Publications by authors named "Annalisa Perna"

82 Publications

Preventing microalbuminuria with benazepril, valsartan, and benazepril-valsartan combination therapy in diabetic patients with high-normal albuminuria: A prospective, randomized, open-label, blinded endpoint (PROBE) study.

PLoS Med 2021 Jul 14;18(7):e1003691. Epub 2021 Jul 14.

Department of Renal Medicine, Clinical Research Center for Rare Diseases, "Aldo e Cele Daccò": Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri IRCCS, Ranica, Bergamo, Italy.

Background: Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) prevent microalbuminuria in normoalbuminuric type 2 diabetic patients. We assessed whether combined therapy with the 2 medications may prevent microalbuminuria better than ACE inhibitor or ARB monotherapy.

Methods And Findings: VARIETY was a prospective, randomized, open-label, blinded endpoint (PROBE) trial evaluating whether, at similar blood pressure (BP) control, combined therapy with benazepril (10 mg/day) and valsartan (160 mg/day) would prevent microalbuminuria more effectively than benazepril (20 mg/day) or valsartan (320 mg/day) monotherapy in 612 type 2 diabetic patients with high-normal albuminuria included between July 2007 and April 2013 by the Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri IRCCS and 8 diabetology or nephrology units in Italy. Time to progression to microalbuminuria was the primary outcome. Analyses were intention to treat. Baseline characteristics were similar among groups. During a median [interquartile range, IQR] follow-up of 66 [42 to 83] months, 53 patients (27.0%) on combination therapy, 57 (28.1%) on benazepril, and 64 (31.8%) on valsartan reached microalbuminuria. Using an accelerated failure time model, the estimated acceleration factors were 1.410 (95% CI: 0.806 to 2.467, P = 0.229) for benazepril compared to combination therapy, 0.799 (95% CI: 0.422 to 1.514, P = 0.492) for benazepril compared to valsartan, and 1.665 (95% CI: 1.007 to 2.746, P = 0.047) for valsartan compared to combination therapy. Between-group differences in estimated acceleration factors were nonsignificant after adjustment for predefined confounders. BP control was similar across groups. All treatments were safe and tolerated well, with a slight excess of hyperkalemia and hypotension in the combination therapy group. The main study limitation was the lower than expected albuminuria at inclusion.

Conclusions: Risk/benefit profile of study treatments was similar. Dual renin-angiotensin system (RAS) blockade is not recommended as compared to benazepril or valsartan monotherapy for prevention of microalbuminuria in normoalbuminuric type 2 diabetic patients.

Trial Registration: EudraCT 2006-005954-62; ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00503152.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1003691DOI Listing
July 2021

Calcifediol supplementation in adults on hemodialysis: a randomized controlled trial.

J Nephrol 2021 Jun 26. Epub 2021 Jun 26.

Faculty of Medicine and Health, Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.

Background: Vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased risks of mortality in people with chronic kidney disease. The benefits and harm of vitamin D supplementation on cardiovascular outcomes and mortality are unknown. We aimed to assess the effectiveness of calcifediol in reducing mortality in patients with vitamin D insufficiency on hemodialysis compared to no additional therapy.

Methods: A phase III, multicenter, randomized, open-label trial was conducted including 284 adults with vitamin D insufficiency undergoing hemodialysis who were randomly assigned to receive oral calcifediol or standard care for 24 months.

Results: Two hundred eighty-four participants were enrolled (143 assigned to the calcifediol group and 141 to the no additional therapy group). The primary outcome (mortality) occurred in 34 and 31 participants in the calcifediol and control group, respectively [hazard ratio (HR) 1.03; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.63-1.67]. Calcifediol had no detectable effects on cardiovascular death (HR 1.06; 95% CI 0.41-2.74), non-cardiovascular death (HR 1.13; 95% CI 0.62-2.04), nonfatal myocardial infarction (HR 0.20; 95% CI 0.02-1.67) or nonfatal stroke (HR could not be estimated). The incidence of hypercalcemia and hyperphosphatemia was similar between groups. None of the participants underwent parathyroidectomy.

Conclusions: In adults treated with hemodialysis and who had vitamin D insufficiency, calcifediol supplementation for 24 months had inconclusive effects on mortality and cardiovascular outcomes.

Trial Registration Number: NCT01457001.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40620-021-01104-zDOI Listing
June 2021

Mycophenolate mofetil versus azathioprine in kidney transplant recipients on steroid-free, low-dose cyclosporine immunosuppression (ATHENA): A pragmatic randomized trial.

PLoS Med 2021 Jun 24;18(6):e1003668. Epub 2021 Jun 24.

Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri IRCCS, Bergamo, Italy.

Background: We compared protection of mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) and azathioprine (AZA) against acute cellular rejection (ACR) and chronic allograft nephropathy (CAN) in kidney transplant recipients on steroid-free, low-dose cyclosporine (CsA) microemulsion maintenance immunosuppression.

Methods And Findings: ATHENA, a pragmatic, prospective, multicenter trial conducted by 6 Italian transplant centers, compared the outcomes of 233 consenting recipients of a first deceased donor kidney transplant induced with low-dose thymoglobulin and basiliximab and randomized to MMF (750 mg twice/day, n = 119) or AZA (75 to 125 mg/day, n = 114) added-on maintenance low-dose CsA microemulsion and 1-week steroid. In patients without acute clinical or subclinical rejections, CsA dose was progressively halved. Primary endpoint was biopsy-proven CAN. Analysis was by intention to treat. Participants were included between June 2007 and July 2012 and followed up to August 2016. Between-group donor and recipient characteristics, donor/recipient mismatches, and follow-up CsA blood levels were similar. During a median (interquartile range (IQR)) follow-up of 47.7 (44.2 to 48.9) months, 29 of 87 biopsied patients on MMF (33.3%) versus 31 of 88 on AZA (35.2%) developed CAN (hazard ratio (HR) [95% confidence interval (CI)]: 1.147 (0.691 to 1.904, p = 0.595). Twenty and 21 patients on MMF versus 34 and 14 on AZA had clinical [HR (95% CI): 0.58 (0.34 to 1.02); p = 0.057) or biopsy-proven subclinical [HR (95% CI): 1.49 (0.76 to 2.92); p = 0.249] ACR, respectively. Combined events [HR (95% CI): 0.85 (0.56 to 1.29); p = 0.438], patient and graft survival, delayed graft function (DGF), 3-year glomerular filtration rate (GFR) [53.8 (40.6;65.7) versus 49.8 (36.8;62.5) mL/min/1.73 m2, p = 0.50], and adverse events (AEs) were not significantly different between groups. Chronicity scores other than CAN predict long-term graft outcome. Study limitations include small sample size and unblinded design.

Conclusions: In this study, we found that in deceased donor kidney transplant recipients on low-dose CsA and no steroids, MMF had no significant benefits over AZA. This finding suggests that AZA, due to its lower costs, could safely replace MMF in combination with minimized immunosuppression.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00494741; EUDRACT 2006-005604-14.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1003668DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8224852PMC
June 2021

Long-Term Outcomes of Kidney Transplants from Older/Marginal Donors: A Cohort Study.

Nephron 2021 Jun 15:1-11. Epub 2021 Jun 15.

Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri IRCCS, Bergamo, Italy.

Introduction: To safely expand the donor pool, we introduced a strategy of biopsy-guided selection and allocation to single or dual transplantation of kidneys from donors >60 years old or with hypertension, diabetes, and/or proteinuria (older/marginal donors). Here, we evaluated the long-term performance of this approach in everyday clinical practice.

Methods: In this single-center cohort study, we compared outcomes of 98 patients who received one or two biopsy-evaluated grafts from older/marginal donors ("recipients") and 198 patients who received nonhistologically assessed single graft from ideal donors ("reference-recipients") from October 2004 to December 2015 at the Bergamo Transplant Center (Italy).

Results: Older/marginal donors and their recipients were 27.9 and 19.3 years older than ideal donors and their reference-recipients, respectively. KDPI/KDRI and donor serum creatinine were higher and cold ischemia time longer in the recipient group. During a median follow-up of 51.9 (interquartile range 23.1-88.6) months, 11.2% of recipients died, 7.1% lost their graft, and 16.3% had biopsy-proven acute rejection (BPAR) versus 3.5, 7.6, and 17.7%, respectively, of reference-recipients. Overall death-censored graft failure (rate ratio 0.78 [95% CI 0.33-2.08]), 5-year death-censored graft survival (94.3% [87.8-100.0] vs. 94.2% [90.5-98.0]), BPAR incidence (rate ratio 0.87 [0.49-1.62]), and yearly measured glomerular filtration rate decline (1.18 ± 3.27 vs. 0.68 ± 2.42 mL/min/1.73 m2, p = 0.37) were similar between recipients and reference-recipients, respectively.

Conclusions: Biopsy-guided selection and allocation of kidneys from older/marginal donors can safely increase transplant activity in clinical practice without affecting long-term outcomes. This may help manage the growing gap between organ demand and supply without affecting long-term recipient and graft outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000516534DOI Listing
June 2021

A simple, home-therapy algorithm to prevent hospitalisation for COVID-19 patients: A retrospective observational matched-cohort study.

