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Published on Interviews with Nephrology, Dialysis and CKD Researchers. Interviews with Nephrology, Dialysis and CKD Researchers.

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  1. Hemodialysis research, author interviews, dialysis updates andinformation on chronic kidney disease and end stage renal failure. Editor: Marie Benz, MD October 19 2012
  2. Medical Disclaimer | Terms and Conditions• The contents of the Site, such as text, graphics, images, and other material contained on the Site ("Content") are for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the Site!• If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site. Reliance on any information provided by or other Eminent Domains Inc (EDI) websites, EDI employees, others appearing on the Site at the invitation of or EDI, or other visitors to the Site is solely at your own risk.• The Site may contain health- or medical-related materials that are sexually explicit. If you find these materials offensive, you may not want to use our Site. The Site and the Content are provided on an "as is" basis. Read more interviews on
  3. Long-term effects of daily hemodialysis on vascular access outcomes: A prospective controlled study Juan Carlos Ayus, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.A.S.N. Director of Clinical Research Renal Consultants of Houston 2412 Westgate Street, Houston, TX 77019• Editor Marie Benz: What are the main findings of the study?• The studys main findings suggest that daily dialysis is not associated with increased vascular access complications, or increased vascular access failure rates.• Were any of the findings unexpected?• Yes and no. Yes because we thought that more frequent use of vascular access will increase the rate of thrombosis of infection. No because our previous finding that daily dialysis reduces inflammation (JASN 2005, 16:2778-2788) raises the possibility that reduction of inflammation will improve endothelial function and improve the lifespan of the vascular access.• What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?• That problems with vascular access should not deter practitioners or patients from choosing daily dialysis.
  4. Erythrocyte and reticulocyte indices in the assessment of erythropoiesis activity and iron availability Eloísa Urrechaga, PhD Clinical Analysis Consultant Hospital Galdakao Usansolo 48960 Galdakao, Vizcaya Spain• Author Interview: What is the background for your study?• Anemia is one of the most characteristic manifestations of CKD. The most important question regarding anemia therapy in these patients is which are the best Laboratory parameters to assess the iron available for erythropoiesis; the need for predictors and indicators of effectiveness has not abated. The modern hematological parameters contribute to the advanced study of the anemia but depend on the technology applied and which analyzer the Laboratory is employing. Direct consequence of an imbalance between the erythroid marrow iron requirements and the actual supply is a reduction of red cell hemoglobin content, which causes hypochromic mature red cells and reticulocytes. Reticulocyte hemoglobin content (CHr) and the percentage of hypochromic red blood cells (%Hypo) reflect iron availability and are reliable markers of functional iron deficiency, are incorporated to National Kidney Foundation (NKF-K/DOQI) guidelines for the monitoring of recombinant human erythropoietin rHuEPO therapy. Since recently the measurement of CHr and %Hypo has been restricted to the analysers of a single manufacturer, Siemens (Siemens Medical Solutions Diagnostics, Tarrytown N.Y, USA). The debate about other parameters with the same clinical meaning and potential utility as CHr and %Hypo reported by Siemens analyzers is open. Actually there are other choices (CellDyn Sapphire, Abbott Diagnostics, Santa Clara, Ca USA; Sysmex XE 5000, Sysmex Corporation, Kobe, Japan). The Symex XE 5000 analyzer reports reticulocyte hemoglobin equivalent (Ret He) and the so-called RBC extended parameters, percentages of erythrocyte subsets so percentages of hypochromic red cells are mearured (%Hypo He). The aim of the present work was to establish the sensitivity and specificity of the reticulocyte and erythrocyte parameters reported by the Sysmex XE 5000 analyzer in the evaluation of erythropiesis activity and iron availability; the investigation concerned patient with iron deficiency, uremia and patients in dialysis.• Read the rest of the interview on
  5. Altered Taste Perception and Nutritional Status Among Hemodialysis Patients Steven M. Brunelli, MD, MSCE Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts Renal Division, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts Katherine E. Lynch MDDivision of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts• Editor Marie Benz: What are the main findings of the study?• The main findings of the study are alterations in taste as reported by patients are associated with worse nutritional status and increased mortality as compared to normal taste perception.• Were any of the findings unexpected?• We were surprised that the effects of taste appeared to be independent of appetite. In fact, the effects of altered taste were essentially identical among patients who had normal and sub-adequate appetites.• What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?• Altered taste perception is a frequent finding among chronic hemodialysis patients. Hemodialysis patients with taste alteration are at higher risk for nutritional compromise. Clinicians should consider asking about taste when assessing nutritional status of hemodialysis patients.• Read the rest of the interview on
  6. Role of Nutrition Impact Symptoms in Predicting Nutritional Status and Clinical Outcome in Hemodialysis Patients: A Potential Screening Tool Author Interview: Katrina Campbell PhD AdvAPD Senior Research Fellow | Princess Alexandra Hospital Nutrition & Dietetics Department Brisbane, Queensland, Australia• Editor Marie Benz: What are the main findings of the study?• This study identified that the simple assessment of nutrition impact symptoms is effective in identifying patients who are likely to be at risk of malnutrition and/or experience decline in nutrition status and clinical outcomes in the following 6 to 12 months. This simple assessment is therefore presented as an alternative screening tool, providing a trigger warranting further assessment and nutrition intervention. This tool is advantageous as it does not require any objective measurements, including anthropometry or biochemistry results and can be undertaken by any of the healthcare team.• Were any of the findings unexpected?• We found the simple question of nutrition impact symptoms outperformed the more comprehensive assessment, which was not anticipated. What is great about this tool is it is simply formalizing typical questions asked by many of the healthcare team, thereby likely to be straightforward when implementing into practice.Read the rest of the interview on
