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Concept: Kidney


Background Uncontrolled hypertension is a major problem among non-Hispanic black men, who are underrepresented in pharmacist intervention trials in traditional health care settings. Methods We enrolled a cohort of 319 black male patrons with systolic blood pressure of 140 mm Hg or more from 52 black-owned barbershops (nontraditional health care setting) in a cluster-randomized trial in which barbershops were assigned to a pharmacist-led intervention (in which barbers encouraged meetings in barbershops with specialty-trained pharmacists who prescribed drug therapy under a collaborative practice agreement with the participants' doctors) or to an active control approach (in which barbers encouraged lifestyle modification and doctor appointments). The primary outcome was reduction in systolic blood pressure at 6 months. Results At baseline, the mean systolic blood pressure was 152.8 mm Hg in the intervention group and 154.6 mm Hg in the control group. At 6 months, the mean systolic blood pressure fell by 27.0 mm Hg (to 125.8 mm Hg) in the intervention group and by 9.3 mm Hg (to 145.4 mm Hg) in the control group; the mean reduction was 21.6 mm Hg greater with the intervention (95% confidence interval, 14.7 to 28.4; P<0.001). A blood-pressure level of less than 130/80 mm Hg was achieved among 63.6% of the participants in the intervention group versus 11.7% of the participants in the control group (P<0.001). In the intervention group, the rate of cohort retention was 95%, and there were few adverse events (three cases of acute kidney injury). Conclusions Among black male barbershop patrons with uncontrolled hypertension, health promotion by barbers resulted in larger blood-pressure reduction when coupled with medication management in barbershops by specialty-trained pharmacists. (Funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and others; number, NCT02321618 .).

Concepts: Kidney, Hypotension, Clinical trial, Artery, Orthostatic hypotension, Blood, Hypertension, Blood pressure


Background Intravenous sodium bicarbonate and oral acetylcysteine are widely used to prevent acute kidney injury and associated adverse outcomes after angiography without definitive evidence of their efficacy. Methods Using a 2-by-2 factorial design, we randomly assigned 5177 patients at high risk for renal complications who were scheduled for angiography to receive intravenous 1.26% sodium bicarbonate or intravenous 0.9% sodium chloride and 5 days of oral acetylcysteine or oral placebo; of these patients, 4993 were included in the modified intention-to-treat analysis. The primary end point was a composite of death, the need for dialysis, or a persistent increase of at least 50% from baseline in the serum creatinine level at 90 days. Contrast-associated acute kidney injury was a secondary end point. Results The sponsor stopped the trial after a prespecified interim analysis. There was no interaction between sodium bicarbonate and acetylcysteine with respect to the primary end point (P=0.33). The primary end point occurred in 110 of 2511 patients (4.4%) in the sodium bicarbonate group as compared with 116 of 2482 (4.7%) in the sodium chloride group (odds ratio, 0.93; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.72 to 1.22; P=0.62) and in 114 of 2495 patients (4.6%) in the acetylcysteine group as compared with 112 of 2498 (4.5%) in the placebo group (odds ratio, 1.02; 95% CI, 0.78 to 1.33; P=0.88). There were no significant between-group differences in the rates of contrast-associated acute kidney injury. Conclusions Among patients at high risk for renal complications who were undergoing angiography, there was no benefit of intravenous sodium bicarbonate over intravenous sodium chloride or of oral acetylcysteine over placebo for the prevention of death, need for dialysis, or persistent decline in kidney function at 90 days or for the prevention of contrast-associated acute kidney injury. (Funded by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Research and Development and the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia; PRESERVE number, NCT01467466 .).

Concepts: Sodium chloride, Placebo, Kidney, 25th century, 3rd millennium, Nephrology, Renal physiology, Renal failure


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


Natriuretic regulation of extracellular fluid volume homeostasis includes suppression of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, pressure natriuresis, and reduced renal nerve activity, actions that concomitantly increase urinary Na+ excretion and lead to increased urine volume. The resulting natriuresis-driven diuretic water loss is assumed to control the extracellular volume. Here, we have demonstrated that urine concentration, and therefore regulation of water conservation, is an important control system for urine formation and extracellular volume homeostasis in mice and humans across various levels of salt intake. We observed that the renal concentration mechanism couples natriuresis with correspondent renal water reabsorption, limits natriuretic osmotic diuresis, and results in concurrent extracellular volume conservation and concentration of salt excreted into urine. This water-conserving mechanism of dietary salt excretion relies on urea transporter-driven urea recycling by the kidneys and on urea production by liver and skeletal muscle. The energy-intense nature of hepatic and extrahepatic urea osmolyte production for renal water conservation requires reprioritization of energy and substrate metabolism in liver and skeletal muscle, resulting in hepatic ketogenesis and glucocorticoid-driven muscle catabolism, which are prevented by increasing food intake. This natriuretic-ureotelic, water-conserving principle relies on metabolism-driven extracellular volume control and is regulated by concerted liver, muscle, and renal actions.

