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1.  Optimising intraperitoneal gentamicin dosing in peritoneal dialysis patients with peritonitis (GIPD) study 
BMC Nephrology  2009;10:42.
Antibiotics are preferentially delivered via the peritoneal route to treat peritonitis, a major complication of peritoneal dialysis (PD), so that maximal concentrations are delivered at the site of infection. However, drugs administered intraperitoneally can be absorbed into the systemic circulation. Drugs excreted by the kidneys accumulate in PD patients, increasing the risk of toxicity. The aim of this study is to examine a model of gentamicin pharmacokinetics and to develop an intraperitoneal drug dosing regime that maximises bacterial killing and minimises toxicity.
This is an observational pharmacokinetic study of consecutive PD patients presenting to the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital with PD peritonitis and who meet the inclusion criteria. Participants will be allocated to either group 1, if anuric as defined by urine output less than 100 ml/day, or group 2: if non-anuric, as defined by urine output more than 100 ml/day. Recruitment will be limited to 15 participants in each group. Gentamicin dosing will be based on the present Royal Brisbane & Women's Hospital guidelines, which reflect the current International Society for Peritoneal Dialysis Peritonitis Treatment Recommendations. The primary endpoint is to describe the pharmacokinetics of gentamicin administered intraperitoneally in PD patients with peritonitis based on serial blood and dialysate drug levels.
The study will develop improved dosing recommendations for intraperitoneally administered gentamicin in PD patients with peritonitis. This will guide clinicians and pharmacists in selecting the most appropriate dosing regime of intraperitoneal gentamicin to treat peritonitis.
Trial Registration
PMCID: PMC2800106  PMID: 20003546
2.  The role of 25-hydroxyvitamin D deficiency in promoting insulin resistance and inflammation in patients with Chronic Kidney Disease: a randomised controlled trial 
BMC Nephrology  2009;10:41.
Approximately 50% of patients with stage 3 Chronic Kidney Disease are 25-hydroxyvitamin D insufficient, and this prevalence increases with falling glomerular filtration rate. Vitamin D is now recognised as having pleiotropic roles beyond bone and mineral homeostasis, with the vitamin D receptor and metabolising machinery identified in multiple tissues. Worryingly, recent observational data has highlighted an association between hypovitaminosis D and increased cardiovascular mortality, possibly mediated via vitamin D effects on insulin resistance and inflammation. The main hypothesis of this study is that oral Vitamin D supplementation will ameliorate insulin resistance in patients with Chronic Kidney Disease stage 3 when compared to placebo. Secondary hypotheses will test whether this is associated with decreased inflammation and bone/adipocyte-endocrine dysregulation.
This study is a single-centre, double-blinded, randomised, placebo-controlled trial. Inclusion criteria include; estimated glomerular filtration rate 30-59 ml/min/1.73 m2; aged ≥18 on entry to study; and serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels <75 nmol/L. Patients will be randomised 1:1 to receive either oral cholecalciferol 2000IU/day or placebo for 6 months. The primary outcome will be an improvement in insulin sensitivity, measured by hyperinsulinaemic euglycaemic clamp. Secondary outcome measures will include serum parathyroid hormone, cytokines (Interleukin-1β, Interleukin-6, Tumour Necrosis Factor alpha), adiponectin (total and High Molecular Weight), osteocalcin (carboxylated and under-carboxylated), peripheral blood mononuclear cell Nuclear Factor Kappa-B p65 binding activity, brachial artery reactivity, aortic pulse wave velocity and waveform analysis, and indirect calorimetry. All outcome measures will be performed at baseline and end of study.
To date, no randomised controlled trial has been performed in pre-dialysis CKD patients to study the correlation between vitamin D status with supplementation, insulin resistance and markers of adverse cardiovascular risk. We remain hopeful that cholecalciferol may be a safe intervention, with health benefits beyond those related to bone-mineral homeostasis.
Trial registration
Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12609000246280.
PMCID: PMC2804665  PMID: 20003316
3.  End-stage renal disease in young black males in a black-white population: longitudinal analysis of the Bogalusa Heart Study 
BMC Nephrology  2009;10:40.
Risk factors in childhood create a life-long burden important in the development of cardiovascular (CV) disease in adulthood. Many risk factors for CV disease (e.g., hypertension) also increase the risk of renal disease. However, the importance of childhood risk factors on the development of chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease (ESRD) is not well characterized.
The current observations include data from Bogalusa Heart Study participants who were examined multiple times as children between 1973 and 1988.
Through 2006, fifteen study participants subsequently developed ESRD in adulthood; seven with no known overt cause. Although the Bogalusa Heart Study population is 63% white and 37% black and 51% male and 49% female, all seven ESRD cases with no known overt cause were black males (p < 0.001). Mean age-adjusted systolic and diastolic blood pressure in childhood was higher among the ESRD cases (114.5 mmHg and 70.1 mmHg, respectively) compared to black (103.0 mmHg and 62.3 mmHg, respectively) and white (mean = 103.3 mmHg and 62.3 mmHg, respectively) boys who didn't develop ESRD. The mean age-adjusted body mass index in childhood was 23.5 kg/m2 among ESRD cases and 18.6 kg/m2 and 18.9 kg/m2 among black and white boys who didn't develop ESRD, respectively. Plasma glucose in childhood was not significantly associated with ESRD.
These data suggest black males have an increased risk of ESRD in young adulthood. Elevated body mass index and blood pressure in childhood may increase the risk for developing ESRD as young adults.