  7. Phosphate handling in CKD-MBD from stage 3 to dialysis and the three strengths of lanthanum carbonate Author Interview: Mario Cozzolino, MD, PhD• Editor Marie Benz: What are the main findings of the study?• This is a review paper in which we considered the following points:• 1. Serum phosphate levels are associated with unfavorable outcomes in the general population, chronic kidney disease (CKD), and end-stage renal disease (ESRD).• 2.Hyperphosphatemia is a late phenomenon in the natural history of CKD and insensible phosphate overload may prompt the beginning of CKD-mineral bone disorder (MBD) in normophosphatemic subjects.• 3) Fibroblast Growth Factor 23 (FGF23) may represent an early biomarker of phosphate load in predialysis patients or even an effector in CKD-MBD process.• 4) Tubular resorption of phosphate has been purposed as a surrogate marker of the activation of FGF23 cascade.• 5) Phosphate load proceeds together with protein intake: low protein diet in predialysis patients favors a better control of phosphate intake while the recommended high protein diet exposes dialysis patients to a considerable risk of phosphorus overload.• Read the rest of the interview on
  8. Combination hemodialysis and centrifugal therapeutic plasma exchange: 18 years of Canadian experience.• Editor Marie Benz: What are the main findings of the study?• Combining hemodialysis and TPE is an efficient method of providing these treatments, when needed. The combination therapy reduces staff requirements and reduces patient treatment time.• Were any of the findings unexpected?• Not at all. We had no indication that the combination treatment as done in our unit reduced the therapeutic benefit of the individual treatments.• What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?• A carefully designed extracorporeal circuit and trained staff can provide a safe and effective combination therapy without any added risk to the patient and no reduction in therapeutic efficacy.• Read the rest of the interview on
  9. Protocol adherence and the progression of cardiovascular calcification in the ADVANCE study Author Interview: Dr. Pablo A. Ureña-Torres Clinique du Landy, Saint Ouen, France• Editor Marie Benz: What are the main findings of the study?• The main findings of this study, which is a post-hoc analysis of the ADVANCE study, are that the annual progression (expressed as the median percentage change) of the calcification score (Agatston) of coronary artery is less in hemodialysis patients with secondary hyperparathyroidism treated by cinacalcet and respecting the prescription of low doses of active vitamin D (< 6 mcg/week paricalcitol equivalent), compared with the control group, 17.8% versus 31.3%, respectively. They also show that Agatston calcification score of aortic valve progress much lesser in the cinacalcet treated patients than in control (6.0% versus 51.1%).• Read the rest of the interview on
  10. An angiotensin II receptor blocker-calcium channel blocker combination prevents cardiovascular eventsin elderly high-risk hypertensive patients with chronic kidney disease better than high-dose angiotensin II receptor blockade alone Author Interview: Shokei Kim-Mitsuyama• Editor Marie Benz: What are the main findings of the study?• (Answer) The main finding of the study is that angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB) plus calcium channel blocker (CCB) combination is more beneficial in prevention of cardiovascular (CV) events in elderly high-risk hypertensive patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) compared with up-titration of ARB (high-dose ARB alone).• Were any of the findings unexpected?• (Answer) Up-titration of ARB is demonstrated to lead to more reduction of urinary albumin and protein excretions in patients with CKD. However, there is no report as to whether up-titration of ARB exerts more benefit in prevention of CV events in patients with CKD. In contrast to more benefit of high-dose ARB therapy in suppression of CKD, the present result showed that the prevention of CV event was less in high-dose ARB therapy than in ARB+CCB combination.• What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?• (Answer)• Clinicians and patients should know that strict blood pressure control by ARB+CCB combination is useful for the prevention of CV diseases in elderly hypertensive patients.• Read the rest of the interview on
  11. Clinical effects of buttonhole cannulation method on hemodialysis patients. Author Interview: Mi- Kyoung Kim RN., Ph.D. Hee- Seung Kim RN., Ph.D.• Editor Marie Benz: What are the main findings of the study?• The buttonhole method shortened hemostasis time, decreased cannulation pain and nurses stress compared to the rope-ladder method.• Were any of the findings unexpected?• There was not an unexpected fact from this research.• What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?• The buttonhole cannulation method improves hemostasis time, cannulation pain, and nurses stress without change of vascular access bood flow rate and dialysis adequacy in HD patients.• Read the rest of the interview on
  12. Associations of kidney disease measures with mortality and end-stage renal disease in individuals with and without hypertension: a meta-analysis Author Interview: Professor Josef Coresh, MD, PhD, MHS and Bakhtawar K Mahmoodi MD PhD• Editor Marie Benz: What are the main findings of the study?• This meta-analysis of more than one million participants from 45 studies shows that the presence of chronic kidney disease (CKD), measured by low kidney function or elevated protein in the urine, is an important risk factor for mortality and kidney failure, regardless of whether an individual has hypertension. Whereas the association of CKD measures with kidney failure was similar in hypertensives versus non-hypertensives, the association of CKD with both mortality outcomes was stronger in non- hypertensives. Prior to this study the importance of CKD in the presence of hypertension was well studied, but the importance of mild to moderate CKD in the absence of hypertension was questionable. Risk assessment in a single study of subjects with CKD without hypertension is hampered by the strong coexistence of CKD with hypertension, leaving insufficient numbers of individuals with only CKD without hypertension. By pooling multiple studies together, we were able to have sufficient numbers of non-hypertensive individuals with CKD.• Read the rest of the interview on