Concepts: Glucose, Kidney, Glycogen, Sodium, Ammonia, Urine, Urea, Metabolism


Current treatment of anemia in chronic kidney disease (CKD) with erythropoiesis-stimulating agents can lead to substantial hemoglobin oscillations above target range and high levels of circulating erythropoietin. Vadadustat (AKB-6548), a novel, titratable, oral hypoxia-inducible factor prolyl hydroxylase inhibitor induces endogenous erythropoietin synthesis and enhances iron mobilization. In this 20-week, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, phase 2b study, we evaluated the efficacy and safety of once-daily vadadustat in patients with stages 3a to 5 non-dialysis-dependent CKD. The primary endpoint was the percentage of patients who, during the last 2 weeks of treatment, achieved or maintained either a mean hemoglobin level of 11.0 g/dl or more or a mean increase in hemoglobin of 1.2 g/dl or more over the predose average. Significantly, the primary endpoint was met in 54.9% of patients on vadadustat and 10.3% of patients on placebo. Significant increases in both reticulocytes and total iron-binding capacity and significant decreases in both serum hepcidin and ferritin levels were observed in patients on vadadustat compared with placebo. The overall incidence of adverse events was comparable between the 2 groups. Serious adverse events occurred in 23.9% and 15.3% of the vadadustat- and placebo-treated patients, respectively. Three deaths occurred in the vadadustat arm. Thus, this phase 2b study demonstrated that vadadustat raised and maintained hemoglobin levels in a predictable and controlled manner while enhancing iron mobilization in patients with nondialysis-dependent CKD.

Concepts: Ferritin, Kidney, Red blood cell, Transferrin, Anemia, Hemoglobin, Chronic kidney disease, Erythropoietin


Background The epidemiologic characteristics of children and young adults with acute kidney injury have been described in single-center and retrospective studies. We conducted a multinational, prospective study involving patients admitted to pediatric intensive care units to define the incremental risk of death and complications associated with severe acute kidney injury. Methods We used the Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes criteria to define acute kidney injury. Severe acute kidney injury was defined as stage 2 or 3 acute kidney injury (plasma creatinine level ≥2 times the baseline level or urine output <0.5 ml per kilogram of body weight per hour for ≥12 hours) and was assessed for the first 7 days of intensive care. All patients 3 months to 25 years of age who were admitted to 1 of 32 participating units were screened during 3 consecutive months. The primary outcome was 28-day mortality. Results A total of 4683 patients were evaluated; acute kidney injury developed in 1261 patients (26.9%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 25.6 to 28.2), and severe acute kidney injury developed in 543 patients (11.6%; 95% CI, 10.7 to 12.5). Severe acute kidney injury conferred an increased risk of death by day 28 after adjustment for 16 covariates (adjusted odds ratio, 1.77; 95% CI, 1.17 to 2.68); death occurred in 60 of the 543 patients (11.0%) with severe acute kidney injury versus 105 of the 4140 patients (2.5%) without severe acute kidney injury (P<0.001). Severe acute kidney injury was associated with increased use of mechanical ventilation and renal-replacement therapy. A stepwise increase in 28-day mortality was associated with worsening severity of acute kidney injury (P<0.001 by log-rank test). Assessment of acute kidney injury according to the plasma creatinine level alone failed to identify acute kidney injury in 67.2% of the patients with low urine output. Conclusions Acute kidney injury is common and is associated with poor outcomes, including increased mortality, among critically ill children and young adults. (Funded by the Pediatric Nephrology Center of Excellence at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and others; AWARE number, NCT01987921 .).

Concepts: Ureter, Renal physiology, Renal failure, Odds ratio, Urine, Nephrology, Kidney, Epidemiology


The current chronic kidney disease epidemic, the major health issue in the rice paddy farming areas in Sri Lanka has been the subject of many scientific and political debates over the last decade. Although there is no agreement among scientists about the etiology of the disease, a majority of them has concluded that this is a toxic nephropathy. None of the hypotheses put forward so far could explain coherently the totality of clinical, biochemical, histopathological findings, and the unique geographical distribution of the disease and its appearance in the mid-1990s. A strong association between the consumption of hard water and the occurrence of this special kidney disease has been observed, but the relationship has not been explained consistently. Here, we have hypothesized the association of using glyphosate, the most widely used herbicide in the disease endemic area and its unique metal chelating properties. The possible role played by glyphosate-metal complexes in this epidemic has not been given any serious consideration by investigators for the last two decades. Furthermore, it may explain similar kidney disease epidemics observed in Andra Pradesh (India) and Central America. Although glyphosate alone does not cause an epidemic of chronic kidney disease, it seems to have acquired the ability to destroy the renal tissues of thousands of farmers when it forms complexes with a localized geo environmental factor (hardness) and nephrotoxic metals.

