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Karen Blum

Loss of muscle mass is a common early complication of chronic kidney disease (CKD), but exercise and lifestyle interventions can help stave off that process.

“Encouraging people with CKD to be less sedentary is absolutely crucial,” said James Burton, MBChB, MD, a professor in renal medicine and honorary consultant nephrologist with the University of Leicester, in England.

Expert supervision of structured exercise programs results in greater compliance and potentially better outcomes for patients with kidney disease, he said. “But it’s really important that we appreciate that a one size [program] does not fit all,” he added. “Really, we should be

Karen Blum

Increasing clinical demands, regulatory issues, and documentation requirements have contributed to physicians’ burnout over the past decade, and the COVID-19 pandemic has created additional strain, speakers said during Kidney Week 2020 Reimagined. Now more than ever, they said, clinicians need to practice self-compassion, forge connections, and find ways to alleviate stress.

About 44% of physicians had already experienced at least one manifestation of burnout (1), said Tait Shanafelt, MD, chief wellness officer for Stanford Medicine and associate dean for the Stanford School of Medicine. Then the pandemic changed all aspects of physicians’ personal and professional lives. Traditional sources

Ankur Shah and Natasha Dave

The Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative recommends discussing kidney replacement therapy options when patients reach chronic kidney disease (CKD) stage 4 or have an estimated GFR <30 mL/min per 1.73 m2 (1). Preparing patients and vetting the options for renal replacement therapy remain pivotal to providing excellent CKD care, which ultimately leads to better patient outcomes. During these conversations, it is crucial that patients fully examine the quality of life, morbidity, and mortality associated with each therapy. For years, researchers have dedicated their time to examining the effects of these modalities in hopes of better facilitating

Karen Blum

Plans to develop an implantable artificial kidney have been waylaid by fundraising challenges and the COVID-19 pandemic, but researchers hope to soon have a business case to move the work forward in clinical trials, the project’s co-director said during Kidney Week 2020 Reimagined.

“This is envisioned to be a device that provides the key functions of a kidney transplant,” said Shuvo Roy, PhD, technical director of The Kidney Project, an effort housed at the University of California, San Francisco, and Vanderbilt University Medical Center, to develop an implantable device to provide kidney replacement therapy.

Designed to be inserted in the

Bridget M. Kuehn

Results from two major trials of sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors, a class of drugs initially developed as a treatment for type 2 diabetes mellitus, add to evidence that the drugs may offer kidney-protecting benefits. The results were presented during the High Impact Clinical Trials session at Kidney Week 2020 Reimagined.

The Dapagliflozin and Prevention of Adverse Outcomes in Chronic Kidney Disease (DAPA-CKD) Trial found that the SGLT2 inhibitor dapagliflozin provided heart and kidney benefits regardless of the cause of underlying kidney disease. Results from the Empagliflozin Outcome Trial in Patients with Chronic Heart Failure with Reduced Ejection Fraction (EMPEROR-Reduced) of

Bridget M. Kuehn

When she joined Twitter in 2010, Kimberly Manning, MD, professor of medicine and associate vice chair of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Emory University in Atlanta, said she didn’t quite understand how it worked, so at first she mostly observed what others were sharing. Then, in 2018, she began sharing some of the 8-minute bite-sized teaching modules (BST Mode) she created for her students, and it helped put her work on the radar.

First came an invitation to discuss the curriculum at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. During that talk, attendees tweeted about her talk; that led to new collaborators

Urate-lowering therapy does not reduce the risk of progression in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), reports The New England Journal of Medicine.

The “Controlled Trial of Slowing of Kidney Disease Progression from the Inhibition of Xanthine Oxidase” (CKD-FIX) enrolled adults with stage 3 or 4 CKD (urinary albumin:creatinine ratio of 265 or higher or estimated glomerular filtration rate [eGFR] at least 3.0 mL/min/1.73 m2) and no history of gout. Patients were assigned to allopurinol, 100 to 300 mg/d, or placebo. The main outcome of interest was change in eGFR from baseline to 104 weeks.

Planned

The American Kidney Fund recently awarded research funding from its Clinical Scientist in Nephrology Program to two promising emerging clinical researchers in nephrology: Anika Lucas, MD, a nephrology fellow at Duke University, and Maria Clarissa Tio, MD, a fellow at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Massachusetts General Hospital’s Joint Nephrology Program. Kidney News Editorial Board member Edgar Lerma, MD, FASN, interviewed them about the award and their interest in nephrology.

Maria Clarissa Tio, MD Tell us about yourself.

I am originally from the Philippines, and I majored in biology at the University of the Philippines Manila. Thereafter, I moved to

Nicole Fauteux

To mitigate the risk of COVID-19 infection, a recent white paper released by the Kidney Health Initiative (KHI) Board of Directors urges KHI stakeholders to accelerate the development of home-based technologies for people with kidney failure (1).

“The COVID-19 pandemic is unmasking the shortcomings of in-center hemodialysis for people with kidney failure,” the paper states, noting that people who rely on in-center dialysis do not have “the luxury of social distancing during a pandemic,” exposing them and those working in dialysis centers to potential infection.

“The global medical device development community needs to collaborate and overcome barriers to

Nicole Fauteux

Nephrologists have been challenged in recent years to attract young physicians to the specialty. Many attribute this difficulty to the field’s complexity, the younger generation’s focus on work–life balance, the vulnerability of the patients nephrologists serve, and limited exposure to the field during medical school and residency. Now that kidney disease has been thrust into the limelight by COVID-19, some observers are asking whether the specialty might be more attractive to young physicians in the future.

Such a change would be welcome. In 2019, only 62% of nephrology resident positions were filled during the annual match. That’s a slight increase