EClinicalMedicine 2021 Jun 9:100941. Epub 2021 Jun 9.

Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri IRCCS, Bergamo, Italy.

Background: Effective home treatment algorithms implemented based on a pathophysiologic and pharmacologic rationale to accelerate recovery and prevent hospitalisation of patients with early coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) would have major implications for patients and health system.

Methods: This academic, matched-cohort study compared outcomes of 90 consecutive consenting patients with mild COVID-19 treated at home by their family physicians between October 2020 and January 2021 in Northern and Central Italy, according to the proposed recommendation algorithm, with outcomes for 90 age-, sex-, and comorbidities-matched patients who received other therapeutic regimens. Primary outcome was time to resolution of major symptoms. Secondary outcomes included prevention of hospitalisation. Analyses were by intention-to-treat.

Findings: All patients achieved complete remission. The median [IQR] time to resolution of major symptoms was 18 [14-23] days in the 'recommended schedule' cohort and 14 [7-30] days in the matched 'control' cohort ( = 0·033). Other symptoms persisted in a lower percentage of patients in the 'recommended' than in the 'control' cohort (23·3% versus 73·3%, respectively, <0·0001) and for a shorter period ( = 0·0107). Two patients in the 'recommended' cohort were hospitalised compared to 13 (14·4%) controls ( = 0·0103). The prevention algorithm reduced the days and cumulative costs of hospitalisation by >90%.

Interpretation: Implementation of an early home treatment algorithm failed to accelerate recovery from major symptoms of COVID-19, but reduced the risk of hospitalisation and related treatment costs. Given the study design, additional research would be required to consolidate the proposed treatment recommendations.

Funding: Fondazione Cav.Lav. Carlo Pesenti.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eclinm.2021.100941DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8189543PMC
June 2021

Ramipril and Cardiovascular Outcomes in Patients on Maintenance Hemodialysis: The ARCADIA Multicenter Randomized Controlled Trial.

Clin J Am Soc Nephrol 2021 04 29;16(4):575-587. Epub 2021 Mar 29.

Unit of Nephrology and Dialysis, Azienda Ospedaliera Santa Croce e Carle, Cuneo, Italy.

Background And Objectives: Renin-angiotensin system (RAS) inhibitors reduce cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in patients with CKD. We evaluated the cardioprotective effects of the angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor ramipril in patients on maintenance hemodialysis.

Design, Setting, Participants, & Measurements: In this phase 3, prospective, randomized, open-label, blinded end point, parallel, multicenter trial, we recruited patients on maintenance hemodialysis with hypertension and/or left ventricular hypertrophy from 28 Italian centers. Between July 2009 and February 2014, 140 participants were randomized to ramipril (1.25-10 mg/d) and 129 participants were allocated to non-RAS inhibition therapy, both titrated up to the maximally tolerated dose to achieve predefined target BP values. The primary efficacy end point was a composite of cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, or stroke. Secondary end points included the single components of the primary end point, new-onset or recurrence of atrial fibrillation, hospitalizations for symptomatic fluid overload, thrombosis or stenosis of the arteriovenous fistula, and changes in cardiac mass index. All outcomes were evaluated up to 42 months after randomization.

Results: At comparable BP control, 23 participants on ramipril (16%) and 24 on non-RAS inhibitor therapy (19%) reached the primary composite end point (hazard ratio, 0.93; 95% confidence interval, 0.52 to 1.64; =0.80). Ramipril reduced cardiac mass index at 1 year of follow-up (between-group difference in change from baseline: -16.3 g/m; 95% confidence interval, -29.4 to -3.1), but did not significantly affect the other secondary outcomes. Hypotensive episodes were more frequent in participants allocated to ramipril than controls (41% versus 12%). Twenty participants on ramipril and nine controls developed cancer, including six gastrointestinal malignancies on ramipril (four were fatal), compared with none in controls.

Conclusions: Ramipril did not reduce the risk of major cardiovascular events in patients on maintenance hemodialysis.

Clinical Trial Registry Name And Registration Number: ARCADIA, NCT00985322 and European Union Drug Regulating Authorities Clinical Trials Database number 2008-003529-17.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2215/CJN.12940820DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8092055PMC
April 2021

Effect of intensive blood pressure on the progression of non-diabetic chronic kidney disease at varying degrees of proteinuria.

J Investig Med 2021 Jun 4;69(5):1035-1043. Epub 2021 Feb 4.

Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology, Albany Stratton VA Medical Center, Albany, New York, USA.

The ideal blood pressure (BP) target for renoprotection is uncertain in patients with non-diabetic chronic kidney disease (CKD), especially considering the influence exerted by pre-existing proteinuria. In this pooled analysis of landmark trials, we coalesced individual data from 5001 such subjects randomized to intensive versus standard BP targets. We employed multivariable regression to evaluate the relationship between follow-up systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) on CKD progression (defined as glomerular filtration rate decline by 50% or end-stage renal disease), focusing on the potential for effect modification by baseline proteinuria or albuminuria. The median follow-up was 3.2 years. We found that SBP rather than DBP was the primary predictor of renal outcomes. The optimal SBP target was 110-129 mm Hg. We observed a strong interaction between SBP and proteinuria such that lower SBP ranges were significantly linked with progressively lower CKD risk in grade A3 albuminuria or ≥0.5-1 g/day proteinuria (relative to SBP 110-119 mm Hg, the adjusted HR for SBP 120-129 mm Hg, 130-139 mm Hg, and 140-149 mm Hg was 1.5, 2.3, and 3.3, respectively; all p<0.05). In grade A2 microalbuminuria or proteinuria near 0.5 g/day, a non-significant but possible connection was seen between tighter BP and decreased CKD (aforementioned HRs all <2; all p>0.05), while in grade A1 albuminuria or proteinuria <0.2 g/day no significant association was apparent (HRs all <1.5; all p>0.1). We conclude that in non-diabetic CKD, stricter BP targets <130 mm Hg may help limit CKD progression as proteinuria rises.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jim-2020-001702DOI Listing
June 2021

Preimplantation Histological Score Associates with 6-Month GFR in Recipients of Perfused, Older Kidney Grafts: Results from a Pilot Study.

Nephron 2021 22;145(2):137-149. Epub 2021 Jan 22.

Department of Renal Medicine, Clinical Research Centre for Rare Diseases "Aldo e Cele Daccò": Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri IRCCS, Bergamo, Italy.

Background: Biopsy-guided selection of older kidneys safely expands the organ pool, and pretransplant perfusion improves the preservation of these fragile organs. Herein, we studied morphofunctional variables associated with graft outcomes in perfused, histologically evaluated older kidneys.

Methods: This single-center prospective cohort pilot study evaluated the relationships between preimplantation histologic scores and renal perfusion parameters during hypothermic, pulsatile, machine perfusion (MP) and assessed whether these morphofunctional parameters associated with GFR (iohexol plasma clearance) at 6 months after transplantation in 20 consecutive consenting recipients of a biopsy-guided single or dual kidney transplant from >60-year-old deceased donors.

Results: The donor and recipient age was 70.4 ± 6.5 and 63.6 ± 7.9 years (p = 0.005), respectively. The kidney donor profile index (KDPI) was 93.3 ± 8.4% (>80% in 19 cases), histologic score 4.4 ± 1.4, and median (IQR) cold ischemia time 19.8 (17.8-22.8 h; >24 h in 5 cases). The 6-month GFR was 41.2 (34.9-55.7) mL/min. Vascular resistances positively correlated with global histologic score (p = 0.018) at MP start and then decreased from 0.88 ± 0.43 to 0.36 ± 0.13 mm Hg/mL/min (p < 0.001) in parallel with a three-fold renal flow increase from 24.0 ± 14.7 to 74.7 ± 31.8 mL/min (p < 0.001). Consistently, vascular resistance reductions positively correlated with global histologic score (p = 0.009, r = -0.429). Unlike KDPI or vascular resistances, histologic score was independently associated with 6-month GFR (beta standardized coefficient: -0.894, p = 0.005).

Conclusions: MP safely improves graft perfusion, particularly in kidneys with severe histologic changes that would not be considered for transplantation because of high KDPI. The preimplantation histologic score associates with the functional recovery of older kidneys even in the context of a standardized program of pulsatile perfusion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000512341DOI Listing
January 2021

COVID-19 and lombardy: TESTing the impact of the first wave of the pandemic.

EBioMedicine 2020 Nov 22;61:103069. Epub 2020 Oct 22.

Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri IRCCS, Bergamo, Italy.

Background: Italy was the first western country to experience a large Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak and the province of Bergamo experienced one of the deadliest COVID-19 outbreaks in the world. Following the peak of the epidemic in mid-March, the curve has slowly fallen thanks to the strict lockdown imposed by the Italian government on 9th March 2020.

Methods: We performed a cross-sectional study to assess the prevalence of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in 423 workers in Bergamo province who returned to the workplace after the end of the Italian lockdown on 5th May 2020. To this end, we performed an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to detect the humoral response against SARS-CoV-2 and a nasopharyngeal swab to assess the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR). As a secondary aim of the study, we validated a lateral flow immunochromatography assay (LFIA) for the detection of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies.