  13. Activity of Daily Living Disability and Dialysis Mortality: Better Prediction Using Metrics of Aging Author Interview: Mara McAdams DeMarco, PhD• Editor Marie Benz: What are the main findings of the study?• We studied 143 patients undergoing dialysis, all recruited from a dialysis center in Baltimore between January 2009 and March 2010. They were followed until Nov. 15, 2011. There were 33 deaths during the study period, and the risk of death did not vary with age.• The prevalence of disability in the activities of daily living of kidney failure patients of all ages -- 41 percent in this study – is strikingly higher than in older adults in the community at-large (5 to 8.1 percent of non-institutionalized adults over age 65).• Those who needed assistance with one or more basic activities of daily living -- feeding, dressing, walking, grooming, using a toilet and bathing -- were more than three times more likely to die than their more independent counterparts.• Were any of the findings unexpected?• The findings were not completely unexpected. Needing assistance with basic activities of daily living has been well documented in the geriatrics field as a predictor of adverse outcomes. We extended these findings to patients on dialysis of all ages.• Read the rest of the interview on
  14. Chronic kidney disease alters intestinal microbial flora Author Interview: N.D. Vaziri M.D., MACP Professor of Medicine, Physiology and Biophysics Division of Nephrology and Hypertension Schools of Medicine & Biological Sciences University of California, Irvine• Editor Marie Benz: What are the main findings of the study?• Response: The enormous community of microbes that resides in the intestinal tract (microbiome) constitutes a symbiotic ecosystem which provides protection against invasion by pathogenic organisms and contributes to nutritional balance by facilitating absorption of complex carbohydrates, and production of amino acids and various micronutrients including vitamin K, and group B vitamins. The integrity and proper function of the gut microbiome is essential for health and alteration in the composition or function of the microbiome is associated with various illnesses such as inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, obesity, chronic inflammation, lipid disorders, and allergic disorders. Biochemical milieu plays a decisive role in shaping the composition and function of the microbiome. Renal failure results in marked alteration of the biochemical environment of the gastrointestinal tract. For instance, accumulation of urea in the body fluids of patients with renal failure leads to its heavy influx into the gastro-intestinal tract where its hydrolysis by microbial urease produces large quantities of ammonia [CO(NH2)2 +H2O à CO2+2NH3] Ammonia is, in turn, converted to ammonium hydroxide [NH3 + H2OàNH4OH] (the main ingredient of the window cleaning liquids) which elevates the gut‟s luminal pH and causes mucosal irritation In addition significant amounts of uric acid and oxalate are secreted in the colon in an adaptive response to the loss of their renal excretion. Besides altering the biochemical milieu of the intestinal lumen, introduction of massive quantities of urea and uric acid can serve as a source of nutrient for the gut microbial flora and accommodate domination of microbes capable of utilizing these substrates. Finally the dietary and medicinal interventions commonly used in the tre.atment of CKD patients can significantly impact the biochemical milieu of the gastrointestinal tract• Read the rest of the interview on
  15. Administered paricalcitol dose and survival in hemodialysis patients: A marginal structural model analysis Kamyar Kalantar-Zadeh, MD, MPH, PHD Professor & Chief Div. of Nephrology & Hypertension University of California Irvine, School of Medicine Miklos Zsolt Molnar, MD, PhD Research AssociatLos Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center• Editor Marie Benz: What are the main findings of the study?• Higher doses of injectable paricalcitol (≥10 µg/week) appears causally associated with greater survival as compared to lower doses (<10 µg/week ) in a contemporary cohort of more than 15,000 maintenance hemodialysis patients across the US.• Were any of the findings unexpected?• In the conventional and propensity scored matched survival models, low dose paricalcitol showed no difference compared to high dose. However, compared to high dose of paricalcitol, low dose was associated with a 26% higher risk of in the so-called causal models, aka “marginal structural model”.• What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?• In our large and contemporary cohort of more than 15,000 maintenance hemodialysis patients, higher dose of paricalcitol appeared causally associated with greater survival. The association between dose of paricalcitol and mortality was robust across different subgroups of patients.• Read the rest of the interview on
  16. Quality of life among women with sexual dysfunction undergoing hemodialysis: a cross-sectional observational study. Author Interview: Paulo Santos MD, PhD Universidade Federal do Ceará · Faculdade de Editor Marie Benz: What are the main findings of the study?• A very high prevalence of sexual dysfunction among women undergoing regular hemodialysis, with a low mean age of 38.9 years, with physical functioning being the main quality of life domain affected among women with sexual dysfunction. Physical functioning was lower among women with sexual dysfunction, and also physical functioning and sexual function scores were positively correlated.• Were any of the findings unexpected?• Yes. First, there are data in the literature showing no association of female sexual dysfunction with quality of life. Instead, we found the main association of sexual dysfunction with physical functioning, as well as with social activities, as assessed by SF-36. Second, based on our previous study comprising men with erectile dysfunction [1], we expected an association of female sexual dysfunction with mental health. However, there was no significant difference in mental health among women with and without sexual dysfunction.Read the rest of the interview on
