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Tracy Hampton

The drug rituximab recently emerged as a potential treatment for the childhood kidney disorder known as idiopathic nephrotic syndrome (INS). This anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody has been used successfully to treat immune disorders such as lymphoma and arthritis, but it does not appear to benefit children who have INS that is resistant to standard treatments. That was the conclusion of a recent study by Magnasco et al. in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Rituximab for INS

Although the cause of INS in children is not fully known, it is believed to be an immune disorder. The

Tracy Hampton

The approximately 3.5 million people who are homeless each year in the United States experience numerous barriers to obtaining appropriate and effective medical care, and they have high rates of physical illness, mental health disorders, and substance abuse.

“Prior studies suggested that risk factors for chronic kidney disease such as diabetes mellitus and hypertension might be elevated among homeless individuals, but the elusive nature of this population has limited our understanding of the long-term outcomes of chronic diseases in this population,” said Yoshio Hall, MD, of the University of Washington, Seattle. “Our research attempts to address this knowledge gap and

Tracy Hampton

Ongoing advances in technology and drug discovery continue to transform numerous aspects of health, but making such breakthroughs available to all who may benefit from them is often not possible, especially in the early days of their use. Furthermore, as society strives to address rising healthcare costs and consider responsible distribution of limited healthcare dollars, many questions arise regarding the most appropriate use of expensive tests and therapies.

A new paper in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology addresses such questions, using the history of the development and dissemination of maintenance dialysis as a guide

Tracy Hampton

Chronic, severe dehydration linked to working in hot, humid climates for long hours may be accelerating rates of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Research published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN) suggests that a condition called heat stress nephropathy may represent a disease of neglected populations, but one that may emerge as a major cause of poor kidney health as the climate continues to change (Glaser J, et al. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. doi:10.2215/CJN.13841215 [published online May 5, 2016]).

Over the next century, climate change and resulting water shortages are likely

Tracy Hampton

Angiotensin II blockade can slow the progression of chronic kidney disease, but how effective is it in kidney transplant recipients? Investigators recently completed a large, randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial that looked at this very question.

“Contrary to what has been observed in native kidney disease, angiotensin II blockade did not demonstrate a statistically significant benefit in lessening fibrosis or terminal kidney failure from severe fibrosis,” said first author Hassan Ibrahim, MD, professor in the division of renal diseases and hypertension at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities campus. “Nevertheless, angiotensin II blockade was safe and well tolerated.”

The study, which

Tracy Hampton

Recent studies add growing evidence to the potential dangers of exposure to bisphenol A (BPA). The estrogen-like chemical may be linked to diabetes in adults and to heart and kidney disease in children. Still, the risks are far from clear.

In some of the most recent work, researchers found a link between BPA and low-grade urinary albumin excretion in children and adolescents (Trasande L, et al. Kidney Int 2013 Jan 9. doi: 10.1038/ki.2012.422). The findings suggest that youngsters who are exposed to BPA, which was once used widely in plastic bottles and is still found in aluminum cans

Tracy Hampton

Acute kidney injury is one of the most common and serious complications of hospitalized patients. Yet there are no FDA-approved therapies for this disorder except dialysis, and potential drug therapies are associated with a number of adverse effects.

“There is an important gap in our ability to address this problem,” said Mark Okusa, MD, of the University of Virginia. Okusa and his colleagues may have stumbled upon a solution when they unexpectedly discovered that ultrasound exposure provides a simple, portable, noninvasive, and nonpharmacological approach to prevent acute kidney injury and long-term kidney fibrosis. Their findings were published recently in the

Tracy Hampton

The prevalence of stage 3 to 5 chronic kidney disease (CKD) in some elderly populations in Europe is well above 20%, according to new research. In addition, the prevalence of dialysis therapy for kidney failure is increasing much faster than population growth in most parts of the world.

The findings come from two separate studies presented at ASN Kidney Week 2013, which was held in Atlanta in November.

The European CKD Burden Consortium used standardized definitions to determine the prevalence of CKD across Europe. Katharina Brueck, MD, Vianda Stel, PhD, and Kitty Jager, MD, PhD, of the ERA-EDTA Registry in

Tracy Hampton

Researchers have genetically reprogrammed adult human kidney cells to become induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells—a feat that may help in the study of kidney diseases and the development of novel therapies to treat them.

The findings could help millions of people with kidney disease, many of whom experience progression to end stage renal disease, which has only two treatment options: long-term dialysis or kidney transplantation. Effective alternatives are urgently needed for these patients, given the poor quality of life associated with dialysis and the increasing organ transplant waiting lists.

The study “Generation of induced pluripotent stem cells from human kidney

Tracy Hampton

In 2009, a kidney transplant recipient in New York City received a kidney that was far from ideal—it carried HIV.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released the details of a public health investigation into the case, which revealed the first confirmed case of HIV transmission through organ transplantation from a living donor reported since 1989 and the first such transmission documented in the United States since laboratory screening for HIV infection became available in 1985. The CDC’s recent Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report offers recommendations to help prevent such a serious event from occurring