Findings: ELISA identified 38.5% positive subjects, of whom 51.5% were positive for both IgG and IgM, 47.3% were positive only for IgG, but only 1.2% were positive for IgM alone. Only 23 (5.4%) participants tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 by rRT-PCR, although with high cycle thresholds (between 34 and 39), indicating a very low residual viral load that was not able to infect cultured cells. All these rRT-PCR positive subjects had already experienced seroconversion. When the ELISA was used as the comparator, the estimated specificity and sensitivity of the rapid LFIA for IgG were 98% and 92%, respectively.

Interpretation: the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the province of Bergamo reached 38.5%, significantly higher than has been reported for most other regions worldwide. Few nasopharyngeal swabs tested positive in fully recovered subjects, though with a very low SARS-CoV-2 viral load, with implications for infectivity and discharge policies for positive individuals in the post-pandemic period. The rapid LFIA used in this study is a valuable tool for rapid serologic surveillance of COVID-19 for population studies.

Funding: The study was supported by Regione Lombardia, Milano Serravalle - Milano Tangenziali S.p.A., Brembo S.p.A, and by MEI System.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ebiom.2020.103069DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7581396PMC
November 2020

Impact of a Complement Factor H Gene Variant on Renal Dysfunction, Cardiovascular Events, and Response to ACE Inhibitor Therapy in Type 2 Diabetes.

Front Genet 2019 26;10:681. Epub 2019 Jul 26.

Aldo e Cele Daccò Clinical Research Center for Rare Diseases, Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri-IRCCS, Ranica, Italy.

Complement activation has been increasingly implicated in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes and its chronic complications. It is unknown whether complement factor H (CFH) genetic variants, which have been previously associated with complement-mediated organ damage likely due to inefficient complement modulation, influence the risk of renal and cardiovascular events and response to therapy with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEi) in type 2 diabetic patients. Here, we have analyzed the c.2808G>T, (p.Glu936Asp) CFH polymorphism, which tags the H3 CFH haplotype associated to low plasma factor H levels and predisposing to atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome, in 1,158 type 2 diabetics prospectively followed in the Bergamo nephrologic complications of type 2 diabetes randomized, controlled clinical trial (BENEDICT) that evaluated the effect of the ACEi trandolapril on new onset microalbuminuria. At multivariable Cox analysis, the p.Glu936Asp polymorphism (Asp/Asp homozygotes, recessive model) was associated with increased risk of microalbuminuria [adjusted hazard ratio (HR) 3.25 (95% CI 1.46-7.24), = 0.0038] and cardiovascular events [adjusted HR 2.68 (95% CI 1.23-5.87), = 0.013]. The p.Glu936Asp genotype significantly interacted with ACEi therapy in predicting microalbuminuria. ACEi therapy was not nephroprotective in Asp/Asp homozygotes [adjusted HR 1.54 (0.18-13.07), = 0.691 vs. non-ACEi-treated Asp/Asp patients], whereas it significantly reduced microalbuminuria events in Glu/Asp or Glu/Glu patients [adjusted HR 0.38 (0.24-0.60), < 0.0001 vs. non-ACEi-treated Glu/Asp or Glu/Glu patients]. Among ACEi-treated patients, the risk of developing cardiovascular events was higher in Asp/Asp homozygotes than in Glu/Asp or Glu/Glu patients [adjusted HR 3.26 (1.29-8.28), = 0.013]. Our results indicate that type 2 diabetic patients Asp/Asp homozygotes in the p.Glu936Asp CFH polymorphism are at increased risk of microalbuminuria and cardiovascular complications and may be less likely to benefit from ACEi therapy. Further studies are required to confirm our findings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2019.00681DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6689971PMC
July 2019

Deficiency Shortens Life Span and Impairs Cardiac Mitochondrial Function Rescued by Gene Transfer.

Antioxid Redox Signal 2019 12 2;31(17):1255-1271. Epub 2019 Aug 2.

Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri IRCCS, Centro Anna Maria Astori, Science and Technology Park Kilometro Rosso, Bergamo, Italy.

Sirtuins, a family of NAD-dependent deacetylases, are recognized as nondispensable regulators of aging processes. Sirtuin 3 (SIRT3) is the main mitochondrial deacetylase that maintains mitochondrial bioenergetics, an essential prerequisite for healthy aging. In this study, using knockout () mice, we sought to establish whether deficiency affected life span, an endpoint that has never been tested formally in mammals, and uncover the mechanisms involved in organ damage associated with aging. mice experienced a shorter life span than wild-type mice and severe cardiac damage, characterized by hypertrophy and fibrosis, as they aged. No alterations were found in organs other than the heart. deficiency altered cardiac mitochondrial bioenergetics and caused hyperacetylation of optic atrophy 1 (OPA1), a SIRT3 target. These changes were associated with aberrant alignment of trans-mitochondrial cristae in cardiomyocytes, and cardiac dysfunction. Gene transfer of deacetylated restored cristae alignment in mice, ameliorated cardiac reserve capacity, and protected the heart against hypertrophy and fibrosis. The translational relevance of these findings is in the data showing that silencing in human-induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes led to mitochondrial dysfunction and altered contractile phenotype, both rescued by gene transfer. Our findings indicate that future approaches to heart failure could include SIRT3 as a plausible therapeutic target. SIRT3 has a major role in regulating mammalian life span. deficiency leads to cardiac abnormalities, due to defective trans-mitochondrial cristae alignment and impaired mitochondrial bioenergetics. Correcting cardiac OPA1 hyperacetylation through gene transfer diminished heart failure in mice during aging. 31, 1255-1271.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/ars.2018.7703DOI Listing
December 2019

Effects of Sevelamer Carbonate in Patients With CKD and Proteinuria: The ANSWER Randomized Trial.

Am J Kidney Dis 2019 09 23;74(3):338-350. Epub 2019 Apr 23.

Division of Nephrology, University of Utah Health Sciences Center, Salt Lake City, UT.

Rationale & Objective: Hyperphosphatemia is associated with increased risk for chronic kidney disease (CKD) progression and reduced antiproteinuric effects of renin-angiotensin system (RAS) blockers. We investigated whether the phosphate binder sevelamer carbonate may enhance the antiproteinuric effect of RAS inhibitors in patients with CKD.

Study Design: Phase 2, randomized, controlled, open-label, crossover trial.

Setting & Participants: Between November 2013 and December 2014, we enrolled 53 patients with CKD with estimated glomerular filtration rates (eGFRs)>15mL/min/1.73m and residual proteinuria with protein excretion≥0.5g/24h despite maximal tolerated ramipril and/or irbesartan therapy from 2 nephrology units in Italy.

Intervention: After stratification by serum phosphate level, ≤4 or>4mg/dL, patients were randomly assigned to 3 months of sevelamer (1,600mg thrice daily) treatment followed by 3 months without sevelamer separated by a 1-month washout period or 3 months without sevelamer followed by 3 months with sevelamer, also separated by a 1-month washout period.

Outcomes: The primary outcome was 24-hour proteinuria (n=49patients). Secondary outcomes included measured GFR (using iohexol plasma clearance), office blood pressure (BP), serum lipid levels, levels of inflammation and bone metabolism biomarkers, urinary electrolyte levels, and arterial stiffness.

Results: Changes in proteinuria during the 3-month treatment with (from 1.36 [IQR, 0.77-2.51] to 1.36 [IQR, 0.77-2.60] g/24h) or without (from 1.36 [IQR, 0.99-2.38] to 1.48 [IQR, 0.81-2.77] g/24h) sevelamer were similar (P=0.1). Sevelamer reduced urinary phosphate excretion without affecting serum phosphate levels. Sevelamer reduced C-reactive protein (CRP), glycated hemoglobin, and total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and increased high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels without affecting levels of office BP, measured GFR, fibroblast growth factor 23, klotho, intact parathyroid hormone, serum vitamin D, or other urinary electrolytes. Results were similar in the low- and high-phosphate groups. Sevelamer was well tolerated. Adverse events were comparable between treatment periods. One case of transient hypophosphatemia was observed during treatment with sevelamer.

Limitations: Short treatment duration, lower pretreatment proteinuria than expected.

Conclusions: 3-month sevelamer treatment did not reduce proteinuria in patients with CKD on maximal RAS blockade. Amelioration of inflammation and dyslipidemia with sevelamer treatment raises the possibility that it may confer benefit in patients with CKD beyond reduction of proteinuria.

Funding: Sanofi (Milan, Italy).

Trial Registration: Registered at ClinicalTrials.gov with study number NCT01968759.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.ajkd.2019.01.029DOI Listing
September 2019

Octreotide-LAR in later-stage autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ALADIN 2): A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial.

PLoS Med 2019 04 5;16(4):e1002777. Epub 2019 Apr 5.

Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri IRCCS, Bergamo, Italy.

Background: Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is the most frequent genetically determined renal disease. In affected patients, renal function may progressively decline up to end-stage renal disease (ESRD), and approximately 10% of those with ESRD are affected by ADPKD. The somatostatin analog octreotide long-acting release (octreotide-LAR) slows renal function deterioration in patients in early stages of the disease. We evaluated the renoprotective effect of octreotide-LAR in ADPKD patients at high risk of ESRD because of later-stage ADPKD.

