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1.  Adjudication of etiology of acute kidney injury: experience from the TRIBE-AKI multi-center study 
BMC Nephrology  2014;15:105.
Adjudication of patient outcomes is a common practice in medical research and clinical trials. However minimal data exists on the adjudication process in the setting of Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) as well as the ability to judge different etiologies (e.g. Acute Tubular Necrosis (ATN), Pre-renal Azotemia (PRA)).
We enrolled 475 consecutive patients undergoing cardiac surgery at four sites of the Translational Research Investigating Biomarker Endpoints in AKI (TRIBE-AKI) study. Three expert nephrologists performed independent chart review, utilizing clinical variables and retrospective case report forms with pre intra and post-operative data, and then adjudicated all cases of AKI (n = 67). AKI was defined as a > 50% increase in serum creatinine for baseline (RIFLE Risk). We examined the patterns of AKI diagnoses made by the adjudication panel as well as association of these diagnoses with pre and postoperative kidney injury biomarkers.
There was poor agreement across the panel of reviewers with their adjudicated diagnoses being independent of each other (Fleiss’ Kappa = 0.046). Based on the agreement of the two out of three reviewers, ATN was the adjudicated diagnosis in 41 cases (61%) while PRA occurred in 13 (19%). Neither serum creatinine or any other biomarker of AKI (urine or serum), was associated with an adjudicated diagnosis of ATN within the first 24 post-operative hours.
The etiology of AKI after cardiac surgery is probably multi-factorial and pure forms of AKI etiologies, such as ATN and PRA may not exist. Biomarkers did not appear to correlate with the adjudicated etiology of AKI; however the lack of agreement among the adjudicators impacted these results.
Trial registration NCT00774137
PMCID: PMC4091753  PMID: 24996668
Acute kidney injury; Acute tubular necrosis; Cardio-thoracic surgery; Adjudication
2.  Avoidance of systemic anticoagulation during intermittent haemodialysis with heparin-grafted polyacrilonitrile membrane and citrate-enriched dialysate: a retrospective cohort study 
BMC Nephrology  2014;15:104.
Since October 2010, the combination of a heparin-grafted polyacrilonitrile (AN69ST) membrane with a 0.80 mmol/L citric acid-containing dialysate is routinely used in our centre for intermittent haemodialysis, without systemic anticoagulation, in critically ill patients with increased bleeding risk. The primary outcome of this retrospective cohort study was to assess the development of circuit clotting during these dialysis procedures. Secondly, we assessed the impact of clotting on treatment duration, the incidence rate of coagulation-induced retransfusion failure and the association of patient and dialysis characteristics with the occurrence of clotting.
Dialysis and patient data on consecutive intermittent haemodialysis procedures, performed at the Intensive Care Unit of Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel between October 2010 and March 2012, were retrospectively reviewed. We used descriptive statistics as well as a random effects logit model with patient identity as a panel variable to assess associations.
Of a total of 309 treatments combining a heparin-grafted AN69ST membrane and a 0.8 mmol/L citric acid-enriched dialysate in 94 patients, circuit clotting was reported in 17.5% (95% CI 13.2% to 21.7%; N = 54), and in 19% (95% CI 13.6% to 24.4%; N = 40) of sessions with prescribed treatment time ≥ 4 hours (N = 210). Clotting shortened treatment time in 15.2% (95% CI 11.4% to 19.7%; N = 47) of sessions by a median of 55 (IQR 20 to 80) minutes. Complete clotting of the circuit with inability for retransfusion occurred in 4.2% (95% CI 2.2% to 7.0%; N = 13) of sessions. Circuit coagulation was not associated with APACHE II score, patient age, gender, number of treatments, type of vascular access or ultrafiltration rate.
Intermittent haemodialysis without systemic anticoagulation combining a heparin-grafted AN69ST dialyzer with a citrate-enriched dialysate favourably compares as to clotting complications with the published outcomes of anticoagulation-free intermittent haemodialysis strategies using saline flushes, heparin-coated dialyzer in combination with regular dialysate or regional citrate anticoagulation with calcium supplemented dialysate. The incidence of circuit clotting in our cohort appears to be higher than previously reported for regional citrate anticoagulation with a calcium-free dialysate.
PMCID: PMC4088363  PMID: 24993584
Anticoagulation-free haemodialysis; Citrate dialysate; Heparin-grafted dialyzer; Coagulation
3.  Is the staple diet eaten in Medawachchiya, Sri Lanka, a predisposing factor in the development of chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology? - A comparison based on urinary β2-microglobulin measurements 
BMC Nephrology  2014;15:103.
Exact mechanism of causation of chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology (CKDu) in Sri Lanka is not described to date, despite the identification of possible multiple risk factors. Questions have been raised as to why only some are affected while others remain intact, though they are inhabitants of the same locality.
Comparative studies were carried out, assessing urinary β2 microglobulin (β2m) and the dietary patterns of CKDu patients and age sex matched non-CKDu subjects. Urinary β2m levels of spot urine samples were analyzed using the Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and dietary patterns were studied using twenty four hour dietary recalls and frequency consumption of foods of animal origin performed on three occasions at six months intervals within a period of one and half years.
The mean urinary β2m level of CKDu patients from Medawachchiya was significantly (p < 0.05) higher when compared with that of the non-CKDu subjects. The mean urinary β2m level of the non-CKDu subjects was within the reference limits for spot urine samples (0 – 0.3 μg/mL). White raw rice was the staple diet of both CKDu patients and non-CKDu subjects and the level of consumption was almost the same. The consumption of fresh water fish products of CKDu patients under high (14, 14%), moderate (36, 36%), low (26, 26%) and less (20, 20%) categories did not show significant variations (p > 0.05) compared to non-CKDu subjects.
Staple food in diet and the consumption pattern of CKDu patients from Medawachchiya were similar to that of non-CKDu subjects from the same area despite their urinary β2m concentration being significantly higher.
