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Concept: Blood urea nitrogen


BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to determine the effects of creatine supplementation on kidney function in resistance-trained individuals ingesting a high-protein diet. METHODS: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was performed. The participants were randomly allocated to receive either creatine (20 g/d for 5 d followed by 5 g/d throughout the trial) or placebo for 12 weeks. All of the participants were engaged in resistance training and consumed a high-protein diet (i.e., >= 1.2 g/Kg/d). Subjects were assessed at baseline (Pre) and after 12 weeks (Post). Glomerular filtration rate was measured by 51Cr-EDTA clearance. Additionally, blood samples and a 24-h urine collection were obtained for other kidney function assessments. RESULTS: No significant differences were observed for 51Cr-EDTA clearance throughout the trial (Creatine: Pre 101.42 +/- 13.11, Post 108.78 +/- 14.41 mL/min/1.73m2; Placebo: Pre 103.29 +/- 17.64, Post 106.68 +/- 16.05 mL/min/1.73m2; group x time interaction: F = 0.21, p = 0.64). Creatinine clearance, serum and urinary urea, electrolytes, proteinuria, and albuminuria remained virtually unchanged. CONCLUSIONS: A 12-week creatine supplementation protocol did not affect kidney function in resistance-trained healthy individuals consuming a high-protein diet; thus reinforcing the safety of this dietary supplement.Trial registration: NCT01817673.

Concepts: Renal failure, Kidney, Nephrology, Renal physiology, Renal function, Blood urea nitrogen, Electrolyte, Urea


Background Ultrafiltration is an alternative strategy to diuretic therapy for the treatment of patients with acute decompensated heart failure. Little is known about the efficacy and safety of ultrafiltration in patients with acute decompensated heart failure complicated by persistent congestion and worsened renal function. Methods We randomly assigned a total of 188 patients with acute decompensated heart failure, worsened renal function, and persistent congestion to a strategy of stepped pharmacologic therapy (94 patients) or ultrafiltration (94 patients). The primary end point was the bivariate change from baseline in the serum creatinine level and body weight, as assessed 96 hours after random assignment. Patients were followed for 60 days. Results Ultrafiltration was inferior to pharmacologic therapy with respect to the bivariate end point of the change in the serum creatinine level and body weight 96 hours after enrollment (P=0.003), owing primarily to an increase in the creatinine level in the ultrafiltration group. At 96 hours, the mean change in the creatinine level was -0.04±0.53 mg per deciliter (-3.5±46.9 μmol per liter) in the pharmacologic-therapy group, as compared with +0.23±0.70 mg per deciliter (20.3±61.9 μmol per liter) in the ultrafiltration group (P=0.003). There was no significant difference in weight loss 96 hours after enrollment between patients in the pharmacologic-therapy group and those in the ultrafiltration group (a loss of 5.5±5.1 kg [12.1±11.3 lb] and 5.7±3.9 kg [12.6±8.5 lb], respectively; P=0.58). A higher percentage of patients in the ultrafiltration group than in the pharmacologic-therapy group had a serious adverse event (72% vs. 57%, P=0.03). Conclusions In a randomized trial involving patients hospitalized for acute decompensated heart failure, worsened renal function, and persistent congestion, the use of a stepped pharmacologic-therapy algorithm was superior to a strategy of ultrafiltration for the preservation of renal function at 96 hours, with a similar amount of weight loss with the two approaches. Ultrafiltration was associated with a higher rate of adverse events. (Funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; number, NCT00608491 .).

Concepts: Clinical trial, Heart failure, Renal physiology, Blood urea nitrogen, Creatinine, Adverse event, Kilogram, Acute decompensated heart failure