Methods And Findings: We did an internally funded, parallel-group, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase III trial to assess octreotide-LAR in adults with ADPKD with glomerular filtration rate (GFR) 15-40 ml/min/1.73 m2. Participants were randomized to receive 2 intramuscular injections of 20 mg octreotide-LAR (n = 51) or 0.9% sodium chloride solution (placebo; n = 49) every 28 days for 3 years. Central randomization was 1:1 using a computerized list stratified by center and presence or absence of diabetes or proteinuria. Co-primary short- and long-term outcomes were 1-year total kidney volume (TKV) (computed tomography scan) growth and 3-year GFR (iohexol plasma clearance) decline. Analyses were by modified intention-to-treat. Patients were recruited from 4 Italian nephrology units between October 11, 2011, and March 20, 2014, and followed up to April 14, 2017. Baseline characteristics were similar between groups. Compared to placebo, octreotide-LAR reduced median (95% CI) TKV growth from baseline by 96.8 (10.8 to 182.7) ml at 1 year (p = 0.027) and 422.6 (150.3 to 695.0) ml at 3 years (p = 0.002). Reduction in the median (95% CI) rate of GFR decline (0.56 [-0.63 to 1.75] ml/min/1.73 m2 per year) was not significant (p = 0.295). TKV analyses were adjusted for age, sex, and baseline TKV. Over a median (IQR) 36 (24 to 37) months of follow-up, 9 patients on octreotide-LAR and 21 patients on placebo progressed to a doubling of serum creatinine or ESRD (composite endpoint) (hazard ratio [HR] [95% CI] adjusted for age, sex, baseline serum creatinine, and baseline TKV: 0.307 [0.127 to 0.742], p = 0.009). One composite endpoint was prevented for every 4 treated patients. Among 63 patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) stage 4, 3 on octreotide-LAR and 8 on placebo progressed to ESRD (adjusted HR [95% CI]: 0.121 [0.017 to 0.866], p = 0.036). Three patients on placebo had a serious renal cyst rupture/infection and 1 patient had a serious urinary tract infection/obstruction, versus 1 patient on octreotide-LAR with a serious renal cyst infection. The main study limitation was the small sample size.

Conclusions: In this study we observed that in later-stage ADPKD, octreotide-LAR slowed kidney growth and delayed progression to ESRD, in particular in CKD stage 4.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01377246; EudraCT: 2011-000138-12.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1002777DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6450618PMC
April 2019

An Ex Vivo Test of Complement Activation on Endothelium for Individualized Eculizumab Therapy in Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome.

Am J Kidney Dis 2019 07 7;74(1):56-72. Epub 2019 Mar 7.

Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri IRCCS, Clinical Research Center for Rare Diseases Aldo e Cele Daccò and Centro Anna Maria Astori, Science and Technology Park Kilometro Rosso, Bergamo, Italy; Unit of Nephrology and Dialysis, Azienda Socio-Sanitaria Territoriale Papa Giovanni XXIII, Bergamo, Italy; L. Sacco Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, University of Milan, Milan, Italy.

Rationale & Objective: Although primary atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS) is associated with abnormalities in complement genes and antibodies to complement factor H, the role of complement in secondary aHUS remains debatable. We evaluated the usefulness of an ex vivo test to: (1) detect complement activation within the endothelium in primary and secondary aHUS, (2) differentiate active disease from remission, (3) monitor the effectiveness of eculizumab therapy, and (4) identify relapses during eculizumab dosage tapering and after discontinuation of treatment.

Study Design: Case series.

Setting & Participants: 121 patients with primary aHUS and 28 with secondary aHUS. Serum samples were collected during acute episodes, following remission, and during eculizumab treatment and were assessed using a serum-induced ex vivo C5b-9 endothelial deposition test.

Results: Serum-induced C5b-9 deposition on cultured microvascular endothelium was quantified by calculating the endothelial area covered by C5b-9 staining; values were expressed as percentage of C5b-9 deposits induced by a serum pool from healthy controls. Testing with adenosine diphosphate-activated endothelium demonstrated elevated C5b-9 deposits for all untreated patients with aHUS independent of disease activity, while testing with unstimulated endothelium demonstrated deposits only in active disease. Similar findings were observed in secondary aHUS. Serum-induced C5b-9 deposits on activated and unstimulated endothelium normalized during eculizumab treatment. 96% (22/23) of patients receiving eculizumab at extended 3- or 4-week dosing intervals demonstrated normal C5b-9 deposits on activated endothelium, despite most patients having CH50Eq (serum complement activity) > 20 UEq/mL, indicating that adequate complement control was achieved even with incomplete blockade of circulating C5. During eculizumab dosage tapering or after treatment discontinuation, all patients experiencing relapses versus only 6% (1/17) of those in stable remission had elevated C5b-9 deposits on unstimulated endothelium.

Limitations: The C5b-9 endothelial deposition test can be performed in only specialized laboratories. Findings on eculizumab dosage tapering need to be confirmed with longitudinal monitoring of C5b-9 deposition.

Conclusions: The C5b-9 endothelial deposition assay may represent an advance in our ability to monitor aHUS activity and individualize therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.ajkd.2018.11.012DOI Listing
July 2019

Effects of valsartan, benazepril and their combination in overt nephropathy of type 2 diabetes: A prospective, randomized, controlled trial.

Diabetes Obes Metab 2019 05 22;21(5):1177-1190. Epub 2019 Feb 22.

Department of Renal Medicine, Clinical Research Centre for Rare Diseases "Aldo e Cele Daccò": Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri IRCCS, Ranica (Bergamo), Italy.

Aims: To evaluate whether angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor and angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB) combination therapy is more nephroprotective than ACE inhibitor or ARB monotherapy in people with type 2 diabetes and overt nephropathy.

Materials And Methods: In this prospective, randomized, open, blind-endpoint phase III trial sponsored by the Italian Drug Agency, 103 consenting patients with type 2 diabetes, aged >40 years, with serum creatinine levels 159 to 309 μmol/L, spot morning urinary albumin-creatinine ratio > 1000 mg/g (or > 500 mg/g in those on ACE inhibitor or ARB therapy at inclusion) were stratified by centre and randomized to 4.5-year treatment with valsartan 320 mg/d (n = 36), benazepril 20 mg/d (n = 34) or halved doses of both medications (n = 33). The primary endpoint was end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Modified intention-to-treat analyses were performed.

Results: Recruitment took place between June 2007 and February 2013 at 10 centres in Italy and one in Slovenia. A total of 77 participants completed the study and 26 were prematurely withdrawn. During a median (interquartile range) of 41 (18-54) months, 12 participants on benazepril (35.3%) and nine on combination therapy (27.3%) progressed to ESRD, versus five on valsartan (13.9%). Differences between benazepril (hazard ratio [HR] 3.59, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.25-10.30; P = 0.018) or combination therapy (HR 3.28, 95% CI 1.07-10.0; P = 0.038) and valsartan were significant, even after adjustment for age, gender and baseline serum creatinine, systolic blood pressure and 24-hour proteinuria (HR 5.16, 95% CI 1.50-17.75, P = 0.009 and HR 4.75, 95% CI 1.01-22.39, P = 0.049, respectively). Adverse events were distributed similarly among the groups.

Conclusions: In people with type 2 diabetes with nephropathy, valsartan (320 mg/d) safely postponed ESRD more effectively than benazepril (20 mg/d) or than halved doses of both medications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/dom.13639DOI Listing
May 2019

Safety of Iohexol Administration to Measure Glomerular Filtration Rate in Different Patient Populations: A 25-Year Experience.

Nephron 2018 17;140(1):1-8. Epub 2018 May 17.

IRCCS-Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, Bergamo, Italy.

Background/aim: In clinical research setting, accurate and precise measurement of glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is essential to overcome the limitations of GFR estimation with equations, which are often unreliable. In recent decades, a method for measuring GFR by plasma clearance of iohexol, a non-ionic radiocontrast agent, was developed. To evaluate the safety of the procedure, we aimed to review all immediate adverse reactions that could be related to iohexol administration in our group's 25 years worth of experience.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed all GFR investigations in 2,891 patients, between 1992 and 2016, as part of 37 clinical trials coordinated by our group. Subjects with disparate renal diseases, kidney transplant recipients, and living donors - all with different renal function categories - were included in the surveyed clinical trials.

Results: During 15,147 GFR measurements, only one treatment-related event of moderate intensity was identified. Flushing, urticaria, and itching were observed in a diabetic patient a few minutes after iohexol administration during the first GFR measurement. The event recovered without sequelae after intravenous injection of methylprednisolone sodium succinate. The patient was not hospitalized and the event was categorized as non-serious. Eight additional non-serious events observed closely following iohexol injection were considered as not related to treatment. Thus, independent of disease conditions and GFR categories, the overall rate of treatment-related events was 0.0066%.

Conclusion: Iohexol administration for GFR measurement is a safe procedure, even in repeated investigations in the same subject, that should be adopted in clinical research and, when needed, also in clinical practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000489898DOI Listing
September 2019

A Genome-Wide Association Study of Diabetic Kidney Disease in Subjects With Type 2 Diabetes.

Diabetes 2018 07 27;67(7):1414-1427. Epub 2018 Apr 27.

Department of Medicine & Therapeutics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.