PMCID: PMC4086266  PMID: 24988874
Chronic kidney disease; Heavy metals; Dietary patterns; Urinary β2 microglobulin
4.  Effect of vasopressin antagonism on renal handling of sodium and water and central and brachial blood pressure during inhibition of the nitric oxide system in healthy subjects 
BMC Nephrology  2014;15:100.
Tolvaptan is a selective vasopressin receptor antagonist (V2R) that increases free water excretion. We wanted to test the hypotheses that tolvaptan changes both renal handling of water and sodium and systemic hemodynamics during basal conditions and during nitric oxide (NO)-inhibition with L-NG-monomethyl-arginine (L-NMMA).
Nineteen healthy subjects were enrolled in a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover study of two examination days. Tolvaptan 15 mg or placebo was given in the morning. L-NMMA was given as a bolus followed by continuous infusion during 60 minutes. We measured urine output(UO), free water clearance (CH2O), fractional excretion of sodium (FENa), urinary aquaporin-2 channels (u-AQP2) and epithelial sodium channels (u-ENaCγ), plasma vasopressin (p-AVP), central and brachial blood pressure(cBP, bBP).
During baseline conditions, tolvaptan caused a significant increase in UO, CH2O and p-AVP, and FENa was unchanged. During L-NMMA infusion, UO and CH2O decreased more pronounced after tolvaptan than after placebo (-54 vs.-42% and -34 vs.-9% respectively). U-AQP2 decreased during both treatments, whereas u-ENaCγ decreased after placebo and increased after tolvaptan. CBP and bBP were unchanged.
During baseline conditions, tolvaptan increased renal water excretion. During NO-inhibition, the more pronounced reduction in renal water excretion after tolvaptan indicates that NO promotes water excretion in the principal cells, at least partly, via an AVP-dependent mechanism. The lack of decrease in u-AQP2 by tolvaptan could be explained by a counteracting effect of increased plasma vasopressin. The antagonizing effect of NO-inhibition on u-ENaC suggests that NO interferes with the transport via ENaC by an AVP-dependent mechanism.
PMCID: PMC4079642  PMID: 24965902
Tolvaptan; Nitric oxide; AQP2; ENaC; Blood pressure; AVP; Renin; Angiotensin II
5.  Effectiveness of integrated care on delaying chronic kidney disease progression in rural communities of Thailand (ESCORT study): rationale and design of the study [NCT01978951] 
BMC Nephrology  2014;15:99.
In developing countries, accessibility to specialists, and physician to patient contact time is limited. In Thailand, A unique community health service is provided by subdistrict health care officers and Village Health Volunteers (VHVs). If the personnel were trained on proper chronic kidney disease (CKD) care, CKD progression would be delayed.
We conducted a community-based, cluster randomized controlled trial at Kamphaeng Phet Province, located about 400 kilometers north of Bangkok. Two out of eleven districts of the province were randomly selected. Approximatly 500 stage 3–4 CKD patients from 2 districts were enrolled. Patients in both groups will be treated with standard guidelines. The patients in intervention group were provided the additional treatments by multidisciplinary team in conjunction with community CKD care network (subdistrict health care officers and VHVs) which will provide group counseling during each hospital visit and quarterly home visits to monitor dietary protein and sodium intake, blood pressure measurement and drug compliance. Duration of the study is 2 years. The primary outcome is the difference of rate of eGFR decline. The secondary outcomes are laboratory parameters and incidence of clinical endpoints such as mortality rate and cardiovascular events, end-stage renal disease (ESRD), etc.
Insights of this study may set forth a new standard of community-based CKD care.
Trial registration
PMCID: PMC4079913  PMID: 24966007
Chronic kidney disease; Integrated CKD care program; Village health volunteers
6.  Effect of chitosan chewing gum on reducing serum phosphorus in hemodialysis patients: a multi-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial 
BMC Nephrology  2014;15:98.
HS219 (40 mg chitosan-loaded chewing gum) is designed to bind salivary phosphorus as an add-on to available phosphorus binders. We performed a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of HS219 in hemodialysis (HD) patients with hyperphosphatemia as an add-on to phosphorus binders.
Sixty-eight HD patients who were maintained on calcium carbonate (n = 33) or sevelamer hydrochloride (n = 35) were enrolled. The primary end point was a change in serum phosphorus levels. Secondary end points included changes in levels of salivary phosphorus, serum calcium, parathyroid hormone (PTH), and intact fibroblast growth factor (iFGF) 23.
Sixty-three patients chewed either HS219 (n = 35) or placebo (n = 28) for 30 min, three times a day, for 3 weeks. HS219 was well tolerated and safe. However, HS219 was not superior to placebo with additional reduction of serum phosphorus with respect to phosphorus binders at the end of the chewing period. There were no significant effects of HS219 on reduction of salivary phosphorus, serum calcium, iPTH, or iFGF23 levels.
The chitosan-loaded chewing gum HS219 does not affect serum and salivary phosphorus levels in Japanese HD patients with hyperphosphatemia. Our findings do not support previous findings that 20 mg of chitosan-loaded chewing gum reduces serum and salivary phosphorus levels.
Trail registration NCT01039428, 24 December, 2009.
PMCID: PMC4080692  PMID: 24968790
Chewing gum; Chitosan; Clinical trial; Hemodialysis; Hyperphosphatemia; Phosphorus binders
7.  Non-linear association of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D with urinary albumin excretion rate in normoalbuminuric subjects 
BMC Nephrology  2014;15:97.
Vitamin D deficiencies and increases in urinary albumin excretion (UAE) are both important and potentially related health problems; however, the nature of their relationship has not been established in normoalbuminuric subjects.
We obtained data from 14,594 normoalbuminuric Korean adults who underwent voluntary health screenings. We used a generalized additive model to examine the threshold level for relationship between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] and urinary-albumin creatinine ratio (UACR) levels. We conducted multivariate logistic regression for high-normal UAE (UACR, 10–29 mg/g), according to various categories of vitamin D status.