  17. Determinants and Consequences of Adherence to the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension Diet in African-American and White Adults with High Blood Pressure: Results from the ENCORE Trial James A. Blumenthal, PhD, Professor of Behavioral Medicine in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC.• Editor Marie Benz: What are the main findings of the study?• The main findings of this study were that greater adherence to the DASH eating plan was associated with larger reductions in blood pressure, independent of weight loss or improved aerobic fitness; also, we observed that ethnicity was the only significant predictor of adherence to the DASH diet, with African Americans generally less adherent compared to their white counterparts.• Were any of the findings unexpected?• The findings were unexpected--actually, we has assumed that psychological factors would allow us to predict who would be most adherent--but none of the psychological factors that we measured turned out to predict adherence in our ENCORE study. African Americans actually started out with lower DASH adherence scores compared to whites, and the African Americans assigned to the two DASH groups (DASH-alone and DASH+Weight Management) significantly increased their consumption of DASH friendly foods--such as fruits, vegetables and low fat dairy products, but they still did not reach the same levels of DASH adherence as the white participants.• Read the rest of the interview on
  18. Targeted complement inhibition as a promising strategy for preventing inflammatory complications in hemodialysis John D. Lambris, Ph.D., and Robert A. DeAngelis, Ph.D.• Editor Marie Benz: What are the main findings of the study?• Our review was influenced by our recent study published in Blood (vol. 116: 631-9) demonstrating that biomaterials used in hemodialysis in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD), especially the polysufone fibers used in many hemodialysis filters, are capable of inducing activation of the complement cascade and generation of the anaphylatoxin C5a, which can promote tissue factor production and procoagulant activity by polymorphonuclear cells (neutrophils) in the blood. Importantly, treatment with compstatin, a small peptide inhibitor of complement that acts upstream of C5a generation, was able to prevent or significantly reduce the activation of neutrophils, their production of tissue factor, and their procoagulant activity normally induced by blood circulation through an extracorporeal circuit (similar to that used in hemodialysis). Compstatin treatment also reduced the production of the pro-inflammatory cytokines IFN-γ, IL-1RA and G-CSF by neutrophils. These results suggest that inhibiting complement activation can reduce the tissue factor-dependent procoagulant activity of polymorphonuclear cells during hemodialysis, as well as the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which can contribute to thrombosis and other complications.• Read the rest of the interview on
  19. The Effects of High-Load Strength Training With Protein- or Nonprotein-Containing Nutritional Supplementation in Patients Undergoing Dialysis Author Interview: Stig Molsted, Ph.d., post doc Kardiologisk, Nefrologisk & Endokrinologisk• Editor Marie Benz: What are the main findings of the study?• A main finding of our study of high load strength training in patients undergoing dialysis was that the patients achieved an increase in physical function tested objectively and also assessed by the patients themselves. We think that it is an important result that the patients also reported this increase, since this may be a motivational factor toward staying physical active. The improved physical function was a result of a massive effect on muscle strength and muscle power. Especially muscle power is important since it is tested as dynamic movements which is related to activities in daily living. As expected we saw a decrease in the number of type 2X muscle fibres. This result may have clinical implications in terms of higher insulin sensitivity, since type 2X muscle fibres have lower insulin sensitivity compared to type 1 and 2A muscle fibres.• Finally, we find it important to report that we saw no side effects and that the included patients were able to conduct a relative demanding kind of exercise• Read the rest of the interview on
  21. Hemoglobin A1c Levels and Mortality in the Diabetic Hemodialysis Population: Findings from the Dialysis Outcomes and Practice Patterns Study (DOPPS) Author Interview: Sylvia Ramirez, MD, MPH, MBA, FASN Vice-President, Global Research and Development Arbor Research Collaborative for Health Ann Arbor, Michigan USA• Editor Marie Benz: What are the main findings of the study?• Diabetes mellitus is the leading cause of chronic kidney failure in the US, and it is also a co- morbidity in 65% of US patients on dialysis. It is important to control blood sugar levels particularly among patients with kidney disease, because of the association with increased risk of heart disease, peripheral vascular disease (such as amputation), and other complications. However, studies on the management of diabetes in patients with ESRD are limited, and current Clinical Practice Guidelines are based on studies in the non-kidney failure population and evidence for dialysis patients is unclear.• Hemoglobin A1c levels (HbA1) are commonly used as a target for management of diabetes mellitus. In patients with diabetes, but not on dialysis, the target HbA1c level is below 7%, and this target is suggested by current clinical practice guidelines. However, the value of maintaining this HbA1c goal in diabetic patients who have already progressed to kidney failure is unclear as only a limited number of studies have addressed the benefits and risks of intensive control of blood sugar in patients with kidney failure.• Our study evaluated the relationship between blood sugar control, based on mean HbA1c levels, and mortality in an international study known as the Dialysis Outcomes and Practice Patterns Study (DOPPS). The DOPPS is a prospective cohort study of hemodialysis practices based on the collection of longitudinal data for a random sample of patients from a representative and random sample of units in 12 countries. Since 1996, data collection has yielded detailed information on more than 38,000 patients in over 900 dialysis facilities. Read the rest of the interview on
