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Tracy Hampton

Newly reported data representing nearly all US outpatient dialysis facilities reveal that most bloodstream infections in dialysis patients continue to occur in those with central venous catheters used for vascular access. The findings, which are published in a recent Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology study, come from the first year of data used by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to assess facility performance based on bloodstream infections.

Increasing attention is being paid to reducing vascular access–related infections in dialysis patients. “Hemodialysis patients are at high risk for infections, which increase mortality, hospitalization, and

Tracy Hampton

Although kidney transplantation is the optimal therapy after kidney failure for prolonging patient survival and improving quality of life, kidneys transplanted from deceased donors often do not function longer than 10 to 15 years. Therefore, many recipients must eventually receive a second transplant or undergo dialysis, with considerations such as the scarcity of donor organs and the immunological sensitization of transplant recipients factoring into decisions related to these options.

Because direct comparison of transplantation versus dialysis continuation through a randomized controlled trial is not feasible due to ethical, biological, and logistic reasons, investigators recently conducted a retrospective study that analyzed

Tracy Hampton

The field of neonatal acute kidney injury (AKI) is in its infancy, but some reports indicate that up to one-quarter of newborns in intensive care units may develop AKI, which puts them at increased risk of poor clinical outcomes and even premature death. Premature newborns have an elevated risk of developing chronic kidney disease and end stage renal failure compared with term infants, and AKI may possibly contribute to this risk.

Although detecting AKI in newborns is critical for their current and future health, it can be challenging to achieve with current serum creatinine–based tests, in part because serum creatinine

Tracy Hampton

New research indicates that age cut-offs for deceased organ donors prevent quality kidneys from being available to patients in need of life-saving transplants. Even kidneys from donors ≥80 years of age functioned for years after transplantation in a recent Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology study.

“Nowadays, in many countries, about 30% to 60% of deceased kidney grafts are included in the so-called ‘extended criteria.’ However, as witnessed by the heterogeneity of organ discard rate across the transplant community, the limits of this policy are not well defined despite the development of several scoring systems,” the

Tracy Hampton

Mounting evidence indicates that obesity has detrimental effects on the kidneys, and recent research is revealing the potential mechanisms involved. A new study published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology points to the important contribution of the endocannabinoid system to the pathogenesis of obesity-induced renal lipotoxicity and nephropathy.

Up to one-third of kidney disease in the United States could be related to obesity, likely due to hemodynamic and morphologic changes in the kidney.

“Obesity-associated renal structural and functional changes develop early in the course of obesity and the metabolic syndrome, and although multiple metabolic factors—such

Tracy Hampton

New research indicates that many patients who are receiving chronic hemodialysis have depressive symptoms but do not wish to receive aggressive treatment to alleviate them. The study, which is published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, also found that when patients are willing to accept treatment for depression, renal providers commonly do not prescribe it.

Depression affects nearly one-quarter of people receiving chronic hemodialysis, compared with an average population lifetime risk of between 8.3% and 9%. These high rates likely reflect the various physiological and psychosocial consequences of living with impaired kidney function—from the