The generalized additive model confirmed a non-linear relationship between serum 25(OH)D and UACR levels, and the threshold concentration of 25(OH)D was 8.0 ng/mL after multivariate adjustment. Comparing subjects who fell into the lowest category of serum 25(OH)D levels with subjects who were in the reference range (the highest category), we observed that the multivariate adjusted odds ratio (OR) for high-normal UAE was significantly increased, regardless of the criteria used to categorize vitamin D levels: OR of the 1st quartile over the 4th quartile, 1.20 (95% CI, 1.04-1.39); OR of the 1.0-4.9th percentile over the 50-100th percentile, 1.56 (95% CI, 1.25-1.93); and OR of vitamin D deficiency group over vitamin D sufficiency group, 1.28 (95% CI, 1.08-1.52).
We demonstrated that there was an inverse relationship between serum 25(OH)D less than 8.0 ng/mL and UACR in normoalbuminuric subjects, suggesting that severe vitamin D deficiency could cause an increase in UAE in subjects with normoalbuminuria.
PMCID: PMC4079922  PMID: 24957097
Epidemiology; Low-grade albuminuria; Threshold; Vitamin D deficiency
8.  Safety and tissue yield for percutaneous native kidney biopsy according to practitioner and ultrasound technique 
BMC Nephrology  2014;15:96.
Although percutaneous renal biopsy remains an essential tool in the diagnosis and treatment of renal diseases, in recent times the traditional procedure of nephrologists has been performed by non-nephrologists rather than nephrologists at many institutions. The present study assessed the safety and adequacy of tissue yield during percutaneous renal biopsy according to practitioners and techniques based on ultrasound.
This study included 658 native renal biopsies performed from 2005 to 2010 at a single centre. The biopsies were performed by nephrologists or expert ultrasound radiologists using the ultrasound-marked blind or real-time ultrasound-guided techniques.
A total of 271 ultrasound-marked blind biopsies were performed by nephrologists, 170 real-time ultrasound-guided biopsies were performed by nephrologists, and 217 real-time ultrasound-guided biopsies were performed by radiologists during the study period. No differences in post-biopsy complications such as haematoma, need for transfusion and intervention, gross haematuria, pain, or infection were observed among groups. Glomerular numbers of renal specimens from biopsies performed by nephrologists without reference to any technique were higher than those obtained from real-time ultrasound-guided biopsies performed by expert ultrasound radiologists.
Percutaneous renal biopsy performed by nephrologists was not inferior to that performed by expert ultrasound radiologists as related to specimen yield and post-biopsy complications.
PMCID: PMC4071327  PMID: 24957046
Percutaneous renal biopsy; Ultrasound; Outcome; Safety
9.  What is the real impact of acute kidney injury? 
BMC Nephrology  2014;15:95.
Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a common clinical problem. Studies have documented the incidence of AKI in a variety of populations but to date we do not believe the real incidence of AKI has been accurately documented in a district general hospital setting.
The aim here was to describe the detected incidence of AKI in a typical general hospital setting in an unselected population, and describe associated short and long-term outcomes.
A retrospective observational database study from secondary care in East Kent (adult catchment population of 582,300). All adult patients (18 years or over) admitted between 1st February 2009 and 31st July 2009, were included. Patients receiving chronic renal replacement therapy (RRT), maternity and day case admissions were excluded. AKI was defined by the acute kidney injury network (AKIN) criteria. A time dependent risk analysis with logistic regression and Cox regression was used for the analysis of in-hospital mortality and survival.
The incidence of AKI in the 6 month period was 15,325 pmp/yr (adults) (69% AKIN1, 18% AKIN2 and 13% AKIN3). In-hospital mortality, length of stay and ITU utilisation all increased with severity of AKI. Patients with AKI had an increase in care on discharge and an increase in hospital readmission within 30 days.
This data comes closer to the real incidence and outcomes of AKI managed in-hospital than any study published in the literature to date. Fifteen percent of all admissions sustained an episode of AKI with increased subsequent short and long term morbidity and mortality, even in those with AKIN1. This confers an increased burden and cost to the healthcare economy, which can now be quantified. These results will furnish a baseline for quality improvement projects aimed at early identification, improved management, and where possible prevention, of AKI.
PMCID: PMC4079645  PMID: 24952580
AKI; Incidence; Impact; Outcomes; General hospital
10.  Long-term prognosis of clinically early IgA nephropathy is not always favorable 
BMC Nephrology  2014;15:94.
The long-term prognosis of clinically early IgA nephropathy (IgAN) patients remains to be clarified. We investigated the long-term outcomes of IgAN patients with an apparently benign presentation and evaluated prognostic factors for renal survival.
We included patients with biopsy-proven IgAN who had estimated glomerular filtration rates (eGFR) ≥60 mL/min/1.73 m2, normal blood pressure, and proteinuria <0.5 g/day at the time of biopsy. The primary outcome was progression to end-stage renal disease (ESRD). The secondary outcome was a 50% increase in serum creatinine level or an increase in proteinuria to >1 g/day.
The analysis included 153 patients who met the inclusion criteria. At diagnosis, their median systolic blood pressure was 120 (110–130) mmHg, eGFR was 85.9 (74.9–100.1) mL/min/1.73 m2, and proteinuria was 0.25 (0.13–0.38) g/day. Of these, 4 patients died and 6 reached ESRD. The 30-year renal survival rate was 85.5%. Three patients had increased serum creatinine levels and 11 developed proteinuria. Remission was observed in 35 (22.9%) patients. A moderate or severe degree of interstitial fibrosis (adjusted odd ratio [OR] 5.93, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.44–24.45, P = 0.014) and hypoalbuminemia (adjusted OR 6.18, 95% CI 1.20–31.79, P = 0.029) were independent predictors of the secondary outcome.
