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Concept: Renal physiology

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Background In previous analyses of BENEFIT, a phase 3 study, belatacept-based immunosuppression, as compared with cyclosporine-based immunosuppression, was associated with similar patient and graft survival and significantly improved renal function in kidney-transplant recipients. Here we present the final results from this study. Methods We randomly assigned kidney-transplant recipients to a more-intensive belatacept regimen, a less-intensive belatacept regimen, or a cyclosporine regimen. Efficacy and safety outcomes for all patients who underwent randomization and transplantation were analyzed at year 7 (month 84). Results A total of 666 participants were randomly assigned to a study group and underwent transplantation. Of the 660 patients who were treated, 153 of the 219 patients treated with the more-intensive belatacept regimen, 163 of the 226 treated with the less-intensive belatacept regimen, and 131 of the 215 treated with the cyclosporine regimen were followed for the full 84-month period; all available data were used in the analysis. A 43% reduction in the risk of death or graft loss was observed for both the more-intensive and the less-intensive belatacept regimens as compared with the cyclosporine regimen (hazard ratio with the more-intensive regimen, 0.57; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.35 to 0.95; P=0.02; hazard ratio with the less-intensive regimen, 0.57; 95% CI, 0.35 to 0.94; P=0.02), with equal contributions from the lower rates of death and graft loss. The mean estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) increased over the 7-year period with both belatacept regimens but declined with the cyclosporine regimen. The cumulative frequencies of serious adverse events at month 84 were similar across treatment groups. Conclusions Seven years after transplantation, patient and graft survival and the mean eGFR were significantly higher with belatacept (both the more-intensive regimen and the less-intensive regimen) than with cyclosporine. (Funded by Bristol-Myers Squibb; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00256750 .).

Concepts: Renal failure, Kidney, Nephrology, Renal physiology, Renal function, Organ transplant, Electrolyte, Bristol-Myers Squibb

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Background Combination therapy with angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARBs) decreases proteinuria; however, its safety and effect on the progression of kidney disease are uncertain. Methods We provided losartan (at a dose of 100 mg per day) to patients with type 2 diabetes, a urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio (with albumin measured in milligrams and creatinine measured in grams) of at least 300, and an estimated glomerular filtration rate (GFR) of 30.0 to 89.9 ml per minute per 1.73 m(2) of body-surface area and then randomly assigned them to receive lisinopril (at a dose of 10 to 40 mg per day) or placebo. The primary end point was the first occurrence of a change in the estimated GFR (a decline of ≥30 ml per minute per 1.73 m(2) if the initial estimated GFR was ≥60 ml per minute per 1.73 m(2) or a decline of ≥50% if the initial estimated GFR was <60 ml per minute per 1.73 m(2)), end-stage renal disease (ESRD), or death. The secondary renal end point was the first occurrence of a decline in the estimated GFR or ESRD. Safety outcomes included mortality, hyperkalemia, and acute kidney injury. Results The study was stopped early owing to safety concerns. Among 1448 randomly assigned patients with a median follow-up of 2.2 years, there were 152 primary end-point events in the monotherapy group and 132 in the combination-therapy group (hazard ratio with combination therapy, 0.88; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.70 to 1.12; P=0.30). A trend toward a benefit from combination therapy with respect to the secondary end point (hazard ratio, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.58 to 1.05; P=0.10) decreased with time (P=0.02 for nonproportionality). There was no benefit with respect to mortality (hazard ratio for death, 1.04; 95% CI, 0.73 to 1.49; P=0.75) or cardiovascular events. Combination therapy increased the risk of hyperkalemia (6.3 events per 100 person-years, vs. 2.6 events per 100 person-years with monotherapy; P<0.001) and acute kidney injury (12.2 vs. 6.7 events per 100 person-years, P<0.001). Conclusions Combination therapy with an ACE inhibitor and an ARB was associated with an increased risk of adverse events among patients with diabetic nephropathy. (Funded by the Cooperative Studies Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Research and Development; VA NEPHRON-D ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00555217 .).