Identification of sequence variants robustly associated with predisposition to diabetic kidney disease (DKD) has the potential to provide insights into the pathophysiological mechanisms responsible. We conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of DKD in type 2 diabetes (T2D) using eight complementary dichotomous and quantitative DKD phenotypes: the principal dichotomous analysis involved 5,717 T2D subjects, 3,345 with DKD. Promising association signals were evaluated in up to 26,827 subjects with T2D (12,710 with DKD). A combined T1D+T2D GWAS was performed using complementary data available for subjects with T1D, which, with replication samples, involved up to 40,340 subjects with diabetes (18,582 with DKD). Analysis of specific DKD phenotypes identified a novel signal near (rs9942471, = 4.5 × 10) associated with microalbuminuria in European T2D case subjects. However, no replication of this signal was observed in Asian subjects with T2D or in the equivalent T1D analysis. There was only limited support, in this substantially enlarged analysis, for association at previously reported DKD signals, except for those at and , both associated with estimated glomerular filtration rate. We conclude that, despite challenges in addressing phenotypic heterogeneity, access to increased sample sizes will continue to provide more robust inference regarding risk variant discovery for DKD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2337/db17-0914DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6014557PMC
July 2018

Blood Pressure and Metabolic Effects of Acetyl-l-Carnitine in Type 2 Diabetes: DIABASI Randomized Controlled Trial.

J Endocr Soc 2018 May 22;2(5):420-436. Epub 2018 Mar 22.

Department of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama.

Context: Acetyl-l-carnitine (ALC), a mitochondrial carrier involved in lipid oxidation and glucose metabolism, decreased systolic blood pressure (SBP), and ameliorated insulin sensitivity in hypertensive nondiabetic subjects at high cardiovascular risk.

Objective: To assess the effects of ALC on SBP and glycemic and lipid control in patients with hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D), and dyslipidemia on background statin therapy.

Design: After 4-week run-in period and stratification according to previous statin therapy, patients were randomized to 6-month, double-blind treatment with ALC or placebo added-on simvastatin.

Setting: Five diabetology units and one clinical research center in Italy.

Patients: Two hundred twenty-nine patients with hypertension and dyslipidemic T2D >40 years with stable background antihypertensive, hypoglycemic, and statin therapy and serum creatinine <1.5 mg/dL.

Interventions: Oral ALC 1000 mg or placebo twice daily on top of stable simvastatin therapy.

Outcome And Measures: Primary outcome was SBP. Secondary outcomes included lipid and glycemic profiles. Total-body glucose disposal rate and glomerular filtration rate were measured in subgroups by hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp and iohexol plasma clearance, respectively.

Results: SBP did not significantly change after 6-month treatment with ALC compared with placebo (-2.09 mm Hg -3.57 mm Hg, = 0.9539). Serum cholesterol, triglycerides, and lipoprotein(a), as well as blood glucose, glycated hemoglobin, fasting insulin levels, homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance index, glucose disposal rate, and glomerular filtration rate did not significantly differ between treatments. Adverse events were comparable between groups.

Conclusions: Six-month oral ALC supplementation did not affect blood pressure, lipid and glycemic control, insulin sensitivity and kidney function in hypertensive normoalbuminuric and microalbuminuric T2D patients on background statin therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/js.2017-00426DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5912091PMC
May 2018

Moderate salt restriction with or without paricalcitol in type 2 diabetes and losartan-resistant macroalbuminuria (PROCEED): a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial.

Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol 2018 01 2;6(1):27-40. Epub 2017 Nov 2.

Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico-Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, Centro Anna Maria Astori, Science and Technology Park Kilometro Rosso, Bergamo, Italy; Department of Medicine, Unit of Nephrology and Dialysis, Azienda Socio-Sanitaria Territoriale Papa Giovanni XXIII, Bergamo, Italy.

Background: Macroalbuminuria predicts renal and cardiovascular events in patients with type 2 diabetes. We aimed to assess the albuminuria-lowering effects of salt restriction, paricalcitol therapy, or both, in this population.

Methods: In this randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial, we recruited adult patients with type 2 diabetes from six diabetology outpatient clinics in northern Italy, with 24 h albuminuria of more than 300 mg despite 100 mg per day losartan therapy, blood pressure of less than 140/90 mm Hg, serum creatinine concentration of less than 2 mg/dL, stable renal function on stable renin-angiotensin system inhibitor therapy with a fixed dose of losartan, parathyroid hormone concentration of 20 pg/mL to <110 pg/mL, serum calcium concentration of less than 9·5 mg/dL, and serum phosphate concentration of less than 5 mg/dL, who had been more than 80% compliant with placebo treatment during a 1 month placebo run-in. We allocated patients 1:1 with computer-generated randomisation to an open-label 3 month high-sodium (>200 mEq [4·8 g] per day) or low-sodium (<100 mEq [2·4 g] per day) diet and, within each diet group, to a 1 month double-blind treatment period of oral paricalcitol (2 μg per day) or placebo, followed by 1 month of placebo washout and then a further 1 month double-blind treatment period of paricalcitol or placebo in which patients crossed over to the opposite treatment period. The primary outcome was 24 h albuminuria (median of three consecutive measurements). Analyses were modified intention-to-treat (including all randomly allocated patients who took at least one dose of study drug and had an efficacy measurement after the first treatment period). Patients and investigators were masked to paricalcitol and placebo assignment. Those assessing outcomes were masked to both study drug and diet assignment. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01393808, and the European Union Clinical Trials Register, number 2011-001713-14.

Findings: Between Dec 13, 2011, and Feb 17, 2015, we randomly allocated 57 (50%) patients to a low-sodium diet (28 [49%] to paricalcitol then placebo and 29 [51%] to placebo then paricalcitol) and 58 (50%) to a high-sodium diet (29 [50%] to paricalcitol then placebo and 29 [50%] to placebo then paricalcitol). In the low-sodium group (30 mEq of daily sodium intake reduction, equivalent to approximately 1·7-1·8 g per day), 24 h albuminuria was reduced by 36·6% (95% CI 28·5-44·9) from 724 mg (441-1233) at baseline to 481 mg (289-837) at month 3 (p<0·0001), but no significant change occurred in the high-sodium group (from 730 mg [416-1227] to 801 mg [441-1365]; 2·9% [-16·8 to 16·4] increase; p=0·50). Changes between diet groups differed by 32·4% (17·2-48·8; p<0·0001) and correlated with changes in natriuresis (r=0·43; p<0·0001). On the high-sodium diet, paricalcitol reduced the salt-induced albuminuria increase by 17·8% (3·9-32·3) over the month of treatment compared with placebo (p=0·02), whereas on the low-sodium diet, paricalcitol did not have a significant effect versus placebo (increase of 4·1% [-9·3 to 21·6]; p=0·59). During placebo treatment, albuminuria decreased with the low-sodium diet (p=0·0002) and did not significantly change with the high-sodium diet, but changes were significantly different between diet groups (p=0·0004). Treatment was well tolerated and no patients withdrew from the study because of treatment-related effects. 67 adverse events occurred in 52 (45%) patients during paricalcitol treatment and 44 events occurred in 36 (31%) patients during placebo treatment. During paricalcitol therapy, 14 cases of hypercalciuria, six cases of hypercalcaemia, and five cases of hyperphosphataemia were reported in one patient each, all of which were possibly treatment related. One case of hypercalciuria was reported in one patient during the placebo treatment period. One stroke and one coronary event occurred during paricalcitol therapy. No patients died during the study.

Interpretation: In patients with macroalbuminuria and type 2 diabetes, moderate salt restriction enhances the antialbuminuric effect of losartan, an effect that could be nephroprotective and cardioprotective in the long term. The finding that paricalcitol prevents a sodium-induced increase in albuminuria provides support for trials to test the long-term risk-benefit profile of paricalcitol add-on therapy in patients with type 2 diabetes and macroalbuminuria refractory to dietary salt restriction, including patients refractory to even moderate salt restriction.

Funding: AbbVie.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2213-8587(17)30359-5DOI Listing
January 2018

Cluster Analysis Identifies Distinct Pathogenetic Patterns in C3 Glomerulopathies/Immune Complex-Mediated Membranoproliferative GN.

J Am Soc Nephrol 2018 01 13;29(1):283-294. Epub 2017 Oct 13.

IRCCS-Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, Clinical Research Center for Rare Diseases Aldo e Cele Daccò, Ranica Bergamo, Italy.