BACKGROUND: Incorporation of the solubilizing excipient, sulfobutylether-beta-cyclodextrin (SBECD), in the intravenous (IV) formulation of voriconazole has resulted in the recommendation that this formulation be used with caution in patients with creatinine clearances (Clcr) < 50 mL/min. This study evaluated the safety of IV voriconazole compared with two other IV antifungals not containing SBECD in patients with compromised renal function. METHODS: A total of 128 patients aged 11--93 years who had a baseline Clcr < 50 mL/min between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2010 were identified from a database of a university-affiliated inpatient healthcare system; of these, 55 patients received caspofungin, 54 patients received fluconazole, and 19 patients received voriconazole. Changes in serum creatinine (Scr) and Clcr levels while on therapy were compared with baseline values and between groups. RESULTS: The groups had similar characteristics apart from the larger proportion of females that received fluconazole. Baseline Scr was higher in those receiving caspofungin, but maximal increases of Scr and decreases in Clcr were greatest for the fluconazole group. Acute kidney injury (AKI), assessed by RIFLE criteria, was more frequent in the fluconazole vs. the caspofungin group (p < 0.01); incidence of AKI in the voriconazole group was not significantly different than found in the other two groups. The infecting organism was a predictor of AKI and formulation with SBECD was not. CONCLUSIONS: Treatment of fungal infections in patients with compromised renal function with an SBECD-containing antifungal agent was not associated with AKI in clinical practice. Since the infecting organism was associated with AKI, decision on which antifungal to use should be determined by susceptibilities to the organism and not the incorporation of SBECD in the IV formulation.

Concepts: Renal failure, Renal physiology, Blood urea nitrogen, Antifungals, Candidiasis, Antifungal drug, Athlete's foot, Griseofulvin


Background In a previous trial involving patients with early autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD; estimated creatinine clearance, ≥60 ml per minute), the vasopressin V2-receptor antagonist tolvaptan slowed the growth in total kidney volume and the decline in the estimated glomerular filtration rate (GFR) but also caused more elevations in aminotransferase and bilirubin levels. The efficacy and safety of tolvaptan in patients with later-stage ADPKD are unknown. Methods We conducted a phase 3, randomized withdrawal, multicenter, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial. After an 8-week prerandomization period that included sequential placebo and tolvaptan run-in phases, during which each patient’s ability to take tolvaptan without dose-limiting side effects was assessed, 1370 patients with ADPKD who were either 18 to 55 years of age with an estimated GFR of 25 to 65 ml per minute per 1.73 m(2) of body-surface area or 56 to 65 years of age with an estimated GFR of 25 to 44 ml per minute per 1.73 m(2) were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive tolvaptan or placebo for 12 months. The primary end point was the change in the estimated GFR from baseline to follow-up, with adjustment for the exact duration that each patient participated (interpolated to 1 year). Safety assessments were conducted monthly. Results The change from baseline in the estimated GFR was -2.34 ml per minute per 1.73 m(2) (95% confidence interval [CI], -2.81 to -1.87) in the tolvaptan group, as compared with -3.61 ml per minute per 1.73 m(2) (95% CI, -4.08 to -3.14) in the placebo group (difference, 1.27 ml per minute per 1.73 m(2); 95% CI, 0.86 to 1.68; P<0.001). Elevations in the alanine aminotransferase level (to >3 times the upper limit of the normal range) occurred in 38 of 681 patients (5.6%) in the tolvaptan group and in 8 of 685 (1.2%) in the placebo group. Elevations in the aminotransferase level were reversible after stopping tolvaptan. No elevations in the bilirubin level of more than twice the upper limit of the normal range were detected. Conclusions Tolvaptan resulted in a slower decline than placebo in the estimated GFR over a 1-year period in patients with later-stage ADPKD. (Funded by Otsuka Pharmaceuticals and Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development and Commercialization; REPRISE number, NCT02160145 .).

Concepts: Kidney, Nephrology, Renal physiology, Renal function, Blood urea nitrogen, Placebo, Normal distribution, Polycystic kidney disease