  22. A New Approach for Measuring Gender Disparity in Access to Renal Transplantation Waiting Lists Author Interview: Dr Cécile COUCHOUD Coordination nationale de REIN Agence de la biomédecine 1 avenue du Stade de France 93212 SAINT DENIS LA PLAINE CEDEX FRANCE• Editor Marie Benz: What are the main findings of the study?• After taking potential confounders into account (age, work status, and 11 comorbidities or disabilities), our study shows that women starting dialysis have a lower probability of being registered on the national transplant waiting list (OR =0.69, 95%CI 0.62-0.78) and a longer time from dialysis start to registration (HR 0.89, 95%CI 0.84-0.95) than men. This disparity affects predominantly older nonworking and diabetic women and is more pronounced in some zones than in others.• Were any of the findings unexpected?• Among non-medical factors influencing access to renal transplantation, gender inequity, favoring men, has been regularly found in US data analyses. Because in the US patients must have a source of funding for transplantation before being listed, lower access to the transplant waiting list might be due to a problem of affordability. Because the national health insurance system covers the entire population in France, access to transplantation should not be limited by poverty, and there is no reason it should disadvantage women. Two previous investigations France found no association between gender and access to transplantation.• Read the rest of the interview on
  23. Evaluation of immature hemodialysis arteriovenous fistulas based on 3-French retrograde micropuncture of brachial artery Author Interview: Scott O. Trerotola, BA, MD• Editor Marie Benz: What are the main findings of the study?• Diagnostic imaging of immature hemodialysis arteriovenous fistulas (AVF) performed via a 3- French retrograde puncture of the brachial artery is safe and reveals the fistula‟s arterial and venous anatomy in its physiologic state.• Were any of the findings unexpected?• Yes, we found a much higher than expected incidence of venous spasm (40%) at the site of venipuncture for intervention. This has important implications for the study of immature AVF.• What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?• The ability to image a fistula in its undisturbed state, before venous puncture causes spasm or other disturbances is a key benefit of 3F arterial micropuncture fistulography. Indeed, for this reason, it is becoming the standard of care in imaging immature AVF.Read the rest of the interview on
  24. Transplantation rates for living- but not deceased-donor kidneys vary with socioeconomic status in Australia Author Interview: Blair Grace PhD ANZDATA Registry North Wing, Royal Adelaide Hospital North Terrace, Adelaide, 5000• Editor Marie Benz: What are the main findings of the study?• Patients who receive renal replacement therapy in Australia are more likely to receive a living-donor transplant if they live in advantaged areas (those with overall higher income, more education and higher levels of employment). This was most pronounced for pre-emptive transplants. Socio-economic status was not associated with deceased-donor transplantation. All Australians have access to subsidized healthcare.• Were any of the findings unexpected?• Yes, we expected to find an association between socio-economic status and deceased-donor transplantation. Patients from advantaged areas are more likely to receive a deceased-donor kidney in several other countries, including England, which also provides universal access to healthcare.Read the rest of the interview on
  25. Assessment of Management Policies and Practices for Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens in Dialysis Facilities Author Interview: Chukwuma Mbaeyi BDS (DDS), MPH• Editor Marie Benz: What are the main findings of the study?• We conducted a survey of randomly selected outpatient dialysis centers nationally and found that nearly all centers had written policies for managing bloodborne pathogen exposures among healthcare personnel. Ninety-five percent of centers provided occupational exposure management services during the daytime on weekdays, but services were not consistently provided on weekday nights and weekends. Overall, 10 – 15% of centers reported having personnel with occupational exposures to hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in the 12 months prior to the survey. Hospital-based and not-for-profit dialysis facilities were more likely to report having staff with occupational exposures to bloodborne pathogens relative to free-standing and for-profit dialysis facilities. They were also more likely to provide hepatitis B virus postexposure prophylaxis and have a preselected primary HIV postexposure prophylaxis regimen compared with free-standing and for- profit facilities.• Read the rest of the interview on
  26. Effects of Phosphate Binders in Moderate CKD Author Interview: Dr. Geoffrey A. Block MD CCRI Director of Clinical Research at Denver Editor Marie Benz: What are the main findings of the study?• I believe this study has several important findings, some of which were quite unexpected.• Our results demonstrate the importance of having placebo controls in clinical trials with Phosphate binders. While many in the community view these drugs as „safe‟ or „benign‟ our study highlights that there is the potential for harm associated with these medications. Some in the community have even suggested that placebo controls are „unethical‟ in trial designs of elevated phosphorus on the basis of observational data; however our trial reinforces that while lowering Phosphorus may indeed be a worthy goal- that does not mean that drugs used to lower serum Phosphorus are not associated with potential harm above and beyond the risks associated with serum Phosphorus itself.• Our data support the conclusion that the use of Phosphate binders in CKD may be associated with harm and that the universal practice of giving these patients calcium containing Phosphate binders in particular is associated with a host of unfavorable effects including: reductions in 1,25D, increases in intact FGF23, and accelerated calcification among patients who are calcified. All of this while having only modest effects on serum Phosphorus levels. There was an increase in bone mineral density among calcium treated patients and the trial was not powered to specifically address differences in outcomes among sub-groups of Phosphate binder categories. The trial reinforces that there is much to learn about phosphorus physiology!• Read the rest of the interview on