Membranoproliferative GN (MPGN) was recently reclassified as alternative pathway complement-mediated C3 glomerulopathy (C3G) and immune complex-mediated membranoproliferative GN (IC-MPGN). However, genetic and acquired alternative pathway abnormalities are also observed in IC-MPGN. Here, we explored the presence of distinct disease entities characterized by specific pathophysiologic mechanisms. We performed unsupervised hierarchical clustering, a data-driven statistical approach, on histologic, genetic, and clinical data and data regarding serum/plasma complement parameters from 173 patients with C3G/IC-MPGN. This approach divided patients into four clusters, indicating the existence of four different pathogenetic patterns. Specifically, this analysis separated patients with fluid-phase complement activation (clusters 1-3) who had low serum C3 levels and a high prevalence of genetic and acquired alternative pathway abnormalities from patients with solid-phase complement activation (cluster 4) who had normal or mildly altered serum C3, late disease onset, and poor renal survival. In patients with fluid-phase complement activation, those in clusters 1 and 2 had massive activation of the alternative pathway, including activation of the terminal pathway, and the highest prevalence of subendothelial deposits, but those in cluster 2 had additional activation of the classic pathway and the highest prevalence of nephrotic syndrome at disease onset. Patients in cluster 3 had prevalent activation of C3 convertase and highly electron-dense intramembranous deposits. In addition, we provide a simple algorithm to assign patients with C3G/IC-MPGN to specific clusters. These distinct clusters may facilitate clarification of disease etiology, improve risk assessment for ESRD, and pave the way for personalized treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1681/ASN.2017030258DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5748907PMC
January 2018

Long-term outcome of renal transplantation from octogenarian donors: A multicenter controlled study.

Am J Transplant 2017 Dec 15;17(12):3159-3171. Epub 2017 Sep 15.

Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Unit, University Hospital of Padua, Padua, Italy.

To assess whether biopsy-guided selection of kidneys from very old brain-dead donors enables more successful transplantations, the authors of this multicenter, observational study compared graft survival between 37 recipients of 1 or 2 histologically evaluated kidneys from donors older than 80 years and 198 reference-recipients of non-histologically evaluated single grafts from donors aged 60 years and younger (transplantation period: 2006-2013 at 3 Italian centers). During a median (interquartile range) of 25 (13-42) months, 2 recipients (5.4%) and 10 reference-recipients (5.1%) required dialysis (crude and donor age- and sex-adjusted hazard ratio [95% confidence interval] 1.55 [0.34-7.12], P = .576 and 1.41 [0.10-19.54], P = .798, respectively). Shared frailty analyses confirmed similar outcomes in a 1:2 propensity score study comparing recipients with 74 reference-recipients matched by center, year, donor, and recipient sex and age. Serum creatinine was similar across groups during 84-month follow-up. Recipients had remarkably shorter waiting times than did reference-recipients and matched reference-recipients (7.5 [4.0-19.5] vs 36 [19-56] and 40 [24-56] months, respectively, P < .0001 for both comparisons). Mean (± SD) kidney donor risk index was 2.57 ± 0.32 in recipients vs 1.09 ± 0.24 and 1.14 ± 0.24 in reference-recipients and matched reference-recipients (P < .0001 for both comparisons). Adverse events were similar across groups. Biopsy-guided allocation of kidneys from octogenarian donors permits further expansion of the donor organ pool and faster access to a kidney transplant, without increasing the risk of premature graft failure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ajt.14459DOI Listing
December 2017

Safety of Rituximab Compared with Steroids and Cyclophosphamide for Idiopathic Membranous Nephropathy.

J Am Soc Nephrol 2017 Sep 9;28(9):2729-2737. Epub 2017 May 9.

Unit of Nephrology, Azienda Socio Sanitaria Territoriale Ospedale Papa Giovanni XXIII, Bergamo, Italy; and

Guidelines recommend steroid plus cyclical cyclophosphamide (St-Cp) therapy for patients with idiopathic membranous nephropathy at high risk of progression to ESRD. Rituximab (Rtx) may be a safer alternative. In this retrospective, observational cohort study, we compared time to any adverse event (primary outcome); serious or nonserious events; partial and complete remission of the nephrotic syndrome; and a composite of doubling of serum creatinine, ESRD, or death between 100 Rtx-treated patients and 103 patients who received daily St-Cp We monitored patients with standardized protocols and adjusted for baseline characteristics by Cox regression. Over a median follow-up of 40 months, the Rtx group had significantly fewer adverse events than the St-Cp group (63 versus 173; <0.001), both serious (11 versus 46; <0.001) and nonserious (52 versus 127; <0.001). Cumulative incidence of any first (35.5% versus 69.0%; <0.001), serious (16.4% versus 30.2%; =0.002), or nonserious (23.6% versus 60.8%; <0.001) event was significantly lower with Rtx Adjusted hazard ratios (95% confidence intervals) between Rtx and St-Cp groups were 0.27 (0.16 to 0.44) for any first adverse event, 0.32 (0.15 to 0.68) for serious adverse events, and 0.23 (0.13 to 0.41) for nonserious adverse events. Although the cumulative incidence of partial remission was lower in the Rtx group, rates of complete remission and the composite renal end point did not differ significantly between groups. Because of its superior safety profile, we suggest that Rtx might replace St-Cp as first-line immunosuppressive therapy in patients with idiopathic membranous nephropathy and nephrotic syndrome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1681/ASN.2016091022DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5576929PMC
September 2017

Low-molecular-weight heparin and recurrent placenta-mediated pregnancy complications: a meta-analysis of individual patient data from randomised controlled trials.

Lancet 2016 11 6;388(10060):2629-2641. Epub 2016 Oct 6.

Centre for Practice-Changing Research, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada.

Background: Placenta-mediated pregnancy complications include pre-eclampsia, late pregnancy loss, placental abruption, and birth of a small-for-gestational-age (SGA) neonate. These complications are leading causes of maternal, fetal, and neonatal morbidity and mortality in high-income countries. Affected women are at high risk of recurrence in subsequent pregnancies; however, effective strategies to prevent recurrence are absent. Findings from our previous study-level meta-analysis suggested that low-molecular-weight heparin reduced the risk of recurrent placenta-mediated pregnancy complications. However, we identified significant heterogeneity in the results, possibly due to trial design or inclusion criteria. To identify which patients benefit from, and which outcomes are prevented by, low-molecular-weight heparin, we did an individual patient data meta-analysis.

Methods: We did a systematic review in May, 2013, which identified eight eligible randomised trials done between 2000 and 2013 of low-molecular-weight heparin to prevent recurrent placenta-mediated pregnancy complications. We excluded studies on the basis of the wrong population, the study being ongoing, inability to confirm eligibility of participants, intervention stopped too early, and no response from the principal investigator. We requested individual patient data from the study authors for eligible women (women pregnant at the time of the study with a history of previous pregnancy that had been complicated by one or more of the following: pre-eclampsia, placental abruption, birth of an SGA neonate [<10th percentile], pregnancy loss after 16 weeks' gestation, or two losses after 12 weeks' gestation) and recoded, combined, and analysed the data for our meta-analysis. The primary outcome was a composite of early-onset (<34 weeks) or severe pre-eclampsia, birth of an SGA neonate (<5th percentile), late pregnancy loss (≥20 weeks' gestation), or placental abruption leading to delivery, assessed on an intention-to-treat basis. We assessed risk of bias with the Cochrane Risk of Bias tool. This study is registered with PROSPERO, number CRD42013006249.

Findings: We analysed data from 963 eligible women in eight trials: 480 randomly assigned to low-molecular-weight heparin and 483 randomly assigned to no low-molecular-weight heparin. Overall, the risk of bias was not substantial enough to affect decisions regarding trial inclusion. Participants were mostly white (795/905; 88%) with a mean age of 30·9 years (SD 5·0) and 403/963 (42%) had thrombophilia. In the primary analysis, low-molecular-weight heparin did not significantly reduce the risk of recurrent placenta-mediated pregnancy complications (low-molecular-weight heparin 62/444 [14%] versus no low-molecular-weight heparin 95/443 (22%) absolute difference -8%, 95% CI -17·3 to 1·4, p=0·09; relative risk 0·64, 95% CI 0·36-1·11, p=0·11). We noted significant heterogeneity between single-centre and multicentre trials. In subgroup analyses, low-molecular-weight heparin in multicentre trials reduced the primary outcome in women with previous abruption (p=0·006) but not in any of the other subgroups of previous complications.

Interpretation: Low-molecular-weight heparin does not seem to reduce the risk of recurrent placenta-mediated pregnancy complications in at-risk women. However, some decreases in event rates might have been too small for the power of our study to explore.

Funding: Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(16)31139-4DOI Listing
November 2016

Renal and Systemic Effects of Calorie Restriction in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes With Abdominal Obesity: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

Diabetes 2017 Jan 15;66(1):75-86. Epub 2016 Sep 15.

Department of Clinical and Experimental Sciences, Brescia University Medical School, Brescia, Italy.

In individuals with type 2 diabetes with abdominal obesity, hyperfiltration is a risk factor for accelerated glomerular filtration rate (GFR) decline and nephropathy. In this academic, single-center, parallel-group, prospective, randomized, open-label, blinded end point trial, consenting patients with type 2 diabetes aged >18 years, with waist circumference >94 (males) or >80 (females) cm, serum creatinine <1.2 mg/dL, and normoalbuminuria were randomized (1:1) with permuted blocks to 6 months of a 25% calorie restricted (CR) or standard diet (SD). Primary outcome was measured GFR (iohexol plasma clearance). Analyses were by modified intention to treat. At 6 months, GFR significantly decreased in 34 patients on CR and did not change appreciably in 36 on SD. Changes were significantly different between the groups. GFR and body weight reduction were correlated. GFR reduction was larger in hyperfiltering (GFR >120 mL/min) than nonhyperfiltering patients and was associated with BMI, waist circumference, blood pressure, heart rate, HbA, blood glucose, LDL-to-HDL cholesterol ratio, C-reactive protein, angiotensin II, and albuminuria reduction and with increased glucose disposal rate (measured by hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamps). Protein and sodium intake and concomitant treatments were similar between the groups. CR was tolerated well. In patients with type 2 diabetes with abdominal obesity, CR ameliorates glomerular hyperfiltration, insulin sensitivity, and other cardiovascular risk factors, effects that might translate into long-term nephro- and cardioprotection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2337/db16-0607DOI Listing
January 2017

Chronic kidney disease and cardiovascular risk in six regions of the world (ISN-KDDC): a cross-sectional study.