Concepts: Sri Lanka, Chronic kidney disease, Infectious disease, Theory, Epidemiology, Kidney, Epidemic, Scientific method


In 2015, scientists reported the emergence of the plasmid-encoded mcr-1 gene conferring bacterial resistance to the antibiotic colistin (1), signaling potential emergence of a pandrug-resistant bacterium. In May 2016, mcr-1-positive Escherichia coli was first isolated from a specimen from a U.S. patient (2) when a Pennsylvania woman was evaluated for a urinary tract infection. The urine culture and subsequent testing identified the gene in an extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing E. coli with reduced susceptibility to colistin. The patient had no international travel for approximately 1 year, no livestock exposure, and a limited role in meal preparation with store-bought groceries; however, she had multiple and repeated admissions to four medical facilities during 2016.

Concepts: Evolution, Urine, Kidney, Proteobacteria, Urinary tract infection, Bacteria, Antibiotic resistance, Escherichia coli


Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a common consequence of systemic illness or injury and it complicates several forms of major surgery. Two major difficulties have hampered progress in AKI research and clinical management. AKI is difficult to detect early and its pathogenesis is still poorly understood. We recently reported results from multi-center studies where two urinary markers of cell-cycle arrest, tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-2 (TIMP-2) and insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 7 (IGFBP7) were validated for development of AKI well ahead of clinical manifestations-azotemia and oliguria. Cell-cycle arrest is known to be involved in the pathogenesis of AKI and this ‘dark side’ may also involve progression to chronic kidney disease. However, cell-cycle arrest has a ‘light side’ as well, since this mechanism can protect cells from the disastrous consequences of entering cell division with damaged DNA or insufficient bioenergetic resources during injury or stress. Whether we can use the light side to help prevent AKI remains to be seen, but there is already evidence that cell-cycle arrest biomarkers are indicators of both sides of this complex physiology.

Concepts: Nephrology, Cell division, Cell, Kidney, Chronic kidney disease, Renal failure, DNA, Cell nucleus


Objective To investigate whether symptomatic treatment with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) is non-inferior to antibiotics in the treatment of uncomplicated lower urinary tract infection (UTI) in women, thus offering an opportunity to reduce antibiotic use in ambulatory care.Design Randomised, double blind, non-inferiority trial.Setting 17 general practices in Switzerland.Participants 253 women with uncomplicated lower UTI were randomly assigned 1:1 to symptomatic treatment with the NSAID diclofenac (n=133) or antibiotic treatment with norfloxacin (n=120). The randomisation sequence was computer generated, stratified by practice, blocked, and concealed using sealed, sequentially numbered drug containers.Main outcome measures The primary outcome was resolution of symptoms at day 3 (72 hours after randomisation and 12 hours after intake of the last study drug). The prespecified principal secondary outcome was the use of any antibiotic (including norfloxacin and fosfomycin as trial drugs) up to day 30. Analysis was by intention to treat.Results 72/133 (54%) women assigned to diclofenac and 96/120 (80%) assigned to norfloxacin experienced symptom resolution at day 3 (risk difference 27%, 95% confidence interval 15% to 38%, P=0.98 for non-inferiority, P<0.001 for superiority). The median time until resolution of symptoms was four days in the diclofenac group and two days in the norfloxacin group. A total of 82 (62%) women in the diclofenac group and 118 (98%) in the norfloxacin group used antibiotics up to day 30 (risk difference 37%, 28% to 46%, P<0.001 for superiority). Six women in the diclofenac group (5%) but none in the norfloxacin group received a clinical diagnosis of pyelonephritis (P=0.03).Conclusion Diclofenac is inferior to norfloxacin for symptom relief of UTI and is likely to be associated with an increased risk of pyelonephritis, even though it reduces antibiotic use in women with uncomplicated lower UTI.Trial registration NCT01039545.

Concepts: Ciprofloxacin, Diclofenac, Symptom, Antibiotic, Kidney, Symptomatic treatment, Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, Urinary tract infection