PMCID: PMC2797500  PMID: 19954521
4.  Quality of life and mortality from a nephrologist's view: a prospective observational study 
BMC Nephrology  2009;10:39.
Although health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is a potential independent predictor of mortality, nephrologists have shown little interest in HRQOL with respect to mortality in chronic kidney disease (CKD). The aim of this article is to evaluate the impact of HRQOL on mortality in the elderly, who are likely to develop or already have CKD.
Among 1,000 randomly sampled participants aged more than 65 years (sourced from the Korean Longitudinal Study on Health and Ageing), 944 subjects were evaluated for HRQOL. HRQOL was assessed using a 36-item Short-Form health survey (SF36). A cumulative survival rate was calculated according to tertiles of SF36 scores and classified by the presence of CKD (estimated GFR <60 ml/min/1.73 m2).
Among 944 subjects, 46.6% had CKD. CKD patients had lower total and physical component scores compared with subjects without CKD. The 3-year cumulative survival rate was 90.0% (non-CKD vs. CKD: 92.6% vs. 87.4%, P = 0.005 by log rank test). After adjusting for multiple variables, a reduced SF36 score (physical and mental components) was a strong predictor of all-cause mortality. Physical components were consistently able to predict mortality after CKD classification, but mental components were statistically significant only in the CKD group.
In addition to traditional risk factors of mortality, nephrologists should be aware of HRQOL as a predictor of mortality and should make efforts to improve HRQOL in CKD patients.
PMCID: PMC2787507  PMID: 19930696
5.  Molecular testing for adult type Alport syndrome 
BMC Nephrology  2009;10:38.
Alport syndrome (AS) is a progressive renal disease with cochlear and ocular involvement. The majority of AS cases are X-linked (XLAS) and due to mutations in the COL4A5 gene. Although the disease may appear early in life and progress to end stage renal disease (ESRD) in young adults, in other families ESRD occurs in middle age. Few of the more than four hundred mutations described in COL4A5 are associated with adult type XLAS, but the families may be very large.
We classified adult type AS mutation by prevalence in the US and we developed a molecular assay using a set of hybridization probes that identify the three most common adult type XLAS mutations; C1564S, L1649R, and R1677Q.
The test was validated on samples previously determined to contain one or none of these mutations. In the US, the test's clinical specificity and sensitivity are estimated to be higher than 99% and 75% respectively. Analytical specificity and sensitivity are above 99%.
This test may be useful for presymptomatic and carrier testing in families with one of the mutations and in the diagnosis of unexplained hematuria or chronic kidney disease.
PMCID: PMC2780398  PMID: 19919694
6.  Autosomal dominant pseudohypoaldosteronism type 1 with a novel splice site mutation in MR gene 
BMC Nephrology  2009;10:37.
Autosomal dominant pseudohypoaldosteronism type 1 (PHA1) is a rare inherited condition that is characterized by renal resistance to aldosterone as well as salt wasting, hyperkalemia, and metabolic acidosis. Renal PHA1 is caused by mutations of the human mineralcorticoid receptor gene (MR), but it is a matter of debate whether MR mutations cause mineralcorticoid resistance via haploinsufficiency or dominant negative mechanism. It was previously reported that in a case with nonsense mutation the mutant mRNA was absent in lymphocytes because of nonsense mediated mRNA decay (NMD) and therefore postulated that haploinsufficiency alone can give rise to the PHA1 phenotype in patients with truncated mutations.
Methods and Results
We conducted genomic DNA analysis and mRNA analysis for familial PHA1 patients extracted from lymphocytes and urinary sediments and could detect one novel splice site mutation which leads to exon skipping and frame shift result in premature termination at the transcript level. The mRNA analysis showed evidence of wild type and exon-skipped RT-PCR products.
mRNA analysis have been rarely conducted for PHA1 because kidney tissues are unavailable for this disease. However, we conducted RT-PCR analysis using mRNA extracted from urinary sediments. We could demonstrate that NMD does not fully function in kidney cells and that haploinsufficiency due to NMD with premature termination is not sufficient to give rise to the PHA1 phenotype at least in this mutation of our patient. Additional studies including mRNA analysis will be needed to identify the exact mechanism of the phenotype of PHA.
PMCID: PMC2779785  PMID: 19912655
7.  Risk factors for tuberculosis in dialysis patients: a prospective multi-center clinical trial 
BMC Nephrology  2009;10:36.
Profound alterations in immune responses associated with uraemia and exacerbated by dialysis increase the risk of developing active tuberculosis (TB) in chronic haemodialysis patients (HDPs). In the current study, was determined the impact of various risk factors on TB development. Our aim was to identify which HDPs need anti-TB preventive therapy.
Prospective study of 272 HDPs admitted, through a 36-month period, to our institutions. Specific Relative Risk (RR) for TB was estimated, considering age matched subjects from the general population as reference group. Entering the study all patients were tested with tuberculin (TST). Using Cox's proportional hazard model the independent effect of various risk factors associated with TB development was estimated.
History of TB, dialysis efficiency, use of Vitamin D supplements, serum albumin and zinc levels were not proved to influence significantly the risk for TB, in contrast to: advanced age (>65 years), BMI, diabetes mellitus, tuberculin reactivity, healed TB lesions on chest X-ray and time on dialysis. Elderly (>70 years old) HDPs (Adjusted RR 25.3, 95%CI 20.4-28.4, P < 0.02), diabetics (Adj.RR 25.3, 95%CI 17.2-21.1, P < 0.03), underweighted (Adj.RR 72.3, 95%CI 65.2-79.8 P < 0.001), tuberculin responders (Adj.RR 41.4, 95%CI 37.9-44.8, P < 0.03), HDPs with fibrotic lesions on chest x-ray (Adj.RR 82.3, 95%CI 51.3-95.5, P < 0.03) and those treated with haemodialysis for < 12 months (Adj.RR 110.0, 95%CI 97.4-135.3, P < 0.001), presented significantly higher specific RR for TB even after adjusting for the effect of the remaining studied risk factors.
