Spring/Summer 2024

Research highlights from the BC Renal network

A new and improved way to time vascular access points for kidney patients

A new study suggests a commonly used tool called the Kidney Failure Risk Equation (KFRE) can be used to support timely creation of vascular access points, such as fistulas, for kidney patients. The results could eventually lead to fewer unnecessary surgeries and increased quality of life and outcomes.

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Global analysis finds regional variation in hemoglobin values and points to unseen factors influencing anemia in kidney patients

A new study analyzing tens of thousands of people living with kidney disease from around the world shows they can have greatly varying levels of hemoglobin, a protein critical for transporting oxygen throughout the body. The results, published in Kidney International Reports, suggest doctors may need to rethink the way they approach treating low hemoglobin levels (anemia) in this population.

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Clinical trial paves the way for a potentially new and effective therapy for IgA nephropathy

The results of a small clinical trial found that a novel drug called cemdisiran is safe in humans and potentially effective for treating IgA nephropathy. The findings, published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, could lead to additional studies and eventually a new, approved therapy for patients affected by this rare form of kidney disease.

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Follow-up biopsies effective at detecting persistent kidney transplant rejection in children

New evidence underscores the importance of conducting follow-up biopsies in children after treatment for rejection in their transplanted kidney. The results suggest that only monitoring kidney function is not sufficient in assessing whether kidney rejection is resolved.

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Study underscores need for new guidelines and more kidney ultrasounds in children with hypertension

New evidence underscores the importance of tests to identify secondary causes of pediatric hypertension (high blood pressure) – a large portion of which may be related to kidney complications. The results, published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, emphasize the value of kidney ultrasounds for children with hypertension.

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Researchers identify key clues of disease progression in IgA vasculitis nephritis

A new study of a rare disease – called IgA vasculitis nephritis – helps identify which patients are more likely to experience a decline in kidney function over time, indicating children are at higher risk than adults. The results, published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, also suggest health-care professionals monitor certain subgroups of patients, and especially children, longer due to fluctuations in kidney function.

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Effective new hemodialysis product could limit need for expensive line-clearing agent for catheters

A new study points to the effectiveness of a different product in the category of “line-locking solutions” than what’s typically used to minimize hemodialysis catheter blockages, which could also result in cost savings for the health-care system. The results, published in the Canadian Journal of Hospital Pharmacy, show that ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid 4% (EDTA 4%), can reduce the rate of catheter blockages for hemodialysis patients compared to sodium citrate 4% (SC 4%)

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Breaking down barriers to prescribing SGLT2 inhibitors

A study published in the Canadian Journal of Kidney Health and Disease points to some underlying reasons why some doctors are still hesitant to prescribe kidney patients a sodium-glucose transport 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor, despite evidence that this type of medication can offer numerous benefits. SGLT2 inhibitors have been proven to help prevent cardiovascular complications, slow kidney disease progression, control blood pressure, and promote weight loss in people living with kidney disease, including those with or without diabetes.

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Researcher profile: Dani Renouf

Recently, there has been an explosion of interest among the health research community to uncover the puzzling relationship between the gut microbiome and peoples’ health – but few have yet explored this phenomenon in people living with kidney disease. Dani Renouf is a dietitian within the BC Renal provincial network who is delving deeper into these mysteries.

The microbes living in our gut can influence many different factors of our health, including weight, immune system functioning, and digestion, among others. Renouf is helping launch a study in British Columbia that will explore the impact of supplements on the gut microbiomes of kidney patients who are malnourished.

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Recent publications by BC kidney researchers:

Did you know?
BC Renal has a research section on our website. Learn more: http://www.bcrenal.ca/research

Stay up-to-date on the latest edition of the ISN Global Kidney Atlas here.

Who We Are:
Kidney care professionals and patient partners across BC are engaged in a broad range of local, provincial and international research projects, many in collaboration with BC's educational and research institutions. Their work is frequently published in peer-reviewed journals.

Why We Do It:
● To facilitate/conduct quality research studies
● To support knowledge translation
● To foster local, national and international research collaborations
● To facilitate training and mentoring of young physicians and scientists

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We acknowledge with gratitude that our BC Renal offices are located on the traditional, unceded territory of the Coast Salish, home of the Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh and Squamish peoples, as well as the Métis chartered communities of the Lower Mainland