This study showed that the prognosis of early IgAN was not always favorable, even resulting in progression to ESRD in some cases. Hypoalbuminemia and interstitial fibrosis should also be considered important prognostic factors in clinically early IgAN patients.
PMCID: PMC4070337  PMID: 24946688
IgA nephropathy; Interstitial fibrosis; Progression of renal failure
11.  Proteinuria and hematuria are associated with acute kidney injury and mortality in critically ill patients: a retrospective observational study 
BMC Nephrology  2014;15:93.
Proteinuria and hematuria are both important health issues; however, the nature of the association between these findings and acute kidney injury (AKI) or mortality remains unresolved in critically ill patients.
Proteinuria and hematuria were measured by a dipstick test and scored using a scale ranging from a negative result to 3+ in 1883 patients admitted to the intensive care unit. AKI was defined according to the Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) guidelines. The odds ratios (ORs) for AKI and 3-year mortality were calculated after adjustment for multiple covariates according to the degree of proteinuria or hematuria. For evaluating the synergistic effect on mortality among proteinuria, hematuria, and AKI, the relative excess risk due to interaction (RERI) was used.
Proteinuria and hematuria increased the ORs for AKI: the ORs of proteinuria were 1.66 (+/−), 1.86 (1+), 2.18 (2+), and 4.74 (3+) compared with non-proteinuria; the ORs of hematuria were 1.31 (+/−), 1.58 (1+), 2.63 (2+), and 2.52 (3+) compared with non-hematuria. The correlations between the mortality risk and proteinuria or hematuria were all significant and graded (Ptrend < 0.001). There was a relative excess risk of mortality when both AKI and proteinuria or hematuria were considered together: the synergy indexes were 1.30 and 1.23 for proteinuria and hematuria, respectively.
Proteinuria and hematuria are associated with the risks of AKI and mortality in critically ill patients. Additionally, these findings had a synergistic effect with AKI on mortality.
PMCID: PMC4072664  PMID: 24942179
Acute kidney injury; Hematuria; Intensive care unit; Mortality; Proteinuria
12.  Mutational analysis of AGXT in two Chinese families with primary hyperoxaluria type 1 
BMC Nephrology  2014;15:92.
Primary hyperoxaluria type 1 is a rare autosomal recessive disease of glyoxylate metabolism caused by a defect in the liver-specific peroxisomal enzyme alanine:glyoxylate aminotransferase (AGT) that leads to hyperoxaluria, recurrent urolithiasis, and nephrocalcinosis.
Two unrelated patients with recurrent urolithiasis, along with members of their families, exhibited mutations in the AGXT gene by PCR direct sequencing.
Two heterozygous mutations that predict truncated proteins, p.S81X and p.S275delinsRAfs, were identified in one patient. The p.S81X mutation is novel. Two heterozygous missense mutations, p.M1T and p.I202N, were detected in another patient but were not identified in her sibling. These four mutations were confirmed to be of paternal and maternal origin.
These are the first cases of primary hyperoxaluria type 1 to be diagnosed by clinical manifestations and AGXT gene mutations in mainland China. The novel p.S81X and p.I202N mutations detected in our study extend the spectrum of known AGXT gene mutations.
PMCID: PMC4080780  PMID: 24934730
AGXT gene; Chinese children; Mutational analysis; Novel mutation; Primary hyperoxaluria type 1
13.  Uric acid: association with rate of renal function decline and time until start of dialysis in incident pre-dialysis patients 
BMC Nephrology  2014;15:91.
In patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) hyperuricemia is common. Evidence that hyperuricemia might also play a causal role in vascular disease, hypertension and progression of CKD is accumulating. Therefore, we studied the association between baseline uric acid (UA) levels and the rate of decline in renal function and time until start of dialysis in pre-dialysis patients.
Data from the PREPARE-2 study were used. The PREPARE-2 study is an observational prospective cohort study including incident pre-dialysis patients with CKD stages IV-V in the years between 2004 and 2011. Patients were followed for a median of 14.9 months until start of dialysis, kidney transplantation, death, or censoring. Main outcomes were the change in the rate of decline in renal function (measured as estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR)) estimated using linear mixed models, and time until start of dialysis estimated using Cox proportional hazards models.
In this analysis 131 patients were included with a baseline UA level (mean (standard deviation (SD)) of 8.0 (1.79) mg/dl) and a mean decline in renal function of -1.61 (95% confidence interval (CI), -2.01; -1.22) ml/min/1.73 m2/year. The change in decline in GFR associated with a unit increase in UA at baseline was -0.14 (95% CI -0.61;0.33, p = 0.55) ml/min/1.73 m2/year. Adjusted for demography, comorbidities, diet, body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, lipids, proteinuria, diuretic and/or allopurinol usage the change in decline in eGFR did not change. The hazard ratio (HR) for starting dialysis for each mg/dl increase in UA at baseline was 1.08 (95% CI, 0.94;1.24, p = 0.27). After adjustment for the same confounders the HR became significant at 1.26 (95% CI, 1.06;1.49, p = 0.01), indicating an earlier start of dialysis with higher levels of UA.
Although high UA levels are not associated with an accelerated decline in renal function, a high serum UA level in incident pre-dialysis patient is a risk factor for an earlier start of dialysis.
PMCID: PMC4075499  PMID: 24939671
Uric acid; CKD progression; Pre-dialysis; Prospective cohort
14.  Prevalence, determinants, and management of chronic kidney disease in Karachi, Pakistan - a community based cross-sectional study 
BMC Nephrology  2014;15:90.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is increasing being recognized as a global public health problem. However, there is dearth of information on the prevalence, determinants, and management of CKD from low- and middle-income countries. The objectives of the study were to determine the 1) prevalence of CKD; 2) socio-demographic and clinical factors associated with CKD; and 3) the existing management of these patients with regards to blood pressure control, and use of antihypertensive medications.