The above mentioned factors have to be considered by the clinicians, evaluating for TB in HDPs. Positive TST, the existence of predisposing risk factors and/or old TB lesions on chest X-ray, will guide the diagnosis of latent TB infection and the selection of those HDPs who need preventive chemoprophylaxis.
PMCID: PMC2779182  PMID: 19895701
8.  Prevalence of chronic kidney disease in Thai adults: a national health survey 
BMC Nephrology  2009;10:35.
The prevalence of patients with end stage renal disease (ESRD) who need dialysis and/or transplantation has more than doubled in Thailand during the past two decades. It has been suggested that therapeutic strategies to reduce the risk of ESRD and other complications in CKD are now available, thus the early recognition and the institution of proven therapeutic strategies are important and beneficial. We, therefore, aimed to determine the prevalence of CKD in Thai adults from the National Health Examination Survey of 2004.
Data from a nationally representative sample of 3,117 individuals aged 15 years and older was collected using questionnaires, physical examination and blood samples. Serum creatinine was measured by Jaffé method. GFR was estimated using the Chinese modified Modification of Diet in Renal Disease Study equation. Chronic kidney Disease (CKD) stages were classified based on Kidney Disease Outcome Quality Initiative (K/DOQI).
The prevalence of CKD in Thai adults weighted to the 2004 Thai population by stage was 8.1% for stage 3, 0.2% and 0.15% for stage 4 and 5 respectively. Compared to non-CKD, individuals with CKD were older, had a higher level of cholesterol, and higher blood pressure. Those with cardiovascular risk factors were more likely to have CKD (stage 3-5) than those without, including hypertension (OR 1.6, 95%CI 1.1, 3.4), diabetes (OR 1.87, 95%CI 1.0, 3.4). CKD was more common in northeast (OR 2.1, 95%CI 1.3, 3.3) compared to central region. Urinalysis was not performed, therefore, we could not have data on CKD stage 1 and 2. We have no specific GFR formula for Thai population.
The identification of CKD patients should be evaluated and monitored for appropriate intervention for progression to kidney disease from this screening.
PMCID: PMC2781792  PMID: 19878577
9.  Risk factors for chronic kidney disease in Japan: a community-based study 
BMC Nephrology  2009;10:34.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is increasingly being recognized as a predictor for both end-stage renal disease and cardiovascular disease. The present study, conducted on individuals from a community in Arita, Japan, was designed to evaluate biomarkers that can be used to determine the associated factors for CKD.
This study involved 1554 individuals. Kidney function was evaluated in terms of the creatinine-based estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), which was determined using the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease equation. Low eGFR was defined as eGFR < 60 mL/min per 1.73 m2. The concentration of both urinary albumin and urinary type IV collagen were measured.
In the younger participants (age, <65 years), the odds ratio (95% confidence interval [CI]) of low eGFR was 1.17 (1.02 to 1.34) for each 1 year older age, 6.28 (1.41 to 28.03) for urinary albumin creatinine ratio (ACR) over 17.9 mg/g and 9.43 (2.55 to 34.91) for hyperlipidemia. On the other hand, among the elderly participants (age, ≥ 65 years), the odds ratio (95% CI) of low eGFR was 2.97 (1.33 to 6.62) for gender, 1.62 (1.06 to 2.50) for hypertension and 1.97 (1.19 to 3.28) for hyperlipidemia. Urinary type IV collagen creatinine ratio was not identified as an associated factor for low eGFR.
In this present cross-sectional community-based study, ACR is associated with CKD, which was defined as an eGFR of less than 60 mL/min per 1.73 m2, in the younger participants but not in the older participants.
PMCID: PMC2773767  PMID: 19860890
10.  Maintaining over time Clinical Performance targets on Anaemia correction in unselected population on chronic dialysis at 20 Italian Centres. Data from a retrospective study for a Clinical Audit 
BMC Nephrology  2009;10:33.
The Italian and European Best Practice Guidelines (EBPG) recommend a target haemoglobin value greater than 11 g/dl in most patients with Chronic Kidney Diseases. However, it is still difficult to maintain these values at a steady rate. Thus, the main aim of the study was to evaluate, throughout 2005, how many patients steadily maintained the performance targets related to anaemia treatment.
The survey was conducted on 3283 patients on haemodialysis (HD) and peritoneal dialysis (PD) at 20 Italian dialysis centres. 540 patients were randomly selected; each centre provided a statistically significant sample proportional to its total number of patients. Maintenance of the following target levels was assessed over time: Haemoglobin (HB) 11-12 gr/dl; Iron: 60-160 mcg/dl; Ferritin: 30-400 mcg/l; Transferrin: 200-360 mg/dl; Transferrin saturation percentage (TSAT %):> 25 <50; Dialysis doses (KT/V): >1.2 <2.0 for non-diabetic HD patients; >1.5 <2.2 for diabetic HD patients; DP: >1.8 <2.5.
Outcome included:
1- Percentage of target maintenance for each parameter.
2- Erythropoietin dose in relation to dialysis techniques, presence of cancer or myeloma, diabetic status, Vitamin B therapy.
3- Erythropoietin dose (International Units/kg/week) (IU/kg/wk) depending on: haemoglobin values, hospitalization of more than 3 days.