Lancet Glob Health 2016 May;4(5):e307-19

IRCCS-Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche "Mario Negri", Clinical Research Center for Rare Diseases "Aldo e Cele Daccò", Ranica, Italy; Department of Medicine, Unit of Nephrology and Dialysis, Azienda Ospedaliera Papa Giovanni XXIII, Bergamo, Italy; Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, University of Milan, Milan, Italy.

Background: Chronic kidney disease is an important cause of global mortality and morbidity. Data for epidemiological features of chronic kidney disease and its risk factors are limited for low-income and middle-income countries. The International Society of Nephrology's Kidney Disease Data Center (ISN-KDDC) aimed to assess the prevalence and awareness of chronic kidney disease and its risk factors, and to investigate the risk of cardiovascular disease, in countries of low and middle income.

Methods: We did a cross-sectional study in 12 countries from six world regions: Bangladesh, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, China, Egypt, Georgia, India, Iran, Moldova, Mongolia, Nepal, and Nigeria. We analysed data from screening programmes in these countries, matching eight general and four high-risk population cohorts collected in the ISN-KDDC database. High-risk cohorts were individuals at risk of or with a diagnosis of either chronic kidney disease, hypertension, diabetes, or cardiovascular disease. Participants completed a self-report questionnaire, had their blood pressure measured, and blood and urine samples taken. We defined chronic kidney disease according to modified KDIGO (Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes) criteria; risk of cardiovascular disease development was estimated with the Framingham risk score.

Findings: 75,058 individuals were included in the study. The prevalence of chronic kidney disease was 14·3% (95% CI 14·0-14·5) in general populations and 36·1% (34·7-37·6) in high-risk populations. Overall awareness of chronic kidney disease was low, with 409 (6%) of 6631 individuals in general populations and 150 (10%) of 1524 participants from high-risk populations aware they had chronic kidney disease. Moreover, in the general population, 5600 (44%) of 12,751 individuals with hypertension did not know they had the disorder, and 973 (31%) of 3130 people with diabetes were unaware they had that disease. The number of participants at high risk of cardiovascular disease, according to the Framingham risk score, was underestimated compared with KDIGO guidelines. For example, all individuals with chronic kidney disease should be considered at high risk of cardiovascular disease, but the Framingham risk score detects only 23% in the general population, and only 38% in high-risk cohorts.

Interpretation: Prevalence of chronic kidney disease was high in general and high-risk populations from countries of low and middle income. Moreover, awareness of chronic kidney disease and other non-communicable diseases was low, and a substantial number of individuals who knew they were ill did not receive treatment. Prospective programmes with repeat testing are needed to confirm the diagnosis of chronic kidney disease and its risk factors. Furthermore, in general, health-care workforces in countries of low and middle income need strengthening.

Funding: International Society of Nephrology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(16)00071-1DOI Listing
May 2016

Effect of Sirolimus on Disease Progression in Patients with Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease and CKD Stages 3b-4.

Clin J Am Soc Nephrol 2016 05 22;11(5):785-94. Epub 2016 Feb 22.

Clinical Research Center for Rare Diseases "Aldo e Cele Daccò," IRCCS-Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche "Mario Negri," Bergamo, Italy; Units of Nephrology and Dialysis, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, University of Milan, Milan, Italy

Background And Objectives: The effect of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitors has never been tested in patients with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) and severe renal insufficiency.

Design, Setting, Participants, & Measurements: In this academic, prospective, randomized, open label, blinded end point, parallel group trial (ClinicalTrials.gov no. NCT01223755), 41 adults with ADPKD, CKD stage 3b or 4, and proteinuria ≤0.5 g/24 h were randomized between September of 2010 and March of 2012 to sirolimus (3 mg/d; serum target levels of 5-10 ng/ml) added on to conventional therapy (n=21) or conventional treatment alone (n=20). Primary outcome was GFR (iohexol plasma clearance) change at 1 and 3 years versus baseline.

Results: At the 1-year preplanned interim analysis, GFR fell from 26.7±5.8 to 21.3±6.3 ml/min per 1.73 m(2) (P<0.001) and from 29.6±5.6 to 24.9±6.2 ml/min per 1.73 m(2) (P<0.001) in the sirolimus and conventional treatment groups, respectively. Albuminuria (73.8±81.8 versus 154.9±152.9 μg/min; P=0.02) and proteinuria (0.3±0.2 versus 06±0.4 g/24 h; P<0.01) increased with sirolimus. Seven patients on sirolimus versus one control had de novo proteinuria (P=0.04), ten versus three patients doubled proteinuria (P=0.02), 18 versus 11 patients had peripheral edema (P=0.04), and 14 versus six patients had upper respiratory tract infections (P=0.03). Three patients on sirolimus had angioedema, 14 patients had aphthous stomatitis, and seven patients had acne (P<0.01 for both versus controls). Two patients progressed to ESRD, and two patients withdrew because of worsening of proteinuria. These events were not observed in controls. Thus, the independent data and safety monitoring board recommend early trial termination for safety reasons. At 1 year, total kidney volume (assessed by contrast-enhanced computed tomography imaging) increased by 9.0% from 2857.7±1447.3 to 3094.6±1519.5 ml on sirolimus and 4.3% from 3123.4±1695.3 to 3222.6±1651.4 ml on conventional therapy (P=0.12). On follow-up, 37% and 7% of serum sirolimus levels fell below or exceeded the therapeutic range, respectively.

Conclusions: Finding that sirolimus was unsafe and ineffective in patients with ADPKD and renal insufficiency suggests that mTOR inhibitor therapy may be contraindicated in this context.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2215/CJN.09900915DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4858487PMC
May 2016

Long-term Effects of Octreotide on Liver Volume in Patients With Polycystic Kidney and Liver Disease.

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2016 07 1;14(7):1022-1030.e4. Epub 2016 Feb 1.

IRCCS - Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche "Mario Negri", Clinical Research Centre for Rare Diseases "Aldo e Cele Daccò", Bergamo, Italy; Nephrology and Dialysis Unit, Azienda Ospedaliera Papa Giovanni XXIII, Bergamo, Italy.

Background & Aims: Short-term studies have shown that somatostatin analogues are effective in patients with polycystic kidney and liver disease. We evaluated the long-term effects of long-acting release octreotide (octreotide LAR), a somatostatin inhibitor, vs placebo in these patients.

Methods: We performed a controlled study of adults with polycystic kidney and liver disease (estimated glomerular filtration rate, 40 mL/min/1.73m(2) or more) at a single center in Italy. We analyzed data from 27 patients randomly assigned to groups given octreotide LAR (40 mg, n = 14) or placebo (n = 13) each month for 3 years. The primary outcome was absolute and percentage change in total liver volume (TLV), which was measured by magnetic resonance imaging at baseline, after 3 years of treatment, and then 2 years after treatment ended.

Results: Baseline characteristics were similar between groups. After 3 years, TLV decreased by 130.2 ± 133.2 mL in patients given octreotide LAR (7.8% ± 7.4%) (P = .003) but increased by 144.3 ± 316.8 mL (6.1% ± 14.1%) in patients given placebo. Change vs baseline differed significantly between groups (P = .004). Two years after treatment ended, TLV had decreased 14.4 ± 138.4 mL (0.8% ± 9.7%) from baseline in patients given octreotide LAR but increased by 224.4 ± 331.7 mL (11.0% ± 14.4%) in patients given placebo. Changes vs baseline still differed significantly between groups (P = .046). Decreases in TLV were similar in each sex; the change in TLV was greatest among subjects with larger baseline TLV. No patient withdrew because of side effects.

Conclusions: In a placebo-controlled study of patients with polycystic kidney and liver disease, 3 years of treatment with octreotide LAR significantly reduced liver volume; reductions were maintained for 2 years after treatment ended. Octreotide LAR was well-tolerated. ClinicalTrials.gov number: NCT02119052.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cgh.2015.12.049DOI Listing
July 2016

B Cell Reconstitution after Rituximab Treatment in Idiopathic Nephrotic Syndrome.

J Am Soc Nephrol 2016 06 13;27(6):1811-22. Epub 2015 Nov 13.

Division of Nephrology and Dialysis.