We conducted a cross-sectional study on 2873 participants aged ≥40 years in 12 representative communities in Karachi, Pakistan. The primary outcome was clinically significant CKD defined as estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) <60 mL/min/1.73 m2 estimated by CKD-EPI (CKD Epidemiology Collaboration) Pakistan equation (0.686 × CKD-EPI1.059) or urinary albumin to creatinine ratio ≥3 mg/mmol (i.e. KDOQI CKD stage G3, A2 or worse).
The overall prevalence (95% CI) of CKD was 12.5% (11.4 – 13.8%). The factors independently associated with CKD were older age, hypertension, diabetes, elevated systolic blood pressure, raised fasting plasma glucose, raised triglycerides, and history of stroke (p < 0.05 for each). About 267 (74.4%, 69.5 – 78.8%) adults with CKD had concomitant hypertension. Of these, 130 (48.7%, 42.6 – 54.9%) were on antihypertensive medications, and less than 20% had their BP controlled to conventional target of ≤140/90 mm Hg, and only 16.9% (12.6 – 21.9%) were on blockers of renin-angiotensin system alone or in combination with other drugs.
Clinically significant CKD is common among Pakistani adults. The conventional risk factors for CKD and poor control of blood pressure among patients with CKD highlight the need to integrate CKD prevention and management in the primary care infrastructure in Pakistan, and possibly neighbouring countries.
PMCID: PMC4065316  PMID: 24927636
Albuminuria; Chronic kidney disease; CKD-EPI Pakistan; Glomerular filtration rate; South Asians
15.  Serum under-O-glycosylated IgA1 level is not correlated with glomerular IgA deposition based upon heterogeneity in the composition of immune complexes in IgA nephropathy 
BMC Nephrology  2014;15:89.
Although serum under-O-glycosylated IgA1 in IgA nephropathy (IgAN) patients may deposit more preferentially in glomeruli than heavily-O-glycosylated IgA1, the relationship between the glomerular IgA deposition level and the O-glycan profiles of serum IgA1 remains obscure.
Serum total under-O-glycosylated IgA1 levels were quantified in 32 IgAN patients by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) with Helix aspersa (HAA) lectin. Serum under-O-glycosylated polymeric IgA1 (pIgA1) was selectively measured by an original method using mouse Fcα/μ receptor (mFcα/μR) transfectant and flow cytometry (pIgA1 trap). The percentage area of IgA deposition in the whole glomeruli (Area-IgA) was quantified by image analysis on the immunofluorescence of biopsy specimens. Correlations were assessed between the Area-IgA and data from HAA-ELISA or pIgA1 trap. The relationships between clinical parameters and data from HAA-ELISA or pIgA1 trap were analyzed by data mining approach.
While the under-O-glycosylated IgA1 levels in IgAN patients were significantly higher than those in healthy controls when measured (p < 0.05), there was no significant difference in under-O-glycosylated pIgA1. There was neither a correlation observed between the data from HAA-ELISA and pIgA1 trap (r2 = 0.09) in the IgAN patients (r2 = 0.005) nor was there a linear correlation between Area-IgA and data from HAA-ELISA or the pIgA1 trap (r2 = 0.005, 0.03, respectively). Contour plots of clinical parameters versus data from HAA-ELISA and the pIgA1 trap revealed that patients with a high score in each clinical parameter concentrated in specific areas, showing that patients with specific O-glycan profiles of IgA1 have similar clinical parameters. A decision tree analysis suggested that dominant immune complexes in glomeruli were consisted of: 1) IgA1-IgG and complements, 2) pIgA1 and complements, and 3) monomeric IgA1-IgA or aggregated monomeric IgA1.
Serum under-O-glycosylated IgA1 levels are not correlated with glomerular IgA deposition based upon heterogeneity in the composition of glomerular immune complexes in IgAN patients.
PMCID: PMC4064268  PMID: 24928472
Under-O-glycosylated IgA1; Glomerular IgA deposition; Decision tree analysis
16.  Validity and reliability of a novel immunosuppressive adverse effects scoring system in renal transplant recipients 
BMC Nephrology  2014;15:88.
After renal transplantation, many patients experience adverse effects from maintenance immunosuppressive drugs. When these adverse effects occur, patient adherence with immunosuppression may be reduced and impact allograft survival. If these adverse effects could be prospectively monitored in an objective manner and possibly prevented, adherence to immunosuppressive regimens could be optimized and allograft survival improved. Prospective, standardized clinical approaches to assess immunosuppressive adverse effects by health care providers are limited. Therefore, we developed and evaluated the application, reliability and validity of a novel adverse effects scoring system in renal transplant recipients receiving calcineurin inhibitor (cyclosporine or tacrolimus) and mycophenolic acid based immunosuppressive therapy.
The scoring system included 18 non-renal adverse effects organized into gastrointestinal, central nervous system and aesthetic domains developed by a multidisciplinary physician group. Nephrologists employed this standardized adverse effect evaluation in stable renal transplant patients using physical exam, review of systems, recent laboratory results, and medication adherence assessment during a clinic visit. Stable renal transplant recipients in two clinical studies were evaluated and received immunosuppressive regimens comprised of either cyclosporine or tacrolimus with mycophenolic acid. Face, content, and construct validity were assessed to document these adverse effect evaluations. Inter-rater reliability was determined using the Kappa statistic and intra-class correlation.
A total of 58 renal transplant recipients were assessed using the adverse effects scoring system confirming face validity. Nephrologists (subject matter experts) rated the 18 adverse effects as: 3.1 ± 0.75 out of 4 (maximum) regarding clinical importance to verify content validity. The adverse effects scoring system distinguished 1.75-fold increased gastrointestinal adverse effects (p = 0.008) in renal transplant recipients receiving tacrolimus and mycophenolic acid compared to the cyclosporine regimen. This finding demonstrated construct validity. Intra-class correlation was 0.81 (95% confidence interval: 0.65-0.90) and Kappa statistic of 0.68 ± 0.25 for all 18 adverse effects and verified substantial inter-rater reliability.