  27. Preexisting Venous Calcification Prior to Dialysis Vascular Access Surgery Author Interview: Timmy Lee, M.D., M.S.P.H., F.A.C.P., F.A.S.N.• Editor Marie Benz: What are the main findings of the study?• Our main findings are that calcification is present in about 1/3 of veins used to create new vascular access, and among those with calcification, calcification was present predominately in the media and intima layers of the vein.• Were any of the findings unexpected?• While there are several studies showing calcification in CKD and ESRD patients in lower extremity arteries in vessels used to create arteriovenous acces, our study is one of the first to show calcification in veins of advanced CKD patients.• What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?• Our study shows that their are different vascular injuries that can occur prior to creation of an arteriovenous access as part of the CKD process, and venous calcification is one important factor that may play an important role in arteriovenous fistula maturation failure.Read the rest of the interview on
  28. Is early virological response as predictive of the hepatitis C treatment response in dialysis patients as in non-uremic patients?• Author Interview: Patricia da Silva Fucuta Pereira Hepatitis Section, Division of Gastroenterology, Federal University of Sao Paulo, Rua Botucatu• Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatitis Section, Federal University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.• What are the main findings of the study?• The main finding of this study was to determine a stopping rule for antiviral treatment with interferon in hemodialysis patients with hepatitis C. The analysis at week 12 avoids unnecessary treatment in non-responder patients preventing additional side effects. Furthermore, determining stopping rules is extremely important for kidney transplant candidates because transplantation is delayed during interferon treatment.• Were any of the findings unexpected?• The few previous studies on this issue have suggested that the patients who did not respond to interferon during the first months of treatment did not reach sustained virological response. The present study supported these data and could demonstrate that week 12 analysis had a negative predictive value of 100%.• Read the rest of the interview on
  29. Advanced age affects the outcome-predictive power of RIFLE classification in geriatric patients with acute kidney injury Author Interview: Ming-Shiou Wu, Division of Nephrology, Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital• What are the main findings of the study?• Our study is the first one to demonstrate the effects of aging on the use of the RIFLE classification in the prediction of in-hospital mortality in geriatric postoperative acute kidney injury (AKI). A less severe categorization of AKI per RIFLE classification may not truly reflect the adverse effects of AKI in elderly patients.• Were any of the findings unexpected?• In patients≦76-years of age, RIFLE-R, -I, or –F AKI classifications were able to significantly predict increasingly worse outcomes.• However, the predictive efficacy between patients with RIFLE-R and RIFLE-I AKI disappeared in those > 76-years of age.• the training had a high or good impact and relevance to the needs of their home institution or country. Read the rest of the interview on
  30. Training Nephrologists From Developing Countries: does it have a positive impact? Author Interview: David CH Harris MD• What are the main findings of the study?• One of the global outreach efforts of the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) is its Fellowship Program, which since the mid 1980’s has sponsored nephrology training of almost 600 young nephrologists or trainees from over 80 developing nations.• Data from the past decade were obtained from a survey sent to 329 fellows with a survey return rate of 70%, and compared to data from prior periods.• An important objective of the program is to ensure that fellowships are of value to the home unit and country, and not just to the fellow, while avoiding a ‘brain-drain’ of fellows to developed countries.• In the last decade more than 90% of fellows returned to their home units, and this percentage has been increasing steadily. 90% of fellows reported that the training had a high or good impact and relevance to the needs of their home institution or country. Read the rest of the interview on
  31. Association of High Blood Pressure with Renal Insufficiency: Role of Albuminuria from NHANES, 1999-2006 Author Interview: Qi Dai, M.D., Ph.D.• What are the main findings of the study?• We found that association between high blood pressure and reduced renal function was modified by albuminuria status among healthy participants without diabetes, CKD or cardiovascular disease, using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999-2006, a population-based study conducted in the general US population.• Overall, we found a moderate association between high blood pressure and renal function insufficiency in all participants analyzed. However, no association between hypertension and renal insufficiency was observed among those without albuminuria in this population.• On the other hand, among participants with albuminuria ACR≥30mg/g), the prevalence of moderate-severe renal insufficiency substantially and progressively increased from normal subjects to prehypertensive and undiagnosed hypertensive subjects. Read the rest of the interview on