The pathogenesis of nephrotic syndrome is unclear. However, the efficacy of rituximab, a B cell-depleting antibody, in nephrotic syndrome suggests a pathogenic role of B cells. In this retrospective study, we determined by flow cytometry levels of B and T cell subpopulations before and after rituximab infusion in 28 pediatric patients with frequently relapsing or steroid-dependent nephrotic syndrome. At baseline, patients had lower median percentages of transitional and mature B cells than age-matched healthy controls (P<0.001). Rituximab induced full depletion of B cells (<1% of lymphocytes). At 1 year, most patients exhibited complete total and mature B cell recovery, whereas memory B cell subsets remained significantly depleted. Total T cell concentration did not change with rituximab, whereas the CD4(+)/CD8(+) T cell ratio tended to increase. Fourteen patients relapsed within 24 months, with a median follow-up of 11.2 months (interquartile range, 8-17.7 months). We observed no difference at baseline between nonrelapsing and relapsing patients in several clinical parameters and cell subset concentrations. Reconstitution of all memory B cell subpopulations, number of immunosuppressive drugs, and dose of tacrolimus during the last 4 months of follow-up were predictive of relapse in univariate Cox regression analysis. However, only delayed reconstitution of switched memory B cells, independent of immunosuppressive treatment, was protective against relapse in multivariate (P<0.01) and receiver operator characteristic (P<0.01 for percentage of lymphocytes; P=0.02 for absolute count) analyses. Evaluation of switched memory B cell recovery after rituximab may be useful for predicting relapse in patients with nephrotic syndrome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1681/ASN.2015050523DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4884116PMC
June 2016

A multidrug, antiproteinuric approach to alport syndrome: a ten-year cohort study.

Nephron 2015 21;130(1):13-20. Epub 2015 Apr 21.

IRCCS - Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche "Mario Negri", Clinical Research Centre for Rare Diseases "Aldo & Cele Daccò", Bergamo, Italy.

Background/aims: Combined ACE inhibitor, angiotensin-receptor-blocker, non-dihydropyridine calcium-channel-blocker, and statin therapy (Remission Clinic) reduced proteinuria and halted progression in non-diabetic nephropathies, but their efficacy in Alport syndrome (AS) nephropathy is unknown.

Methods: From February 2004 to September 2007, we included nine albuminuric AS adults with creatinine clearance >20 ml/min/1.73 m(2) in a single-center, open-label, prospective, off-on-off academic study. After the 1-month wash-out from RAS inhibition (Run-in), patients entered the 4-month, add-on, treatment period with benazepril (10-20 mg/day), valsartan (80-160 mg/day), diltiazem (60-120 mg/day), and fluvastatin (40-80 mg/day) followed by the 1-month wash-out (Recovery). The primary outcome was albuminuria at month 4. After recovery, patients were kept on the Remission Clinic protocol and followed until July 2014 (Extension).

Results: The median (IQR) albuminuria progressively declined from 657.7 (292.7-1,089.6) μg/min at baseline to 71.4 (21.7-504.9) μg/min at treatment end (p = 0.009) and raised to 404.3 (167.9-446.8) μg/min after recovery. Albumin and IgG fractional clearances significantly (p ≤ 0.005) decreased from 66.9 (53.6-80.8) to 9.4 (4.6-26.0) and from 5.1 (3.0-8.4) to 1.1 (0.6-3.2), and then recovered toward baseline. Blood pressure and lipids significantly decreased on treatment, without changes in inulin-measured GFR or para-aminohippuric-measured RPF. After recovery, one patient refused to enter the extension, one with severe renal insufficiency at baseline reached ESRD, and seven retained normal serum creatinine until the end of the study. At the final visit, three were microalbuminuric and one was normoalbuminuric. Treatment was well tolerated.

Conclusion: The Remission Clinic approach safely ameliorated albuminuria, blood pressure, lipids, and glomerular selectivity in AS patients and halted long-term progression in those without renal insufficiency to start with.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000381480DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4451141PMC
February 2016

Immunosuppressive treatment for idiopathic membranous nephropathy in adults with nephrotic syndrome.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2014 Oct 16(10):CD004293. Epub 2014 Oct 16.

Department of Nephrology, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Chinese PLA Institute of Nephrology, State Key Laboratory of Kidney Diseases, National Clinical Research Center for Kidney Diseases, Beijing, China, 100853.

Background: Idiopathic membranous nephropathy (IMN) is the most common form of nephrotic syndrome in adults. The disease shows a benign or indolent course in the majority of patients, with a rate of spontaneous complete or partial remission of nephrotic syndrome as high as 30% or more. Despite this, 30% to 40% of patients progress toward end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) within five to 15 years. The efficacy and safety of immunosuppression for IMN with nephrotic syndrome are still controversial. This is an update of a Cochrane review first published in 2004.

Objectives: The aim of this review was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of immunosuppressive treatments for adult patients with IMN and nephrotic syndrome. Moreover it was attempted to identify the best therapeutic regimen, when to start immunosuppression and whether the above therapies should be given to all adult patients at high risk of progression to ESKD or only restricted to those with impaired kidney function.

Search Methods: We searched Cochrane Renal Group Specialised Register, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE, EMBASE, Chinese databases, reference lists of articles, and clinical trial registries to June 2014. We also contacted principal investigators of some of the studies for additional information.

Selection Criteria: Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) investigating the effects of immunosuppression in adults with IMN and nephrotic syndrome.

Data Collection And Analysis: Study selection, data extraction, quality assessment, and data synthesis were performed using the Cochrane-recommended methods. Summary estimates of effect were obtained using a random-effects model, and results were expressed as risk ratios (RR) and their 95% confidence intervals (CI) for dichotomous outcomes, and mean difference (MD) and 95% CI for continuous outcomes.

Main Results: Thirty nine studies with 1825 patients were included, 36 of these could be included in our meta-analyses. The data from two studies could not be extracted and one study was terminated due to poor accrual. Immunosuppression significantly reduced all-cause mortality or risk of ESKD ((15 studies, 791 patients): RR 0.58 (95% CI 0.36 to 0.95, P = 0.03) and risk of ESKD ((15 studies, 791 patients): RR 0.55, 95% CI 0.31 to 0.95, P = 0.03), increased complete or partial remission ((16 studies, 864 patients): RR 1.31, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.70, P = 0.04), and decreased proteinuria ((9 studies,(393 patients): MD -0.95 g/24 h, 95% CI -1.81 to -0.09, P = 0.03) at the end of follow-up (range 6 to 120 months). However this regimen was associated with more discontinuations or hospitalisations ((16 studies, 880 studies): RR 5.35, 95% CI 2.19 to 13.02), P = 0.0002). Combined corticosteroids and alkylating agents significantly reduced death or risk of ESKD ((8 studies, 448 patients): RR 0.44, 95% CI 0.26 to 0.75, P = 0.002) and ESKD ((8 studies, 448 patients): RR 0.45, 95% CI 0.25 to 0.81, P = 0.008), increased complete or partial remission ((7 studies, 422 patients): RR 1.46, 95% CI 1.13 to 1.89, P = 0.004) and complete remission ((7 studies, 422 patients): RR 2.32, 95% CI 1.61 to 3.32, P < 0.00001), and decreased proteinuria ((6 studies, 279 patients): MD -1.25 g/24 h, 95% CI -1.93 to -0.57, P = 0.0003) at the end of follow-up (range 9 to 120 months). In a population with an assumed risk of death or ESKD of 181/1000 patients, this regimen would be expected to reduce the number of patients experiencing death or ESKD to 80/1000 patients (range 47 to 136). In a population with an assumed complete or partial remission of 408/1000 patients, this regimen would be expected to increase the number of patients experiencing complete or partial remission to 596/1000 patients (range 462 to 772). However this combined regimen was associated with a significantly higher risk of discontinuation or hospitalisation due to adverse effects ((4 studies, 303 patients): RR 4.20, 95% CI 1.15 to 15.32, P = 0.03). Whether this combined therapy should be indicated in all adult patients at high risk of progression to ESKD or only restricted to those with deteriorating kidney function still remained unclear. Cyclophosphamide was safer than chlorambucil ((3 studies, 147 patients): RR 0.48, 95% CI 0.26 to 0.90, P = 0.02). There was no clear evidence to support the use of either corticosteroid or alkylating agent monotherapy. Cyclosporine and mycophenolate mofetil failed to show superiority over alkylating agents. Tacrolimus and adrenocorticotropic hormone significantly reduced proteinuria. The numbers of corresponding studies related to tacrolimus, mycophenolate mofetil, adrenocorticotropic hormone, azathioprine, mizoribine, and Tripterygium wilfordii are still too sparse to draw final conclusions.

Authors' Conclusions: In this update, a combined alkylating agent and corticosteroid regimen had short- and long-term benefits on adult IMN with nephrotic syndrome. Among alkylating agents, cyclophosphamide was safer than chlorambucil. This regimen was significantly associated with more withdrawals or hospitalisations. It should be emphasised that the number of included studies with high-quality design was relatively small and most of included studies did not have adequate follow-up and enough power to assess the prespecified definite endpoints. Although a six-month course of alternating monthly cycles of corticosteroids and cyclophosphamide was recommended by the KDIGO Clinical Practice Guideline 2012 as the initial therapy for adult IMN with nephrotic syndrome, clinicians should inform their patients of the lack of high-quality evidence for these benefits as well as the well-recognised adverse effects of this therapy. Cyclosporine or tacrolimus was recommended by the KDIGO Clinical Practice Guideline 2012 as the alternative regimen for adult IMN with nephrotic syndrome; however, there was no evidence that calcineurin inhibitors could alter the combined outcome of death or ESKD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD004293.pub3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6669245PMC
October 2014
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