Mean age was 65.1; mean haemoglobin concentration over the whole population was 11.3 gr/dl (Standard Deviation (SD): 0.91). The clinical performance targets were maintained over time as follows: HB: 4.3% (Mean 11.43 gr/dl) (SD: 0.42); Ferritin: 71.1% (Mean: 250.23 mcg/L (SD:104.07); Iron: 95.0% (Mean 59.79 mcg/dl)(SD:16.76); Transferrin: 44.8% (Mean 216.83 mg/dl) (SD: 19,50); TSAT %: in 8.4% (Mean: 34.33% (SD: 6.56); HD KT/V: 61.0% (Mean:1.46) (SD: 0.7); PD KT/V:31.4% (Mean: 2.10) (SD: 0.02). The average weekly dose of Erythropoietin (IU/Kg/Wk) was significantly lower for the peritoneal dialysis technique; the higher haemoglobin values, the lower the Erythropoietin dose (IU/Kg/Wk).
A very low percentage of patients maintained haemoglobin target values over time. We need to identify precise criteria to evaluate the stability over time of clinical performance targets proposed by the guidelines.
PMCID: PMC2777151  PMID: 19852833
11.  Time course and dose response of alpha tocopherol on oxidative stress in haemodialysis patients 
BMC Nephrology  2009;10:32.
Oxidative stress is associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality particularly in patients with end stage kidney disease. Although observational data from the general population has shown dietary antioxidant intake is associated with reduced cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, most clinical intervention trials have failed to support this relationship. This may be a consequence of not using an effective antioxidant dose and/or not investigating patients with elevated oxidative stress. The SPACE study, conducted in haemodialysis patients, reported that 800 IU/day of alpha tocopherol significantly reduced cardiovascular disease endpoints. A recent time course and dose response study conducted in hypercholesterolaemic patients that found 1600 IU/day of alpha tocopherol was an optimal dose. There is no such dose response data available for haemodialysis patients. Therefore the aim of this study is to investigate the effect of different doses of oral alpha tocopherol on oxidative stress in haemodialysis patients with elevated oxidative stress and the time taken to achieve this effect.
The study will consist of a time-course followed by a dose response study. In the time course study 20 haemodialysis patients with elevated oxidative stress will take either 1600 IU/day natural (RRR) alpha tocopherol for 20 weeks or placebo. Blood will be collected every two weeks and analysed for a marker of oxidative stress (plasma F2-isoprostanes) and alpha tocopherol. The optimum time period to significantly decrease plasma F2-isoprostanes will be determined from this study. In the dose response study 60 patients will be randomised to receive either placebo, 100, 200, 400, 800 or 1600 IU/day of natural (RRR) alpha tocopherol for a time period determined from the time course study. Blood will be collected at baseline and every two weeks and analysed for plasma F2-isoprostanes and alpha tocopherol. It is hypothesised that doses ≥ 800 IU of vitamin E will be required to significantly decrease plasma F2-isoprostanes.
This study will determine the time and dose required for alpha tocopherol to significantly decrease oxidative stress in haemodialysis patients. Data will be used to plan a large randomised controlled trial to assess the effects of alpha tocopherol on cardiovascular outcomes in haemodialysis patients.
Trial Registration
PMCID: PMC2770501  PMID: 19845969
12.  Chronic kidney disease increases cardiovascular unfavourable outcomes in outpatients with heart failure 
BMC Nephrology  2009;10:31.
Chronic heart failure (CHF) has a high morbidity and mortality. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) has consistently been found to be an independent risk factor for unfavorable cardiovascular (CV) outcomes. Early intervention on CKD reduces the progression of CHF, hospitalizations and mortality, yet there are very few studies about CKD as a risk factor in the early stages of CHF. The aims of our study were to assess the prevalence and the prognostic importance of CKD in patients with systolic CHF stages B and C.
This is a prospective cohort study, dealing with prognostic markers for CV endpoints in patients with systolic CHF (ejection fraction ≤ 45%).
CKD was defined as estimated glomerular filtration rate <60 mL/min/1.73 m2 and CV endpoints as death or hospitalization due to CHF, in 12 months follow-up. Eighty three patients were studied, the mean age was 62.7 ± 12 years, and 56.6% were female. CKD was diagnosed in 49.4% of the patients, 33% of patients with CHF stage B and 67% in the stage C. Cardiovascular endpoints were observed in 26.5% of the patients. When the sample was stratified into stages B and C of CHF, the occurrence of CKD was associated with 100% and 64.7%, respectively, of unfavorable CV outcomes. After adjustments for all other prognostic factors at baseline, it was observed that the diagnosis of CKD increased in 3.6 times the possibility of CV outcomes (CI 95% 1.04-12.67, p = 0.04), whereas higher ejection fraction (R = 0.925, IC 95% 0.862-0.942, p = 0.03) and serum sodium (R = 0.807, IC 95% 0.862-0.992, p = 0.03) were protective.
In this cohort of patients with CHF stages B and C, CKD was prevalent and independently associated with increased risk of hospitalization and death secondary to cardiac decompensation, especially in asymptomatic patients.
PMCID: PMC2771010  PMID: 19843342
13.  Overview of the Alberta Kidney Disease Network 
BMC Nephrology  2009;10:30.
The Alberta Kidney Disease Network is a collaborative nephrology research organization based on a central repository of laboratory and administrative data from the Canadian province of Alberta.