  32. Randomized Controlled Trial of Cholecalciferol Suplementation in CKD Patients with Hypovitaminosis Author Interview on Peter Marckmann, MDp• What are the main findings of the study?• The study showed that vitamin D supplementation of predialysis patients has a favorable effect on their bone metabolism raising their level of endogenously produced actived vitamin D (1,25-diOHD) and lowering PTH. In HD patients, this effect was absent.• We searched for favorable pleiotropic effects of vitamin D supplementation, but could not demonstrate such effects which is in contrast to some earlier, smaller and uncontrolled studies.• As an important side effect, mild hypercalcemia developed in 20% of the actively treated patients, demonstrating that calcium must be monitored with high-dose vitamin D supplementation.• Were any of the findings unexpected?• It was surprising that none of a number of putative pleiotropic effects could not be demonstrated, and that hypercalcemia was a problem despite vitamin D dosing within the recommend range. Read the rest of the interview on
  33. Author Interview: Kate Ellingson, PhD,Epidemiologist Vascular access hemorrhages contribute to deaths among hemodialysis patients Kidney International , (13 June 2012)• What are the main findings of the study?• This study describes fatal instances of vascular access hemorrhage among chronic dialysis patients and is the first study to examine risk factors for this devastating complication.• In order to receive life-saving hemodialysis treatment, patients require a catheter, arteriovenous (AV) fistula, or AV graft. These three types of vascular access are a way to reach the bloodstream in order to remove toxins from the blood.• Unfortunately, in rare instances, a problem with the vascular access can cause the site to rupture and bleed uncontrollably, in some cases, resulting in death. These fatal instances of vascular access hemorrhage constitute a rare but potentially preventable cause of death in hemodialysis patients.• The majority of the 88 events reviewed between 2000-2007 in Maryland, District of Columbia and Virginia involved patients who experienced major hemorrhages at home or in a nursing home, and the majority of these patients had experienced complications of their vascular access in the six months prior to death. Read the rest of the interview on
  34. Author Interview: Author Interview: Odds of Missed Hemodialysis Sessions Are Increased During Holiday Periods Among In-Center Hemodialysis Patients Stephen Crawford ISPOR poster 2012What are the main findings of the study?• What are the main findings of the study?••••••• The data suggest that there was an increasing trend in the proportion of missed sessions from 2006 to 2010, particularly during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday travel periods.••••• Read the rest of the interview on
  35. Author Interview: Author Interview: Antibiotic lock solutions allow less systemic antibiotic exposure and less catheter malfunction without adversely affecting antimicrobial resistance patterns. Hemodialysis International. A. M. Onder, MD• What are the main findings of the study?• We looked at our data by breaking the timeline into three separate periods; no antibiotic lock (ABL) use, ABL use as needed and ABL use per protocol in the unit.• By looking at our 10 years retrospective data, we were able to demonstrate that the use of antibiotic locks (mainly tobramycin-tissue plasminogen activator (TPA) locks) as protocol in our unit, there was a significant decrease in total systemic antibiotic exposure and the percentage of catheters lost to malfunction.• This was achieved with similar CRB prevalence between the three ERAs and there was no noted increase in the infection-related complications.• Therefore, addendum of ABL to systemic antibiotics for treatment and using them for prevention in the high risk population offered similar CRB treatment success rates with less exposure to cumulative dose of systemic antibiotics. Read the rest of the interview on
  36. Author Interview: Author Interview: Pregnancy in CKD: whom should we follow and why? Barbara Giorgina Piccoli MD• What are the main findings of the study?• CKD is a risk factor in pregnancy in all stages. Also stage 1 CKD patients are at increased risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as Caesarean section, preterm delivery and need for NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). The risk for adverse pregnancy related events increases along with the CKD stage.• Pregnancy is a important occasion for early diagnosis of CKD in stage 1 patients. In our series the prevalence of new diagnosis was high (over 40%).• Were any of the findings unexpected?• In this study, our analysis was focused on CKD stage 1 patients, both in comparison with a cohort of 267 low-risk pregnancies, and with 49 patients in later CKD stages.• At difference with our previous study, in which the results recorded in stage 1 and stage 2 CKD were almost equal, the stepwise increase along stages is more clear and statistical difference is reached between stage 1 and 2 CKD as for birth weight and gestational age.• Therefore, even minor differences in kidney function (stage 2 vs stage 1) increase the risk for adverse pregnancy related outcomes. Read the rest of the interview on
  37. Author Interview: Author Interview: Comparing the association of GFR estimated by the CKD-EPI and MDRD study equations and mortality: the third national health and nutrition examination survey (NHANES III) examination survey (NHANES III). Tariq Shafi, MBBS, MHS, FACP, FASN, FNKF• What are the main findings of the study?• The Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration equation for estimation of glomerular filtration rate (eGFR-CKDEPI) improves GFR estimation from serum creatinine compared to the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease Study equation (eGFR- MDRD). We wanted to assess if this improvement in GFR estimation translates into better prediction of the risk of death among those with reduced eGFR.• We first categorized the population into five eGFR groups based on the current standard which is eGFR-MDRD. The eGFR groups were >120, 90-119, 60-89, 30-59 and <30 ml/min/1.73 m2. We then calculated eGFR-CKDEPI and re-categorized the population using the same cut-offs but basing it on eGFR-CKDEPI instead of eGFR-MDRD.• We found that by using eGFR-CKDEPI compared with eGFR-MDRD, 26.9% of the US population will be reclassified into higher eGFR categories and 2.2% will be reclassified to lower eGFR categories. Our next goal was to determine the effect of this reclassification on the risk of death from any cause and death from cardiovascular disease (CVD).• When we looked at those with eGFR-MDRD 30-59 ml/min/1.73 m2, we found that 19.4% of this population was reclassified to a higher eGFR-CKDEPI category and these individuals had a lower risk of death; 47% lower risk of death from any cause and 49% lower risk of death from CVD. We then looked at those with eGFR-MDRD >60 ml/min/1.73 m2. In this group, 0.5% were reclassified to lower eGFR-CKDEPI and these individuals had a higher risk of death; 31% higher risk of death from any cause and 42% higher risk of death from CVD.• So, in summary, we found that categorizing individuals based on eGFR-CKDEPI improves risk prediction compared with categorization based on eGFR-MDRD. Read the rest of the interview on
