Fall/Winter 2023

Research highlights from the BC Renal network

Kidneys from drug-related deaths exhibit high success rates after transplantation

New evidence suggests transplant recipients who receive a kidney from someone who has passed away from drug toxicity often experience excellent transplant outcomes – sometimes even better outcomes than recipients of organs from donors who died from other causes.

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Kidneys with somewhat poor likelihood of success for transplant do better if used before recipients need dialysis

New evidence reveals pre-emptive kidney transplants (that take place before a patient needs dialysis) can have a high success rate even with lower quality kidneys. The results, published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, also suggest this may be a way to increase the number of organs available for transplant.

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Canagliflozin is beneficial for people with mild kidney disease, no history of cardiovascular disease

Follow-up assessments of two large studies of canagliflozin show that the drug has more widespread benefits for kidney patients than previously thought, both in terms of kidney protection and lowering the risk of peripheral artery disease. The studies report that even patients with mild kidney disease or no history of cardiovascular disease benefit from the medication.

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Study quantifies plastic waste from peritoneal dialysis across BC

A small-scale study at one peritoneal dialysis unit has yielded hefty results. The effort to quantify plastic waste associated with home-based peritoneal dialysis reveals that therapy for a single patient generates 21.4 kilograms of recyclable polypropylene plastic (PP) and 81.4 kg of recyclable polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic annually. Across BC, this amounts to an estimated 24,503 kg of PP and 92,069 kg of PVC plastic waste each year.

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Glomerulonephritis patients found to be at high risk of tuberculosis infections

A new study shows that people with glomerulonephritis (GN) are at significantly higher risk of experiencing active tuberculosis (TB) infections, at a rate 23 times higher than the general population. The results strongly suggest that patients should be screened for TB as soon as they receive their GN diagnosis.

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Dialysis patients in BC and Ontario substantially protected from COVID-19-related hospitalization or death because of vaccines

A recent study shows small differences in COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness among dialysis patients in British Columbia compared to Ontario, which may be caused by variability in pandemic waves or vaccine roll out strategies across the two provinces. However, the results of the study suggest dialysis patients in both regions were substantially protected from COVID-19-related hospitalization or death because of the vaccines.

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Long COVID associated with substantial kidney decline one year after infection

People who have long COVID – and especially those who were hospitalized from the virus or have diabetes – show a significant decline in kidney function in the 12 months following infection, a study reveals. The results suggest these patients may be at higher risk of developing chronic kidney disease later on in life and should be monitored closely.

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Surveys of patients and providers reveal when a virtual or in-person visit is preferred

When the COVID-19 pandemic reached Canada in 2020, the regional health authorities that are part of the BC Renal network had to rapidly change the way they delivered care to thousands of non-dialysis patients across the province, shifting from primarily in-person care to primarily virtual care. Now, surveys of both patients and health-care providers reveal which aspects of virtual care they like – and when an in-person visit is preferred. The results are described in a poster and pending publication.

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Researcher profile: Mina Matsuda-Abedini

Dr. Mina Matsuda-Abedini’s passion for pediatric nephrology – with a focus on clinical research – was first sparked by mentors when she was at McGill University in Montreal in the mid 1990s. She has since taken a position as a pediatric nephrologist at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and now at BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver, where she is working to improve care for Canada’s youngest populations affected by kidney disease.

“The main focus of my research has always been improving the care of children with chronic kidney disease and kidney transplants, as well as optimizing their transition of care from pediatric to adult care,” says Matsuda-Abedini.

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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