Background The course of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is often associated with pain, hypertension, and kidney failure. Preclinical studies indicated that vasopressin V(2)-receptor antagonists inhibit cyst growth and slow the decline of kidney function. Methods In this phase 3, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled, 3-year trial, we randomly assigned 1445 patients, 18 to 50 years of age, who had ADPKD with a total kidney volume of 750 ml or more and an estimated creatinine clearance of 60 ml per minute or more, in a 2:1 ratio to receive tolvaptan, a V(2)-receptor antagonist, at the highest of three twice-daily dose regimens that the patient found tolerable, or placebo. The primary outcome was the annual rate of change in the total kidney volume. Sequential secondary end points included a composite of time to clinical progression (defined as worsening kidney function, kidney pain, hypertension, and albuminuria) and rate of kidney-function decline. Results Over a 3-year period, the increase in total kidney volume in the tolvaptan group was 2.8% per year (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.5 to 3.1), versus 5.5% per year in the placebo group (95% CI, 5.1 to 6.0; P<0.001). The composite end point favored tolvaptan over placebo (44 vs. 50 events per 100 follow-up-years, P=0.01), with lower rates of worsening kidney function (2 vs. 5 events per 100 person-years of follow-up, P<0.001) and kidney pain (5 vs. 7 events per 100 person-years of follow-up, P=0.007). Tolvaptan was associated with a slower decline in kidney function (reciprocal of the serum creatinine level, -2.61 [mg per milliliter](-1) per year vs. -3.81 [mg per milliliter](-1) per year; P<0.001). There were fewer ADPKD-related adverse events in the tolvaptan group but more events related to aquaresis (excretion of electrolyte-free water) and hepatic adverse events unrelated to ADPKD, contributing to a higher discontinuation rate (23%, vs. 14% in the placebo group). Conclusions Tolvaptan, as compared with placebo, slowed the increase in total kidney volume and the decline in kidney function over a 3-year period in patients with ADPKD but was associated with a higher discontinuation rate, owing to adverse events. (Funded by Otsuka Pharmaceuticals and Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development and Commercialization; TEMPO 3:4 number, NCT00428948 .).

Concepts: Renal failure, Kidney, Nephrology, Clinical trial, Hypertension, Renal physiology, Blood urea nitrogen, Polycystic kidney disease


More than 1 million heart failure hospitalizations occur annually, and congestion is the predominant cause. Rehospitalizations for recurrent congestion portend poor outcomes independently of age and renal function. Persistent congestion trumps serum creatinine increases in predicting adverse heart failure outcomes. No decongestive pharmacological therapy has reduced these harmful consequences. Simplified ultrafiltration devices permit fluid removal in lower-acuity hospital settings, but with conflicting results regarding safety and efficacy. Ultrafiltration performed at fixed rates after onset of therapy-induced increased serum creatinine was not superior to standard care and resulted in more complications. In contrast, compared with diuretic agents, some data suggest that adjustment of ultrafiltration rates to patients' vital signs and renal function may be associated with more effective decongestion and fewer heart failure events. Essential aspects of ultrafiltration remain poorly defined. Further research is urgently needed, given the burden of congestion and data suggesting sustained benefits of early and adjustable ultrafiltration.

Concepts: Hospital, Poverty, Blood pressure, Million, Renal physiology, Blood urea nitrogen, Creatinine, Vital signs


Background Relatively high plasma levels of soluble urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR) have been associated with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis and poor clinical outcomes in patients with various conditions. It is unknown whether elevated suPAR levels in patients with normal kidney function are associated with future decline in the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and with incident chronic kidney disease. Methods We measured plasma suPAR levels in 3683 persons enrolled in the Emory Cardiovascular Biobank (mean age, 63 years; 65% men; median suPAR level, 3040 pg per milliliter) and determined renal function at enrollment and at subsequent visits in 2292 persons. The relationship between suPAR levels and the eGFR at baseline, the change in the eGFR over time, and the development of chronic kidney disease (eGFR <60 ml per minute per 1.73 m(2) of body-surface area) were analyzed with the use of linear mixed models and Cox regression after adjustment for demographic and clinical variables. Results A higher suPAR level at baseline was associated with a greater decline in the eGFR during follow-up; the annual change in the eGFR was -0.9 ml per minute per 1.73 m(2) among participants in the lowest quartile of suPAR levels as compared with -4.2 ml per minute per 1.73 m(2) among participants in the highest quartile (P<0.001). The 921 participants with a normal eGFR (≥90 ml per minute per 1.73 m(2)) at baseline had the largest suPAR-related decline in the eGFR. In 1335 participants with a baseline eGFR of at least 60 ml per minute per 1.73 m(2), the risk of progression to chronic kidney disease in the highest quartile of suPAR levels was 3.13 times as high (95% confidence interval, 2.11 to 4.65) as that in the lowest quartile. Conclusions An elevated level of suPAR was independently associated with incident chronic kidney disease and an accelerated decline in the eGFR in the groups studied. (Funded by the Abraham J. and Phyllis Katz Foundation and others.).