  38. Author Interview: Author Interview: Anorexia nervosa and the kidney Drs. Pierre Delanaye and Antoine Bouquegneau• What are the main findings of the study?• AN and eating disorders are frequent and affect a young population.• Kidney diseases are very frequent and various in these patients: CKD, AKI, lithiasis and electrolytes disturbance.• However, all these kidney injuries are underestimated.• Were any of the findings unexpected?• When we did the literature review for this paper, we noticed that the prevalence of eating disorders is blurry.• This is due to the different definitions of these disorders used by the physicians. Also, it is difficult to diagnose CKD in patients with eating disorders. The frequency and the mechanics of kidney disturbances are neither up to date, nor fully understood.• Once again, it seems that this type of patients is somewhat neglected. Read the rest of the interview on
  39. Author Interview: Author Interview: A Cause Analysis of Absence of Functional Arterio-Venous (AV) Access in a Prevalent Hemodialysis Patients Cohort Drs. Mireille El TersM.D and Marie Hogan M.D. Ph.D• What are the main findings of the study?• We found in this study a strong and independent association between PICC use and lack of a functioning AVF and this association persisted after adjustment for confounders, including upper-extremity vein and artery diameters, sex, and history of central venous catheter.• We also found that PICC use is common among our end stage renal disease (ESRD) population evaluated (30% of our studied hemodialysis patients) with 54% of these placed after dialysis therapy initiation.• Were any of the findings unexpected?• We hypothesized that prior history of PICC is associated with a higher likelihood of lack of functioning arterio-venous fistula (AVF) by way of venous injury, such as venous thrombosis and stenosis.• So the finding of a strong and independent association between prior PICC use and a lack of functioning AVF was not unexpected.• We were however surprised by the high proportion of ESRD patients receiving a PICC (30%),especially that the majority occurred after initiation of dialysis (54%).• It is worthy to note that the most common indication for PICC in our population was antibiotic use,which could arguably be administered during hemodialysis and thus sparing the patient the need for a PICC line placement. Read the rest of the interview on
  40. Author Interview: Author Interview: Urolithiasis and the Risk of ESRD CJASN Ziad M. El-Zoghby, M.D.• What are the main findings of the study?• In this large population-based study, we found that symptomatic stone formers are at increased risk of developing end-stage renal disease (ESRD) compared to matched controls.• The mechanism of renal failure in stone former appears to be related to their kidney stones and related urological co-morbidities and procedures, rather than other risk factors known to cause ESRD (hypertension, diabetes, etc.) that are commonly found in stone formers.• Were any of the findings unexpected?• We previously reported that stone formers have an increased risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Hence it is not surprising that they also have an increased risk of ESRD.• Furthermore, our new finding that certain urologic conditions which predispose to stone disease (i.e. hydronephrosis, recurrent urinary tract infection, acquired single kidney, obstruction, neurogenic bladder) associate with ESRD also was not surprising.• However, the risk of ESRD attributable to stone disease (5.1%) was much higher than expected. In fact, this figure is 20-fold above previous estimates (0.2%) that were based upon primary cause of ESRD reported to the United States Renal Data System. Read the rest of the interview on
  41. Author Interview: Author Interview: Quality of Care and Outcomes Among Patients With Acute Myocardial Infarction by Level of Kidney Function at Admission: Report From the Get With The Guidelines Coronary Artery Disease Program.CJASN Deepak L. Bhatt, MD• What are the main findings of the study?• Among patients presenting with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), patients with abnormal kidney function received less guideline-recommended care and had higher in-hospital mortality.• Were any of the findings unexpected?• Of note, patients with STEMI who had severe renal dysfunction (GFR 15–30 mL/min/1.73 m2) had adjusted in-hospital mortality rates that were as high as patients on dialysis (in other words, a very high rate of mortality).• What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?• In patients with STEMI and various degrees of renal dysfunction, the treating physicians need to make sure that the patients are getting appropriate evidence-based care. Read the rest of the interview on
  42. Author Interview: Author Interview: Treatment Intensity at the End of Life in Older Adults Receiving Long-term Dialysis Susan Wong MD• What are the main findings of the study?• In this large retrospective mortality study, we present end-of-life care practices among older Medicare beneficiaries receiving chronic dialysis.• We found that older dialysis patients experience very aggressive care at the end-of-life, and hospitalization, intensive care unit admission, and use of intensive procedures (mechanical ventilation, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and feeding tube placement) during the final month of life are common.• Were any of the findings unexpected?• Intensity of care at the end-of-life is more strongly and consistently associated with regional healthcare spending than with individual patient characteristics in older dialysis patients.• Rates of hospitalization and use of intensive procedures at the end-of-life in this population also greatly exceed those reported for other Medicare patients with life-limiting illnesses, such as cancer and heart failure. Read the rest of the interview on