The laboratory data within the Alberta Kidney Disease Network can be used to define patient populations, such as individuals with chronic kidney disease (using serum creatinine measurements to estimate kidney function) or anemia (using hemoglobin measurements). The administrative data within the Alberta Kidney Disease Network can also be used to define cohorts with common medical conditions such as hypertension and diabetes. Linkage of data sources permits assessment of socio-demographic information, clinical variables including comorbidity, as well as ascertainment of relevant outcomes such as health service encounters and events, the occurrence of new specified clinical outcomes and mortality.
The unique ability to combine laboratory and administrative data for a large geographically defined population provides a rich data source not only for research purposes but for policy development and to guide the delivery of health care. This research model based on computerized laboratory data could serve as a prototype for the study of other chronic conditions.
PMCID: PMC2770500  PMID: 19840369
14.  Adiponectin is associated with cardiovascular disease in male renal transplant recipients: baseline results from the LANDMARK 2 study 
BMC Nephrology  2009;10:29.
Adiponectin is a major adipocyte-derived protein with insulin-sensitizing, anti-inflammatory and anti-atherogenic properties. Adiponectin levels correlate inversely with renal function and higher levels are predictive of lower cardiovascular disease (CVD) in patients with normal renal function and chronic kidney disease. No data exists on the association between adiponectin and CVD in renal transplant recipients (RTR).
Standard biochemistry, clinical data and adiponectin were collected from 137 RTR recruited to the LANDMARK 2 study at baseline. The LANDMARK 2 study is an ongoing randomized controlled study that compares the outcome of aggressive risk factor modification for cardiovascular disease versus standard post-transplant care in renal transplant recipients with impaired glucose tolerance or diabetes mellitus.
Mean patient age was 53.4 ± 12 years and the median post-transplantation period was 5 (0.5-31.9) years. Mean serum adiponectin level was 12.3 ± 7.1 μg/mL. On univariate analysis, adiponectin was positively associated with female gender (P = 0.01) and serum high-density lipoprotein (HDL) concentration (P < 0.001), and inversely with body mass index (P = 0.009), metabolic syndrome (P = 0.047), abnormal glucose tolerance (P = 0.01), C-reactive protein (P = 0.001) and serum triglyceride (P < 0.001). On stepwise multivariate analysis, adiponectin in males was negatively correlated with combined baseline CVD (P = 0.03), waist-hip ratio (P = 0.003) and glomerular filtration rate (P = 0.046), and positively with HDL (P < 0.001). In contrast, in females adiponectin was inversely associated with C-reactive protein (P = 0.001) and serum triglyceride.
In conclusion, adiponectin is positively correlated with inflammation, dyslipidemia and abnormal glucose tolerance in RTR. Furthermore, hypoadiponectinemia correlated with increased baseline CVD in male RTR.
PMCID: PMC2766377  PMID: 19821969
15.  Treatment of secondary hyperparathyroidism in haemodialysis patients: a randomised clinical trial comparing paricalcitol and alfacalcidol 
BMC Nephrology  2009;10:28.
Secondary hyperparathyroidism is a common feature in patients with chronic kidney disease. Its serious clinical consequences include renal osteodystrophy, calcific uremic arteriolopathy, and vascular calcifications that increase morbidity and mortality.
Reduced synthesis of active vitamin D contributes to secondary hyperparathyroidism. Therefore, this condition is managed with activated vitamin D. However, hypercalcemia and hyperphosphatemia limit the use of activated vitamin D.
In Denmark alfacalcidol is the primary choice of vitamin D analog.
A new vitamin D analog, paricalcitol, may be less prone to induce hypercalcemia and hyperphosphatemia.
However, a randomised controlled clinical study comparing alfacalcidol and paricalcitol has never been performed.
The primary objective of this study is to compare alfacalcidol and paricalcitol. We evaluate the suppression of the secondary hyperparathyroidism and the tendency towards hyperphosphatemia and hypercalcemia.
This is an investigator-initiated cross-over study. Nine Danish haemodialysis units will recruit 117 patients with end stage renal failure on maintenance haemodialysis therapy.
Patients are randomised into two treatment arms. After a wash out period of 6 weeks they receive increasing doses of alfacalcidol or paricalcitol for a period of 16 weeks and after a further wash out period of 6 weeks they receive the contrary treatment (paricalcitol or alfacalcidol) for 16 weeks.
Hyperparathyroidism, hypercalcemia and hyperphosphatemia are associated with increased cardiovascular mortality in patients with chronic kidney disease.
If there is any difference in the ability of these two vitamin D analogs to decrease the secondary hyperparathyroidism without causing hypercalcemia and hyperphosphatemia, there may also be a difference in the risk of cardiovascular mortality depending on which vitamin D analog that are used. This has potential major importance for this group of patients.
Trial registration NCT004695
PMCID: PMC2760547  PMID: 19778452
16.  Cardiac-surgery associated acute kidney injury requiring renal replacement therapy. A Spanish retrospective case-cohort study 
BMC Nephrology  2009;10:27.
Acute kidney injury is among the most serious complications after cardiac surgery and is associated with an impaired outcome. Multiple factors may concur in the development of this disease. Moreover, severe renal failure requiring renal replacement therapy (RRT) presents a high mortality rate. Consequently, we studied a Spanish cohort of patients to assess the risk factors for RRT in cardiac surgery-associated acute kidney injury (CSA-AKI).
A retrospective case-cohort study in 24 Spanish hospitals. All cases of RRT after cardiac surgery in 2007 were matched in a crude ratio of 1:4 consecutive patients based on age, sex, treated in the same year, at the same hospital and by the same group of surgeons.