Concepts: Renal failure, Kidney, Nephrology, Dialysis, Renal physiology, Renal function, Blood urea nitrogen, Electrolyte



Background: Experience with hydroxyethyl starch (HES) in children is limited. This study was conducted to observe the effects of HES or Ringer’s lactate (RL) usage as the priming solution on renal functions in children undergoing cardiac surgery. Methods: After ethical committee approval and parent informed consent, 24 patients were included in this prospective, randomized study. During cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB), Group I received RL and Group II received HES (130/0.4) as priming solution. Serum creatinine, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), β2-microglobulin, cystatin C, and urinary albumin and creatinine, serum, and urine electrolytes were analyzed after the induction (T1), before CPB (T2), during CPB (T3), after CPB (T4), at the end of the operation (T5), on 24th hour (T6), and on 48th hour postoperatively (T7). Fractional sodium excretion (FENa), urinary albumin/creatinine ratio, and creatinine clearance were calculated. Drainage, urine output, inotropes, diuretics, and blood requirements were recorded. Results: In both the groups, β2-microglobulin was decreased during CPB and cystatin C was decreased at T3,T4, and T5 periods (p < 0.05) and the levels remained within the normal range. Creatinine clearance did not differ in the HES group, but increased in the RL group (p < 0.05). Urine albumin/creatinine ratio was increased (p < 0.05) after CPB in the HES group, and it increased at T3, T4, and T5 in the RL group (p < 0.05). There were no differences in cystatin C, β2-microglobulin, FENa, urine albumin/creatinine ratio, creatinine clearance, total fluid amount, urine output, drainage, and inotropic and diuretic requirements between the groups. Conclusion: We conclude that usage of HES (130/0.4) did not have negative effects on renal function, and it can be used as a priming solution in pediatric patients undergoing cardiac surgery.

Concepts: Nephrology, Renal physiology, Renal function, Blood urea nitrogen, Creatinine, Electrolyte, Urea, Cystatin C


In a study on villagers settled on the outskirts of the Taurus Mountains and whose source of living is thyme, it was revealed that the villagers excessively consumed thyme by adding it to their tea and many of their foods; high incidences of anemia was found among these villagers. In this study, 42 male adult Wistar albino rats weighing 200-250 g were used. The rats were divided to six equal groups as follows: control, cholesterol (Chol), 80 mg/kg Origanum onites Labiatae (OOL), 80 mg/kg Thymbra spicata Labiatae (TSL), 80 mg/kg Satureja cuneifolia Labiatae (SCL), and 160 mg/kg TSL, and each group consisted of seven rats. The control group was fed with normal pellet feed. The Chol group and all the other groups, except for the control group, were fed with 2% cholesterol-containing pellet feed. Physiological serum of 4 ml was given to the control and Chol group, wheile 80 mg/kg of thymes tea was given to the OOL group, TSL group, and SCL group, and 160 mg/kg of thymes tea was given to the TSL group by means of a gavage for 30 days. In the blood samples, the hematologic parameters and the biochemical parameters of serum glucose, blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, total protein, albumin, iron (I), total iron-binding capacity, aminotransferase aspartate, alanine aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, lactate dehydrogenase, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglyceride, and oxidized LDL levels were examined. The kidney and liver tissues were examined histopathologically. The results of the study showed that different types of thymes had an antihypercholesterolemic effect. In addition to the anemic effect detected in group TSL and the mild granular degeneration found in the liver of 80 mg/kg SCL group, distinct granular degeneration was observed in 160 mg/kg TSL group.

Concepts: Cholesterol, Atherosclerosis, Low-density lipoprotein, Atheroma, Blood urea nitrogen, Liver, High-density lipoprotein, Lamiaceae