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Journal: Journal of the American Society of Nephrology : JASN


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


Observational studies have reported that black and Hispanic adults receiving maintenance dialysis survive longer than non-Hispanic white counterparts. Whether there are racial disparities in survival of children with ESRD is not clear. We compared mortality risk among non-Hispanic black, Hispanic, and non-Hispanic white children who started RRT between 1995 and 2011 and were followed through 2012. We examined all-cause mortality using adjusted Cox models. Of 12,123 children included for analysis, 1600 died during the median follow-up of 7.1 years. Approximately 25% of children were non-Hispanic black, and 26% of children were of Hispanic ethnicity. Non-Hispanic black children had a 36% higher risk of death (95% confidence interval [95% CI], 1.21 to 1.52) and Hispanic children had a 34% lower risk of death (95% CI, 0.57 to 0.77) than non-Hispanic white children. Adjustment for transplant as a time-dependent covariate abolished the higher risk of death in non-Hispanic black children (hazard ratio, 0.99; 95% CI, 0.88 to 1.12) but did not attenuate the finding of a lower risk of death in Hispanic children (hazard ratio, 0.59; 95% CI, 0.51 to 0.68). In conclusion, Hispanic children had lower mortality than non-Hispanic white children. Non-Hispanic black children had higher mortality than non-Hispanic white children, which was related to differences in access to transplantation by race. Parity in access to transplantation in children and improvements in strategies to prolong graft survival could substantially reduce disparities in mortality risk of non-Hispanic black children treated with RRT.

Concepts: Race, Ethnic group, White American, White people, Hispanic and Latino Americans, Race in the United States, White Hispanic and Latino Americans


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


The appropriate target for BP in patients with CKD and hypertension remains uncertain. We report prespecified subgroup analyses of outcomes in participants with baseline CKD in the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial. We randomly assigned participants to a systolic BP target of <120 mm Hg (intensive group; n=1330) or <140 mm Hg (standard group; n=1316). After a median follow-up of 3.3 years, the primary composite cardiovascular outcome occurred in 112 intensive group and 131 standard group CKD participants (hazard ratio [HR], 0.81; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 0.63 to 1.05). The intensive group also had a lower rate of all-cause death (HR, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.53 to 0.99). Treatment effects did not differ between participants with and without CKD (P values for interactions ≥0.30). The prespecified main kidney outcome, defined as the composite of ≥50% decrease in eGFR from baseline or ESRD, occurred in 15 intensive group and 16 standard group participants (HR, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.44 to 1.83). After the initial 6 months, the intensive group had a slightly higher rate of change in eGFR (-0.47 versus -0.32 ml/min per 1.73 m(2) per year; P<0.03). The overall rate of serious adverse events did not differ between treatment groups, although some specific adverse events occurred more often in the intensive group. Thus, among patients with CKD and hypertension without diabetes, targeting an SBP<120 mm Hg compared with <140 mm Hg reduced rates of major cardiovascular events and all-cause death without evidence of effect modifications by CKD or deleterious effect on the main kidney outcome.

Concepts: Chronic kidney disease, Kidney, Blood, Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Hypertension, Blood pressure, Renin


Retrospective studies suggest that online hemodiafiltration (OL-HDF) may reduce the risk of mortality compared with standard hemodialysis in patients with ESRD. We conducted a multicenter, open-label, randomized controlled trial in which we assigned 906 chronic hemodialysis patients either to continue hemodialysis (n=450) or to switch to high-efficiency postdilution OL-HDF (n=456). The primary outcome was all-cause mortality, and secondary outcomes included cardiovascular mortality, all-cause hospitalization, treatment tolerability, and laboratory data. Compared with patients who continued on hemodialysis, those assigned to OL-HDF had a 30% lower risk of all-cause mortality (hazard ratio [HR], 0.70; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 0.53-0.92; P=0.01), a 33% lower risk of cardiovascular mortality (HR, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.44-1.02; P=0.06), and a 55% lower risk of infection-related mortality (HR, 0.45; 95% CI, 0.21-0.96; P=0.03). The estimated number needed to treat suggested that switching eight patients from hemodialysis to OL-HDF may prevent one annual death. The incidence rates of dialysis sessions complicated by hypotension and of all-cause hospitalization were lower in patients assigned to OL-HDF. In conclusion, high-efficiency postdilution OL-HDF reduces all-cause mortality compared with conventional hemodialysis.

Concepts: Dialysis, Epidemiology, Medical statistics, Randomized controlled trial, Hemodialysis, Renal replacement therapy, Outcome, Suggestion


Frequent hemodialysis requires using the vascular access more often than with conventional hemodialysis, but whether this increases the risk for access-related complications is unknown. In two separate trials, we randomly assigned 245 patients to receive in-center daily hemodialysis (6 days per week) or conventional hemodialysis (3 days per week) and 87 patients to receive home nocturnal hemodialysis (6 nights per week) or conventional hemodialysis, for 12 months. The primary vascular access outcome was time to first access event (repair, loss, or access-related hospitalization). Secondary outcomes were time to all repairs and time to all losses. In the Daily Trial, 77 (31%) of 245 patients had a primary outcome event: 33 repairs and 15 losses in the daily group and 17 repairs, 11 losses, and 1 hospitalization in the conventional group. Overall, the risk for a first access event was 76% higher with daily hemodialysis than with conventional hemodialysis (hazard ratio [HR], 1.76; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.11-2.79; P=0.017); among the 198 patients with an arteriovenous (AV) access at randomization, the risk was 90% higher with daily hemodialysis (HR, 1.90; 95% CI, 1.11-3.25; P=0.02). Daily hemodialysis patients had significantly more total AV access repairs than conventional hemodialysis patients (P=0.011), with 55% of all repairs involving thrombectomy or surgical revision. Losses of AV access did not differ between groups (P=0.58). We observed similar trends in the Nocturnal Trial, although the results were not statistically significant. In conclusion, frequent hemodialysis increases the risk of vascular access complications. The nature of the AV access repairs suggests that this risk likely results from increased hemodialysis frequency rather than heightened surveillance.

