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Concept: Renal physiology


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Alendronate is a widely used bisphosphonate in the treatment of osteoporosis. Although it has been proven to be a very useful drug, it has some side effects as well. In this paper, we describe a case of nephrotic syndrome due to alendronate administration. A 36-year-old man was admitted to the nephrology outpatient clinic with widespread edema 4 months after initiation of alendronate. He had a 13-kg weight gain within a 2-week period. He had no clinical or laboratory problems apart from osteoporosis, which was the indication for initiation of the drug. Physical examination at admission was unremarkable, but for nephrotic edema. Laboratory studies revealed nephrotic range proteinuria (13.5 g/day), normal renal function, hypoalbuminemia (1.7 g/dl), and also hypercholesterolemia (400 mg/dl). A kidney biopsy was performed. Light microscopic evaluation revealed a slight increase in mesangial cells and matrix; however, no abnormalities in the tubules or interstitium were noted. Alendronate was withdrawn and diuretic therapy was initiated. Patient’s weight gradually decreased from 84 to 67 kg within a 1-week period. No other drugs for the treatment of nephrotic syndrome were administered. During the clinical course, serum creatinine remained stable, and proteinuria gradually decreased and disappeared 40 days after stopping alendronate. It was noted that alendronate administration can give rise to nephrotic syndrome, while discontinuation of this drug may improve the pathology without any specific treatment.

Concepts: Bisphosphonate, Renal failure, Kidney, Nephrology, Renal physiology, Nephrotic syndrome, Proteinuria, Nephritic syndrome