This immunosuppressive adverse effects scoring system in stable renal transplant recipients was evaluated and substantiated face, content and construct validity with inter-rater reliability. The scoring system may facilitate prospective, standardized clinical monitoring of immunosuppressive adverse drug effects in stable renal transplant recipients and improve medication adherence.
PMCID: PMC4062516  PMID: 24925208
Immunosuppressive agents; Adverse effects; Renal transplantation; Calcineurin inhibitors; Mycophenolic acid; Tacrolimus; Cyclosporine
17.  Cardiovascular disease relates to intestinal uptake of p-cresol in patients with chronic kidney disease 
BMC Nephrology  2014;15:87.
Serum p-cresyl sulfate (PCS) associates with cardiovascular disease in patients with chronic kidney disease. PCS concentrations are determined by intestinal uptake of p-cresol, human metabolism to PCS and renal clearance. Whether intestinal uptake of p-cresol itself is directly associated with cardiovascular disease in patients with renal dysfunction has not been studied to date.
We performed a prospective study in patients with chronic kidney disease stage 1 – 5 (NCT00441623). Intestinal uptake of p-cresol, under steady state conditions, was estimated from 24 h urinary excretion of PCS. Primary endpoint was time to first cardiovascular event, i.e., cardiac death, myocardial infarction/ischemia, ventricular arrhythmia, cardiovascular surgery, ischemic stroke or symptomatic peripheral arterial disease. Statistical analysis was done using Kaplan-Meier estimates and Cox proportional hazard analyses.
In a cohort of 200 patients, median 24 h urinary excretion of PCS amounted to 457.47 μmol (IQR 252.68 – 697.17). After a median follow-up of 52 months, 25 patients reached the primary endpoint (tertile 1/2/3: 5/6/14 events, log rank P 0.037). Higher urinary excretion of PCS was directly associated with cardiovascular events (univariate hazard ratio per 100 μmol increase: 1.112, P 0.002). In multivariate analysis, urinary excretion of PCS remained a predictor of cardiovascular events, independent of eGFR (hazard ratio 1.120, P 0.002).
In patients with chronic kidney disease, intestinal uptake of p-cresol associates with cardiovascular disease independent of renal function. The intestinal generation and absorption of p-cresol may be therapeutic targets to reduce cardiovascular disease risk in patients with renal dysfunction.
PMCID: PMC4064102  PMID: 24912660
Cardiovascular disease; Gut; P-cresyl sulfate
18.  Medication safety and chronic kidney disease in older adults prescribed metformin: a cross-sectional analysis 
BMC Nephrology  2014;15:86.
Medication safety in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a growing concern. This is particularly relevant in older adults due to underlying CKD. Metformin use is contraindicated in patients with abnormal kidney function; however, many patients are potentially prescribed metformin inappropriately. We evaluated the prevalence of CKD among older adults prescribed metformin for type 2 diabetes mellitus using available equations to estimate kidney function and examined demographic characteristics of patients who were potentially inappropriately prescribed metformin.
We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of older adults aged ≥65 years prescribed metformin from March 2008-March 2009 at an urban tertiary-care facility in Seattle, Washington, USA. CKD was defined using National Kidney Foundation-Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative criteria. Creatinine clearance was calculated using the Cockcroft-Gault equation; estimated glomerular filtration rate was calculated using the abbreviated Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD) and CKD-Epidemiology (EPI) Collaboration equations. Regression analyses were used to determine the associations between demographic characteristics and prevalent CKD.
Among 356 subjects (median age 69 years, 52.5% female, 39.4% non-Hispanic black), prevalence of stage 3 or greater CKD calculated by any of the equations was 31.4%. The Cockcroft-Gault equation identified more subjects as having CKD (23.7%) than the abbreviated MDRD (21.1%) or CKD-EPI (21.7%) equations (P < 0.001). Older age (OR = 1.13, 95% CI 1.08-1.19) and female sex (OR = 2.51, 95% CI 1.44-4.38) were associated with increased odds of potentially inappropriate metformin prescription due to CKD; non-Hispanic black race was associated with decreased odds of potentially inappropriate metformin prescription due to CKD (OR = 0.41, 95% CI 0.23-0.71).
CKD is common in older adults prescribed metformin for type 2 diabetes, raising concern for potentially inappropriate medication use. No single equation to estimate kidney function may accurately identify CKD in this population. Medication safety deserves greater consideration among elderly patients due to the widespread prevalence of CKD.
PMCID: PMC4057526  PMID: 24906409
Aged; Chronic kidney disease; Diabetes mellitus; Drug prescriptions; Medication safety; Metformin; Renal insufficiency
19.  Correction: Determinants of the creatinine clearance to glomerular filtration rate ratio in patients with chronic kidney disease: a cross-sectional study 
BMC Nephrology  2014;15:85.
After the publication of our paper Lin et al. “Determinants of the creatinine clearance to glomerular filtration rate ratio in patients with chronic kidney disease: a cross-sectional study” BMC Nephrology 2013, 14:268, we became aware of errors in the manuscript arising from to a misunderstanding of serum creatinine calibration in the released Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC) study data obtained from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) Data Repository. Specifically further multiplication by 0.95 was actually not necessary to arrive at the standardized creatinine values.
Here we present the revised results of the re-analyses along with revisions of the relevant tables. Mean CrCl/iGFR ratio should be 1.13 ± 0.46 instead of 1.19 ± 0.48. The main conclusion of the paper remain unchanged: “Contrary to what had been suggested by prior smaller studies, CrCl/GFR ratio does not vary with degree of proteinuria or race/ethnicity. The ratio is also closer to 1.0 than reported by several frequently cited reports in the literature.”
PMCID: PMC4061100  PMID: 24906386
20.  Incidence and consequence of acute kidney injury in unselected emergency admissions to a large acute UK hospital trust 
BMC Nephrology  2014;15:84.