We analyzed the data from 864 patients enrolled in 2007. In multivariate analysis, severe acute kidney injury requiring postoperative RRT was significantly associated with the following variables: lower glomerular filtration rates, less basal haemoglobin, lower left ventricular ejection fraction, diabetes, prior diuretic treatment, urgent surgery, longer aortic cross clamp times, intraoperative administration of aprotinin, and increased number of packed red blood cells (PRBC) transfused. When we conducted a propensity analysis using best-matched of 137 available pairs of patients, prior diuretic treatment, longer aortic cross clamp times and number of PRBC transfused were significantly associated with CSA-AKI.
Patients requiring RRT needed longer hospital stays, and suffered higher mortality rates.
Cardiac-surgery associated acute kidney injury requiring RRT is associated with worse outcomes. For this reason, modifiable risk factors should be optimised and higher risk patients for acute kidney injury should be identified before undertaking cardiac surgery.
PMCID: PMC2759914  PMID: 19772621
17.  CKD classification based on estimated GFR over three years and subsequent cardiac and mortality outcomes: a cohort study 
BMC Nephrology  2009;10:26.
It is unknown whether defining chronic kidney disease (CKD) based on one versus two estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) assessments changes the prognostic importance of reduced eGFR in a community-based population.
Participants in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study and the Cardiovascular Health Study were classified into 4 groups based on two eGFR assessments separated by 35.3 ± 2.5 months: sustained eGFR < 60 mL/min per 1.73 m2 (1 mL/sec per 1.73 m2); eGFR increase (change from below to above 60); eGFR decline (change from above to below 60); and eGFR persistently ≥60. Outcomes assessed in stratified multivariable Cox models included cardiac events and a composite of cardiac events, stroke, and mortality.
There were 891 (4.9%) participants with sustained eGFR < 60, 278 (1.5%) with eGFR increase, 972 (5.4%) with eGFR decline, and 15,925 (88.2%) with sustained eGFR > 60. Participants with eGFR sustained < 60 were at highest risk of cardiac and composite events [HR = 1.38 (1.15, 1.65) and 1.58 (1.41, 1.77)], respectively, followed by eGFR decline [HR = 1.20 (1.00, 1.45) and 1.32 (1.17, 1.49)]. Individuals with eGFR increase trended toward increased cardiac risk [HR = 1.25 (0.88, 1.77)] and did not significantly differ from eGFR decline for any outcome. Results were similar when estimating GFR with the CKD-EPI equation.
Individuals with persistently reduced eGFR are at highest risk of cardiovascular outcomes and mortality, while individuals with an eGFR < 60 mL/min per 1.73 m2 at any time are at intermediate risk. Use of even a single measurement of eGFR to classify CKD in a community population appears to have prognostic value.
PMCID: PMC2760546  PMID: 19761597
18.  Low documentation of chronic kidney disease among high-risk patients in a managed care population: a retrospective cohort study 
BMC Nephrology  2009;10:25.
Early detection of chronic kidney disease (CKD) is sub-optimal among the general population and among high risk patients. The prevalence and impact of major CKD risk factors, diabetes (DM) and hypertension (HTN), on CKD documentation among managed care populations have not been previously reported. We examined this issue in a Kaiser Permanente Georgia (KPG) CKD cohort.
KPG enrollees were included in the CKD cohort if they had eGFRs between 60 and 365 days apart that were <90 ml/min during 1999-2006. The current analysis is restricted to participants with eGFR 10-59 ml/min/1.73 m2. CKD documentation was defined as a presenting diagnosis of CKD by a primary care physician or nephrologist using ICD-9 event codes. The association between CKD documentation and DM and HTN were assessed with multivariate logistic regression models.
Of the 50,438 subjects within the overall KPG CKD cohort, 20% (N = 10,266) were eligible for inclusion in the current analysis. Overall, CKD diagnosis documentation was low; only 14.4% of subjects had an event-based CKD diagnosis at baseline. Gender and types 2 diabetes interacted on CKD documentation. The prevalence of CKD documentation increased with the presence of hypertension and/or type 2 diabetes, but type 2 diabetes had a lower effect on CKD documentation. In multivariate analysis, significant predictors of CKD documentation were eGFR, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, congestive heart failure, peripheral artery disease, statin use, age and gender. CKD documentation was lower among women than similarly affected men.
Among patients with an eGFR 10-59, documentation of CKD diagnosis by primary and subspecialty providers is low within a managed care patient cohort. Gender disparities in CKD documentation observed in the general population were also present among KPG CKD enrollees.
PMCID: PMC2753574  PMID: 19758452
19.  Estimated GFR reporting is not sufficient to allow detection of chronic kidney disease in an Italian regional hospital 
BMC Nephrology  2009;10:24.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is an emerging worldwide problem. The lack of attention paid to kidney disease is well known and has been described in previous publications. However, little is known about the magnitude of the problem in highly specialized hospitals where serum creatinine values are used to estimate GFR values.
We performed a cross-sectional evaluation of hospitalized adult patients who were admitted to the medical or surgical department of Santa Maria della Misericordia Hospital in 2007. Information regarding admissions was derived from a database. Our goal was to assess the prevalence of CKD (defined as an estimated glomerular filtration rate [eGFR] < 60 mL/min/1.73 m2) and detection of CKD using diagnostic codes (Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification [ICD-9-CM]). To reduce the impact of acute renal failure on the study, the last eGFR obtained during hospitalization was the value used for analysis, and intensive care and nephrology unit admissions were excluded. We also excluded patients who had ICD-9-CM codes for renal replacement therapy, acute renal failure, and contrast administration listed as discharge diagnoses.