Concepts: Renal failure, Kidney, Nephrology, Dialysis, Diabetic nephropathy, Renal physiology, Angiotensin II receptor antagonist, Kidney diseases

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The effect of clinically recovered AKI (r-AKI) on future pregnancy outcomes is unknown. We retrospectively studied all women who delivered infants between 1998 and 2007 at Massachusetts General Hospital to assess whether a previous episode of r-AKI associated with subsequent adverse maternal and fetal outcomes, including preeclampsia. AKI was defined as rise in serum creatinine concentration to 1.5-fold above baseline. We compared pregnancy outcomes in women with r-AKI without history of CKD (eGFR>90 ml/min per 1.73 m(2) before conception; n=105) with outcomes in women without kidney disease (controls; n=24,640). The r-AKI and control groups had similar prepregnancy serum creatinine measurements (0.70±0.20 versus 0.69±0.10 mg/dl; P=0.36). However, women with r-AKI had increased rates of preeclampsia compared with controls (23% versus 4%; P<0.001). Infants of women with r-AKI were born earlier than infants of controls (37.6±3.6 versus 39.2±2.2 weeks; P<0.001), with increased rates of small for gestational age births (15% versus 8%; P=0.03). After multivariate adjustment, r-AKI associated with increased risk for preeclampsia (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 5.9; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 3.6 to 9.7) and adverse fetal outcomes (aOR, 2.4; 95% CI, 1.6 to 3.7). When women with r-AKI and controls were matched 1:2 by age, race, body mass index, diastolic BP, parity, and diabetes status, r-AKI remained associated with preeclampsia (OR, 4.7; 95% CI, 2.1 to 10.1) and adverse fetal outcomes (OR, 2.1; 95% CI, 1.2 to 3.7). Thus, a past episode of AKI, despite return to normal renal function before pregnancy, associated with adverse outcomes in pregnancy.

Concepts: Pregnancy, Childbirth, Embryo, Fetus, Renal physiology, Obstetrics, Body mass index, Gestational age

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Proton pump inhibitor (PPI) use is associated with an increased risk of acute kidney injury (AKI), incident chronic kidney disease (CKD), and progression to end-stage renal disease (ESRD). PPI-associated CKD is presumed to be mediated by intervening AKI. However, whether PPI use is associated with an increased risk of chronic renal outcomes in the absence of intervening AKI is unknown. To evaluate this we used the Department of Veterans Affairs national databases to build a cohort of 144,032 incident users of acid suppression therapy that included 125,596 PPI and 18,436 Histamine H2 receptor antagonist (H2 blockers) consumers. Over 5 years of follow-up in survival models, cohort participants were censored at the time of AKI occurrence. Compared with incident users of H2 blockers, incident users of PPIs had an increased risk of an estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) under 60 ml/min/1.73m(2) (hazard ratio 1.19; 95% confidence interval 1.15-1.24), incident CKD (1.26; 1.20-1.33), eGFR decline over 30% (1.22; 1.16-1.28), and ESRD or eGFR decline over 50% (1.30; 1.15-1.48). Results were consistent in models that excluded participants with AKI either before chronic renal outcomes, during the time in the cohort, or before cohort entry. The proportion of PPI effect mediated by AKI was 44.7%, 45.47%, 46.00%, and 46.72% for incident eGFR under 60 ml/min/1.73m(2), incident CKD, eGFR decline over 30%, and ESRD or over 50% decline in eGFR, respectively. Thus, PPI use is associated with increased risk of chronic renal outcomes in the absence of intervening AKI. Hence, reliance on antecedent AKI as warning sign to guard against the risk of CKD among PPI users is not sufficient as a sole mitigation strategy.

Concepts: Renal failure, Chronic kidney disease, Kidney, Nephrology, Erythropoietin, Dialysis, Renal physiology, Electrolyte