AKI is common among hospital in-patients and places a huge financial burden on the UK National Health Service, causing increased length of hospital stay and use of critical care services, with increased requirement for complex interventions including dialysis. This may account for up to 0.6% of the total Health Service budget. To investigate the incidence and consequences of AKI, all unselected emergency admissions to a large acute UK single centre University Teaching Hospital over two separate 7 day periods were reviewed.
A retrospective audit of 745 case records was undertaken (54.6% male) including laboratory data post-discharge or death, with classification of AKI by RIFLE, AKIN and AKIB criteria. Participants were included whether admitted via their general practitioners, the emergency department, or as tertiary specialty transfers. Outcome measures were presence or absence of AKI recorded using each of the three AKI criteria, length of hospital stay (LOS), admission to, and LOS in critical care, and mortality. The most severe grade of AKI only, at any time during the admission, was recorded to prevent double counting. Renal outcome was determined by requirement for renal replacement therapy (RRT), and whether those receiving RRT remained dialysis dependent or not.
AKI incidence was 25.4% overall. With approximately one third present on admission and two thirds developing post admission. The AKI group had LOS almost three times higher than the non AKI group (10 vs 4 days). Requirement for critical care beds was 8.1% in the AKI group compared to 1.7% in non AKI group. Overall mortality was 5.5%, with the AKI group at 11.4% versus 3.3% in the non AKI group.
AKI in acute unselected hospital admissions is more common than existing literature suggests, affecting 25% of unselected admissions. In many this is relatively mild and may resolve spontaneously, but is associated with increased LOS, likelihood of admission to critical care, and risk of death. If targeted effective interventions can be developed it seems likely that substantial clinical benefits for the patient, as well as financial and structural benefits for the healthcare organisation may accrue.
PMCID: PMC4046061  PMID: 24885247
Acute kidney injury; Acute renal failure; AKI; Mortality; Length of stay; Critical care; Renal replacement therapy; Healthcare economics
21.  Do we need a different organ allocation system for kidney transplants using donors after circulatory death? 
BMC Nephrology  2014;15:83.
There is no national policy for allocation of kidneys from Donation after circulatory death (DCD) donors in the UK. Allocation is geographical and based on individual/regional centre policies. We have evaluated the short term outcomes of paired kidneys from DCD donors subject to this allocation policy.
Retrospective analysis of paired renal transplants from DCD’s from 2002 to 2010 in London. Cold ischemia time (CIT), recipient risk factors, delayed graft function (DGF), 3 and 12 month creatinine) were compared.
Complete data was available on 129 paired kidneys.115 pairs were transplanted in the same centre and 14 pairs transplanted in different centres. There was a significant increase in CIT in kidneys transplanted second when both kidneys were accepted by the same centre (15.5 ± 4.1 vs 20.5 ± 5.8 hrs p < 0.0001 and at different centres (15.8 ± 5.3 vs. 25.2 ± 5.5 hrs p = 0.0008). DGF rates were increased in the second implant following sequential transplantation (p = 0.05).
Paired study sequential transplantation of kidneys from DCD donors results in a significant increase in CIT for the second kidney, with an increased risk of DGF. Sequential transplantation from a DCD donor should be avoided either by the availability of resources to undertake simultaneous procedures or the allocation of kidneys to 2 separate centres.
PMCID: PMC4035739  PMID: 24885114
Donation after circulatory death; Allocation; Kidney; Delayed graft function; Cold ischemia time
22.  Properdin has an ascendancy over factor H regulation in complement-mediated renal tubular damage 
BMC Nephrology  2014;15:82.
Urinary (U)-complement components have been detected in patients with proteinuric renal diseases, and complement activation via the alternative pathway (AP) is believed to play a role in renal tubular damage. The present study aimed to examine the regulation of complement AP activation in patients with renal tubular damage by focusing on the balance between properdin (P) and factor H (fH).
In the in vivo studies, U concentrations of P, fH and membrane attack complex (MAC) were measured in patients with renal diseases using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and their relationships with the clinical data were evaluated. In the in vitro studies, human proximal tubular epithelial cells (PTECs) were incubated with normal human serum (NHS), P-depleted serum (PDS), purified P and/or fH. Changes in cell morphology and phenotype were assessed by microscopy, real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), immunostaining and a cell viability assay.
The U-P, fH and MAC concentrations were significantly higher in patients with renal disease than in normal controls and correlated with the U-protein and tubular damage markers. Furthermore, multivariate analysis revealed a relationship between P levels and tubular damage markers. There were no significant changes in morphology and mRNA expression in the AP components (P, fH, fB, C3, C5 and C9) after the addition of up to 25% NHS. Dose-dependent depositions of P or fH were observed after the addition of P or fH on PTECs. Depositions of P were not inhibited by fH in a mixture of a fixed concentration of P and a variable concentration of fH, and vice versa. Preincubation with the fixed concentration of P before the addition of NHS or PDS increased the depositions of P, C3 and MAC compared with incubation with intact NHS or intact PDS only; the depositions of C3 and MAC showed a serum-dependent trend. Preincubation with P before NHS addition significantly suppressed cell viability without causing morphological changes.
In the pathogenesis of renal tubular damage, P can directly bind to PTECs and may accelerate AP activation by surpassing fH regulation.
PMCID: PMC4037424  PMID: 24885016
23.  Comparison of AMG 416 and cinacalcet in rodent models of uremia 
BMC Nephrology  2014;15:81.
AMG 416 is a novel peptide agonist of the calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR). This report describes the activity of AMG 416 in two different rodent models of uremia, compared in each case to cinacalcet, an approved therapeutic for secondary hyperparathyroidism (SHPT) in patients with chronic kidney disease on dialysis.