Of the 18,412 patients included in the study, 4,748 (25.8%) had reduced eGFRs, falling into the category of Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative (KDOQI) stage 3 (or higher) CKD. However, the diagnosis of CKD was only reported in 19% of these patients (904/4,748). It is therefore evident that there was a "gray area" corresponding to stage 3 CKD (eGFR 30-59 ml/min), in which most CKD diagnoses are missed. The ICD-9 code sensitivity for detecting CKD was significantly higher in patients with diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease (26.8%, 22.2%, and 23.7%, respectively) than in subjects without diabetes, hypertension, or cardiovascular disease (p < 0.001), but these values are low when the widely described relationship between such comorbidities and CKD is considered.
Although CKD was common in this patient population at a large inpatient regional hospital, the low rates of CKD detection emphasize the primary role nephrologists must play in continued medical education, and the need for ongoing efforts to train physicians (particularly primary care providers) regarding eGFR interpretation and systematic screening for CKD in high-risk patients (i.e., the elderly, diabetics, hypertensives, and patients with CV disease).
PMCID: PMC2749028  PMID: 19723333
20.  Rationale and design of the HEALTHY-CATH trial: A randomised controlled trial of Heparin versus EthAnol Lock THerapY for the prevention of Catheter Associated infecTion in Haemodialysis patients 
BMC Nephrology  2009;10:23.
Catheter-related bacteraemias (CRBs) contribute significantly to morbidity, mortality and health care costs in dialysis populations. Despite international guidelines recommending avoidance of catheters for haemodialysis access, hospital admissions for CRBs have doubled in the last decade. The primary aim of the study is to determine whether weekly instillation of 70% ethanol prevents CRBs compared with standard heparin saline.
The study will follow a prospective, open-label, randomized controlled design. Inclusion criteria are adult patients with incident or prevalent tunneled intravenous dialysis catheters on three times weekly haemodialysis, with no current evidence of catheter infection and no personal, cultural or religious objection to ethanol use, who are on adequate contraception and are able to give informed consent. Patients will be randomized 1:1 to receive 3 mL of intravenous-grade 70% ethanol into each lumen of the catheter once a week and standard heparin locks for other dialysis days, or to receive heparin locks only. The primary outcome measure will be time to the first episode of CRB, which will be defined using standard objective criteria. Secondary outcomes will include adverse reactions, incidence of CRB caused by different pathogens, time to infection-related catheter removal, time to exit site infections and costs. Prospective power calculations indicate that the study will have 80% statistical power to detect a clinically significant increase in median infection-free survival from 200 days to 400 days if 56 patients are recruited into each arm.
This investigator-initiated study has been designed to provide evidence to help nephrologists reduce the incidence of CRBs in haemodialysis patients with tunnelled intravenous catheters.
Trial Registration
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry Number: ACTRN12609000493246
PMCID: PMC2738669  PMID: 19691852
21.  An integrated review of "unplanned" dialysis initiation: reframing the terminology to "suboptimal" initiation 
BMC Nephrology  2009;10:22.
Ideally, care prior to the initiation of dialysis should increase the likelihood that patients start electively outside of the hospital setting with a mature arteriovenous fistula (AVF) or peritoneal dialysis (PD) catheter. However, unplanned dialysis continues to occur in patients both known and unknown to nephrology services, and in both late and early referrals. The objective of this article is to review the clinical and socioeconomic outcomes of unplanned dialysis initiation. The secondary objective is to explore the potential cost implications of reducing the rate of unplanned first dialysis in Canada.
MEDLINE and EMBASE from inception to 2008 were used to identify studies examining the clinical, economic or quality of life (QoL) outcomes in patients with an unplanned versus planned first dialysis. Data were described in a qualitative manner.
Eight European studies (5,805 patients) were reviewed. Duration of hospitalization and mortality was higher for the unplanned versus planned population. Patients undergoing a first unplanned dialysis had significantly worse laboratory parameters and QoL. Rates of unplanned dialysis ranged from 24-49%. The total annual burden to the Canadian healthcare system of unplanned dialysis in 2005 was estimated at $33 million in direct hospital costs alone. Reducing the rate of unplanned dialysis by one-half yielded savings ranging from $13.3 to $16.1 million.
The clinical and socioeconomic impact of unplanned dialysis is significant. To more consistently characterize the unplanned population, the term suboptimal initiation is proposed to include dialysis initiation in hospital and/or with a central venous catheter and/or with a patient not starting on their chronic modality of choice. Further research and implementation of initiatives to reduce the rate of suboptimal initiation of dialysis in Canada are needed.
PMCID: PMC2735745  PMID: 19674452
22.  Minimal change nephrotic syndrome in an 82 year old patient following a tetanus-diphteria-poliomyelitis-vaccination 
BMC Nephrology  2009;10:21.
The most common cause of idiopathic nephrotic syndrome in children and younger adults is the minimal change nephrotic syndrome (MCNS). In the elderly MCNS is relatively uncommon. Over the last decade some reports suggest a rare but possible association with the administration of various vaccines.
Case presentation
A 82-year old Caucasian female presented with pronounced nephrotic syndrome (proteinuria of 7.1 g/d, hypoproteinemia of 47 g/l). About six weeks prior to admission, she had received a combination vaccination for tetanus, diphtheria and poliomyelitis as a booster-vaccination from her general practitioner. The renal biopsy revealed typical minimal change lesions. She responded well to the initiated steroid treatment. As through physical examination as well as extensive laboratory and imaging studies did neither find any evidence for malignancies nor infections we suggest that the minimal change nephrotic syndrome in this patient might be related to the activation of the immune system triggered by the vaccination.