Concepts: Chronic kidney disease, Statistics, Hemodialysis, Confidence interval, Statistical hypothesis testing, Renal dialysis, Home hemodialysis, Northwest Kidney Centers


Vasopressin modulates sodium reabsorption in the collecting duct through adenylyl cyclase-stimulated cyclic AMP, which exists as multiple isoforms; the specific isoform involved in vasopressin-stimulated sodium transport is unknown. To assess this, we studied mice deficient in adenylyl cyclase type VI specifically in the principal cells of the collecting duct. Knockout mice had increased urine volume and reduced urine sodium concentration, but regardless of the level of sodium intake, they did not exhibit significant alterations in urinary sodium excretion, arterial pressure, or pulse rate. Plasma renin concentration was elevated in knockout mice, however, suggesting a compensatory response. Valsartan significantly reduced arterial pressure in knockout mice but not in controls. Knockout mice had decreased renal cortical mRNA content of all three epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) isoforms, and total cell sodium channel isoforms α and γ were reduced in these animals. Patch-clamp analysis of split-open cortical collecting ducts revealed no difference in baseline activity of sodium channels, but knockout mice had abolished vasopressin-stimulated ENaC open probability and apical membrane channel number. In summary, these data suggest that adenylyl cyclase VI mediates vasopressin-stimulated ENaC activity in the kidney.

Concepts: Kidney, Nephron, Blood pressure, Renal physiology, Aldosterone, Sodium, Renin, Collecting duct system


Nephrons comprise a blood filter and an epithelial tubule that is subdivided into proximal and distal segments, but what directs this patterning during kidney organogenesis is not well understood. Using zebrafish, we found that the HNF1β paralogues hnf1ba and hnf1bb, which encode homeodomain transcription factors, are essential for normal segmentation of nephrons. Embryos deficient in hnf1ba and hnf1bb did not express proximal and distal segment markers, yet still developed an epithelial tubule. Initiating hnf1ba/b expression required Pax2a and Pax8, but hnf1ba/b-deficient embryos did not exhibit the expected downregulation of pax2a and pax8 at later stages of development, suggesting complex regulatory loops involving these molecules. Embryos deficient in hnf1ba/b also did not express the irx3b transcription factor, which is responsible for differentiation of the first distal tubule segment. Reciprocally, embryos deficient in irx3b exhibited downregulation of hnf1ba/b transcripts in the distal early segment, suggesting a segment-specific regulatory circuit. Deficiency of hnf1ba/b also led to ectopic expansion of podocytes into the proximal tubule domain. Epistasis experiments showed that the formation of podocytes required wt1a, which encodes the Wilms' tumor suppressor-1 transcription factor, and rbpj, which encodes a mediator of canonical Notch signaling, downstream or parallel to hnf1ba/b. Taken together, these results suggest that Hnf1β factors are essential for normal segmentation of nephrons during kidney organogenesis.

Concepts: DNA, Gene expression, Developmental biology, Glomerulus, Bowman's capsule, Nephron, Transcription factor, Distal convoluted tubule


Overexpression of soluble urokinase receptor (suPAR) causes pathology in animal models similar to primary FSGS, and one recent study demonstrated elevated levels of serum suPAR in patients with the disease. Here, we analyzed circulating suPAR levels in two cohorts of children and adults with biopsy-proven primary FSGS: 70 patients from the North America-based FSGS clinical trial (CT) and 94 patients from PodoNet, the Europe-based consortium studying steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome. Circulating suPAR levels were elevated in 84.3% and 55.3% of patients with FSGS patients in the CT and PodoNet cohorts, respectively, compared with 6% of controls (P<0.0001); inflammation did not account for this difference. Multiple regression analysis suggested that lower suPAR levels associated with higher estimated GFR, male sex, and treatment with mycophenolate mofetil. In the CT cohort, there was a positive association between the relative reduction of suPAR after 26 weeks of treatment and reduction of proteinuria, with higher odds for complete remission (P=0.04). In the PodoNet cohort, patients with an NPHS2 mutation had higher suPAR levels than those without a mutation. In conclusion, suPAR levels are elevated in geographically and ethnically diverse patients with FSGS and do not reflect a nonspecific proinflammatory milieu. The associations between a change in circulating suPAR with different therapeutic regimens and with remission support the role of suPAR in the pathogenesis of FSGS.

Concepts: Immune system, Regression analysis, Clinical trial, Pathology, Nephrotic syndrome, Proteinuria, Mycophenolic acid, Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis


pO(2) in the kidney is maintained at relatively stable levels by a unique and complex functional interplay between renal blood flow, GFR, O(2) consumption, and arteriovenous O(2) shunting. The fragility of this interplay makes the kidney susceptible to hypoxic injury. Cells in the kidney utilize various molecular pathways that allow them to respond and adapt to changes in renal oxygenation. This review provides an integrative perspective on the role of molecular hypoxia responses in normal kidney physiology and pathophysiology, and discusses their therapeutic potential for the treatment of renal diseases.

Concepts: Chronic kidney disease, Kidney, Nephron, Renal physiology, Renin, Renal blood flow