AMG 416 was administered as a single intravenous (IV) bolus in a severe, acute model of renal insufficiency (the “1K1C” model) and plasma parathyroid hormone (PTH) and serum calcium levels were monitored for 24 hours. In a chronic, less severe model of renal dysfunction, the 5/6 nephrectomy (5/6 Nx) model, AMG 416 was administered as a once-daily IV bolus for 28 days. Both studies included a control (vehicle) group and a comparison cinacalcet group (po dosing at 30 mg/kg and 10 mg/kg for the 1K1C and 5/6 Nx studies, respectively).
Administration of AMG 416 by IV bolus injection into rats with acute renal dysfunction (1K1C model) resulted in a sustained reduction in plasma PTH from the initial elevated values. Following a single IV bolus (0.5 mg/kg), AMG 416 caused a substantial drop in PTH levels which remained approximately 50% below their initial level at 24 hrs. In the same model, oral treatment with cinacalcet (30 mg/kg) resulted in an acute drop in PTH which almost returned to the starting level by 24 hours after dosing. In the 5/6 Nx chronic uremia model, daily IV dosing of AMG 416 over 4 weeks (1 mg/kg) resulted in a sustained reduction in PTH, with approximately 50% of the initial level observed 48 hours post treatment throughout the study. Cinacalcet treatment (10 mg/kg) in the same model resulted in acutely lowered plasma PTH levels which returned to placebo levels by 24 hours post-dose. Consistent with the reductions in plasma PTH, reductions in serum calcium were observed in both AMG 416- and cinacalcet-treated animals.
As a long-acting CaSR agonist suitable for administration by the IV route, AMG 416 is a potential new therapy for the treatment of CKD patients with SHPT receiving hemodialysis.
PMCID: PMC4030018  PMID: 24884838
Calcium-sensing receptor; Secondary hyperparathyroidism (SHPT); Chronic kidney disease (CKD); Uremic rat model; AMG 416
24.  KNOW-CKD (KoreaN cohort study for Outcome in patients With Chronic Kidney Disease): design and methods 
BMC Nephrology  2014;15:80.
The progression and complications of chronic kidney disease should differ depending on the cause (C), glomerular filtration rate category (G), and albuminuria (A). The KNOW-CKD (KoreaN Cohort Study for Outcome in Patients With Chronic Kidney Disease), which is a prospective cohort study, enrolls subjects with chronic kidney disease stages 1 to 5 (predialysis).
Nine nephrology centers in major university hospitals throughout Korea will enroll approximately 2,450 adults with chronic kidney disease over a 5-year period from 2011 to 2015. The participating individuals will be monitored for approximately 10 years until death or until end-stage renal disease occurs. The subjects will be classified into subgroups based on the following specific causes of chronic kidney disease: glomerulonephritis, diabetic nephropathy, hypertensive nephropathy, polycystic kidney disease, and others. The eligible subjects will be evaluated at baseline for socio-demographic information, detailed personal/family history, office BP, quality of life, and health behaviors. After enrollment in the study, thorough assessments, including laboratory tests, cardiac evaluation and radiologic imaging, will be performed according to the standardized protocol. The biospecimen samples will be collected regularly. A renal event is defined by >50% decrease in estimated GFR (eGFR) from the baseline values, doubling of serum creatinine, or end-stage renal disease. The primary composite outcome consists of renal events, cardiovascular events, and death. As of September 2013, 1,470 adult chronic kidney disease subjects were enrolled in the study, including 543 subjects with glomerulonephritis, 317 with diabetic nephropathy, 294 with hypertensive nephropathy and 249 with polycystic kidney disease.
As the first large-scale chronic kidney disease cohort study to be established and maintained longitudinally for up to 10 years, the KNOW-CKD will help to clarify the natural course, complication profiles, and risk factors of Asian populations with chronic kidney disease.
Trial registration
No. NCT01630486 at
PMCID: PMC4050398  PMID: 24884708
KNOW-CKD; Chronic kidney disease; Cohort; Etiology; Progression; Complication; Natural course
25.  Higher anti-depressant dose and major adverse outcomes in moderate chronic kidney disease: a retrospective population-based study 
BMC Nephrology  2014;15:79.
Many older patients have chronic kidney disease (CKD), and a lower dose of anti-depressants paroxetine, mirtazapine and venlafaxine is recommended in patients with CKD to prevent drug accumulation from reduced elimination. Using information available in large population-based healthcare administrative databases, we conducted this study to determine if ignoring the recommendation and prescribing a higher versus lower dose of anti-depressants associates with a higher risk of adverse events.
We conducted a population-based cohort study to describe the 30-day risk of delirium in older adults who initiated a higher vs. lower dose of these three anti-depressants in routine care. We defined delirium using the best proxy available in our data sources - hospitalization with an urgent head computed tomography (CT) scan. We determined if CKD status modified the association between anti-depressant dose and outcome, and examined the secondary outcome of 30 day all-cause mortality. We used multivariable logistic regression analyses to estimate adjusted odds ratios (relative risk (RR)) and 95% confidence intervals.
We identified adults (mean age 75) in Ontario who started a new study anti-depressant at a higher dose (n = 36,651; 31%) or lower dose (n = 81,160; 69%). Initiating a higher vs. lower dose was not associated with an increased risk of hospitalization with head CT (1.09% vs. 1.27% (adjusted RR 0.90; 95% CI, 0.80 to 1.02), but was associated with a lower risk of all-cause mortality (0.76% vs. 0.97% RR 0.82; 95% CI, 0.71 to 0.95). Neither of these relative risks were modified by the presence of CKD (p = 0.16, 0.68, respectively).
We did not observe an increase in two adverse outcomes when study anti-depressants were initiated at a higher dose in elderly patients with moderate CKD. Contrary to our hypothesis, the 30-day risk of mortality was lower when a higher versus lower dose of anti-depressant was initiated in these patients, a finding which requires corroboration and further study.
PMCID: PMC4024017  PMID: 24884589
Anti-depressant; Delirium; Aged; Chronic renal insufficiency; Cohort studies; Risk

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