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The association between proton pump inhibitors (PPI) use and risk of acute interstitial nephritis has been described. However, whether exposure to PPI associates with incident CKD, CKD progression, or ESRD is not known. We used Department of Veterans Affairs national databases to build a primary cohort of new users of PPI (n=173,321) and new users of histamine H2-receptor antagonists (H2blockers;n=20,270) and followed these patients over 5 years to ascertain renal outcomes. In adjusted Cox survival models, the PPI group, compared with the H2blockers group, had an increased risk of incident eGFR<60 ml/min per 1.73 m(2)and of incident CKD (hazard ratio [HR], 1.22; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 1.18 to 1.26; and HR, 1.28; 95% CI, 1.23 to 1.34, respectively). Patients treated with PPI also had a significantly elevated risk of doubling of serum creatinine level (HR, 1.53; 95% CI, 1.42 to 1.65), of eGFR decline >30% (HR, 1.32; 95% CI, 1.28 to 1.37), and of ESRD (HR, 1.96; 95% CI, 1.21 to 3.18). Furthermore, we detected a graded association between duration of PPI exposure and risk of renal outcomes among those exposed to PPI for 31-90, 91-180, 181-360, and 361-720 days compared with those exposed for ≤30 days. Examination of risk of renal outcomes in 1:1 propensity score-matched cohorts of patients taking H2blockers versus patients taking PPI and patients taking PPI versus controls yielded consistent results. Our results suggest that PPI exposure associates with increased risk of incident CKD, CKD progression, and ESRD.

Concepts: Kidney, Proportional hazards models, Renal physiology, Creatinine, Interstitial nephritis, Kidney diseases, Nephritis, H2 antagonist

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Background Among patients in the United States with chronic kidney disease, black patients are at increased risk for end-stage renal disease, as compared with white patients. Methods In two studies, we examined the effects of variants in the gene encoding apolipoprotein L1 (APOL1) on the progression of chronic kidney disease. In the African American Study of Kidney Disease and Hypertension (AASK), we evaluated 693 black patients with chronic kidney disease attributed to hypertension. In the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC) study, we evaluated 2955 white patients and black patients with chronic kidney disease (46% of whom had diabetes) according to whether they had 2 copies of high-risk APOL1 variants (APOL1 high-risk group) or 0 or 1 copy (APOL1 low-risk group). In the AASK study, the primary outcome was a composite of end-stage renal disease or a doubling of the serum creatinine level. In the CRIC study, the primary outcomes were the slope in the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and the composite of end-stage renal disease or a reduction of 50% in the eGFR from baseline. Results In the AASK study, the primary outcome occurred in 58.1% of the patients in the APOL1 high-risk group and in 36.6% of those in the APOL1 low-risk group (hazard ratio in the high-risk group, 1.88; P<0.001). There was no interaction between APOL1 status and trial interventions or the presence of baseline proteinuria. In the CRIC study, black patients in the APOL1 high-risk group had a more rapid decline in the eGFR and a higher risk of the composite renal outcome than did white patients, among those with diabetes and those without diabetes (P<0.001 for all comparisons). Conclusions Renal risk variants in APOL1 were associated with the higher rates of end-stage renal disease and progression of chronic kidney disease that were observed in black patients as compared with white patients, regardless of diabetes status. (Funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and others.).

Concepts: Renal failure, Chronic kidney disease, Kidney, Nephrology, Erythropoietin, Dialysis, Hypertension, Renal physiology

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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 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00428948 .).

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

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Thiazide diuretics are among the most widely used treatments for hypertension, but thiazide-induced hyponatremia (TIH), a clinically significant adverse effect, is poorly understood. Here, we have studied the phenotypic and genetic characteristics of patients hospitalized with TIH. In a cohort of 109 TIH patients, those with severe TIH displayed an extended phenotype of intravascular volume expansion, increased free water reabsorption, urinary prostaglandin E2 excretion, and reduced excretion of serum chloride, magnesium, zinc, and antidiuretic hormone. GWAS in a separate cohort of 48 TIH patients and 2,922 controls from the 1958 British birth cohort identified an additional 14 regions associated with TIH. We identified a suggestive association with a variant in SLCO2A1, which encodes a prostaglandin transporter in the distal nephron. Resequencing of SLCO2A1 revealed a nonsynonymous variant, rs34550074 (p.A396T), and association with this SNP was replicated in a second cohort of TIH cases. TIH patients with the p.A396T variant demonstrated increased urinary excretion of prostaglandin E2 and metabolites. Moreover, the SLCO2A1 phospho-mimic p.A396E showed loss of transporter function in vitro. These findings indicate that the phenotype of TIH involves a more extensive metabolic derangement than previously recognized. We propose one mechanism underlying TIH development in a subgroup of patients in which SLCO2A1 regulation is altered.

Concepts: Gene, Metabolism, Renal physiology, Phenotype, Vasopressin, Diuretic, Thiazide, Prostaglandin

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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

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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