Our case as well as previous anecdotal reports suggests that vaccination and the resulting stimulations of the immune system might cause MCNS and other severe immune-reactions. Increased awareness in that regard might help to expand the database of those cases.
PMCID: PMC2738668  PMID: 19656382
23.  Rationale and design of the oral HEMe iron polypeptide Against Treatment with Oral Controlled Release Iron Tablets trial for the correction of anaemia in peritoneal dialysis patients (HEMATOCRIT trial) 
BMC Nephrology  2009;10:20.
The main hypothesis of this study is that oral heme iron polypeptide (HIP; Proferrin® ES) administration will more effectively augment iron stores in erythropoietic stimulatory agent (ESA)-treated peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients than conventional oral iron supplementation (Ferrogradumet®).
Inclusion criteria are peritoneal dialysis patients treated with darbepoietin alpha (DPO; Aranesp®, Amgen) for ≥ 1 month. Patients will be randomized 1:1 to receive either slow-release ferrous sulphate (1 tablet twice daily; control) or HIP (1 tablet twice daily) for a period of 6 months. The study will follow an open-label design but outcome assessors will be blinded to study treatment. During the 6-month study period, haemoglobin levels will be measured monthly and iron studies (including transferring saturation [TSAT] measurements) will be performed bi-monthly. The primary outcome measure will be the difference in TSAT levels between the 2 groups at the end of the 6 month study period, adjusted for baseline values using analysis of covariance (ANCOVA). Secondary outcome measures will include serum ferritin concentration, haemoglobin level, DPO dosage, Key's index (DPO dosage divided by haemoglobin concentration), and occurrence of adverse events (especially gastrointestinal adverse events).
This investigator-initiated multicentre study has been designed to provide evidence to help nephrologists and their peritoneal dialysis patients determine whether HIP administration more effectively augments iron stores in ESP-treated PD patients than conventional oral iron supplementation.
Trial Registration
Australia New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry number ACTRN12609000432213.
PMCID: PMC2723098  PMID: 19635169
24.  Streptococcal peritonitis in Australian peritoneal dialysis patients: predictors, treatment and outcomes in 287 cases 
BMC Nephrology  2009;10:19.
There has not been a comprehensive, multi-centre study of streptococcal peritonitis in patients on peritoneal dialysis (PD) to date.
The predictors, treatment and clinical outcomes of streptococcal peritonitis were examined by binary logistic regression and multilevel, multivariate poisson regression in all Australian PD patients involving 66 centres between 2003 and 2006.
Two hundred and eighty-seven episodes of streptococcal peritonitis (4.6% of all peritonitis episodes) occurred in 256 individuals. Its occurrence was independently predicted by Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander racial origin. Compared with other organisms, streptococcal peritonitis was associated with significantly lower risks of relapse (3% vs 15%), catheter removal (10% vs 23%) and permanent haemodialysis transfer (9% vs 18%), as well as a shorter duration of hospitalisation (5 vs 6 days). Overall, 249 (87%) patients were successfully treated with antibiotics without experiencing relapse, catheter removal or death. The majority of streptococcal peritonitis episodes were treated with either intraperitoneal vancomycin (most common) or first-generation cephalosporins for a median period of 13 days (interquartile range 8–18 days). Initial empiric antibiotic choice did not influence outcomes.
Streptococcal peritonitis is a not infrequent complication of PD, which is more common in indigenous patients. When treated with either first-generation cephalosporins or vancomycin for a period of 2 weeks, streptococcal peritonitis is associated with lower risks of relapse, catheter removal and permanent haemodialysis transfer than other forms of PD-associated peritonitis.
PMCID: PMC2721833  PMID: 19631002
25.  High prevalence of undiagnosed chronic kidney disease among at-risk population in Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of Congo 
BMC Nephrology  2009;10:18.
There is limited knowledge of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) among high risk populations, especially in the developing countries. We report our study of testing for CKD in at-risk subjects.
In a cross-sectional study, 527 people from primary and secondary health care areas in the city of Kinshasa were studied from a random sample of at-risk out-patients with hypertension, diabetes, obesity, or HIV+. We measured blood pressure (BP), blood glucose level, proteinuria, body mass index, and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR by MDRD equation) using calibrated creatinine levels based on one random measurement. The associations between health characteristics, indicators of kidney damage (proteinuria) and kidney function (<60 ml/min/1.73 m2) were also examined.
The prevalence of CKD in this study was 36%, but only 12% were aware of their condition. 4% of patients had stage 1 CKD, 6% stage 2, 18% stage 3, 2% stage 4, and 6% had stage 5. 24 hour quantitative proteinuria (>300 mg/day) was found in 19%. In those with the at-risk conditions, the % of CKD was: 44% in patients with hypertension, 39% in those with diabetes; 16% in the obese and 12% in those who were HIV+. 82% of those with a history of diabetes had elevated serum glucose levels at screening (≥ 126 mg/dl). Only 6% of individuals with hypertension having CKD had reduced BP to lower than 130/80 mmHg. In multivariate analysis, diabetes, proteinuria and hypertension were the strongest determinants of CKD 3+.
It appears that one out of three people in this at-risk population has undiagnosed CKD and poorly controlled CKD risk factors. This growing problem poses clear challenges to this developing country. Therefore, CKD should be addressed through the development of multidisciplinary teams and improved communication between traditional health care givers and nephrology services. Attention to CKD risk factors must become a priority.
PMCID: PMC2724413  PMID: 19622160

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