Methods and design
This is a randomised, controlled clinical trial. A total of 72 hemodialysis patients will be randomised to receive either six months of intradialytic exercise training, home-based exercise training or usual care. Intradialytic patients will undergo three training sessions per week on a cycle ergometer and home-based patients will be provided with a walking program to achieve the same weekly physical activity. Primary outcome measures are six-minute walk distance (6 MWD) and aortic pulse wave velocity (PWV). Secondary outcome measures include augmentation index, peripheral and central blood pressures, physical activity and self-reported health. Measures will be made at baseline, three and six months.
Discussion
The results of this study will help determine the efficacy of home-based exercise training in hemodialysis patients. This may assist in developing exercise guidelines specific for these patients.
Trial Registration
ACTRN12608000247370
doi:10.1186/1471-2369-10-2
PMCID: PMC2642817  PMID: 19178747
4.  Astaxanthin vs placebo on arterial stiffness, oxidative stress and inflammation in renal transplant patients (Xanthin): a randomised controlled trial 
BMC Nephrology  2008;9:17.
Background
There is evidence that renal transplant recipients have accelerated atherosclerosis manifest by increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. The high incidence of atherosclerosis is, in part, related to increased arterial stiffness, vascular dysfunction, elevated oxidative stress and inflammation associated with immunosuppressive therapy. The dietary supplement astaxanthin has shown promise as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory therapeutic agent in cardiovascular disease. The aim of this trial is to investigate the effects of astaxanthin supplementation on arterial stiffness, oxidative stress and inflammation in renal transplant patients.
Method and Design
This is a randomised, placebo controlled clinical trial. A total of 66 renal transplant recipients will be enrolled and allocated to receive either 12 mg/day of astaxanthin or an identical placebo for one-year. Patients will be stratified into four groups according to the type of immunosuppressant therapy they receive: 1) cyclosporine, 2) sirolimus, 3) tacrolimus or 4) prednisolone+/-azathioprine, mycophenolate mofetil or mycophenolate sodium. Primary outcome measures will be changes in 1) arterial stiffness measured by aortic pulse wave velocity (PWV), 2) oxidative stress assessed by plasma isoprostanes and 3) inflammation by plasma pentraxin 3. Secondary outcomes will include changes in vascular function assessed using the brachial artery reactivity (BAR) technique, carotid artery intimal medial thickness (CIMT), augmentation index (AIx), left ventricular afterload and additional measures of oxidative stress and inflammation. Patients will undergo these measures at baseline, six and 12 months.
Discussion
The results of this study will help determine the efficacy of astaxanthin on vascular structure, oxidative stress and inflammation in renal transplant patients. This may lead to a larger intervention trial assessing cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.
Trial Registration
ACTRN12608000159358
doi:10.1186/1471-2369-9-17
PMCID: PMC2666668  PMID: 19091127

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