Publications by authors named "Constantinos J Stefanidis"

68 Publications

Hemodiafiltration maintains a sustained improvement in blood pressure compared to conventional hemodialysis in children-the HDF, heart and height (3H) study.

Pediatr Nephrol 2021 Feb 24. Epub 2021 Feb 24.

University College London Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and Institute of Child Health, London, UK.

Background: Hypertension is prevalent in children on dialysis and associated with cardiovascular disease. We studied the blood pressure (BP) trends and the evolution of BP over 1 year in children on conventional hemodialysis (HD) vs. hemodiafiltration (HDF).

Methods: This is a post hoc analysis of the "3H - HDF-Hearts-Height" dataset, a multicenter, parallel-arm observational study. Seventy-eight children on HD and 55 on HDF who had three 24-h ambulatory BP monitoring (ABPM) measures over 1 year were included. Mean arterial pressure (MAP) was calculated and hypertension defined as 24-h MAP standard deviation score (SDS) ≥95th percentile.

Results: Poor agreement between pre-dialysis systolic BP-SDS and 24-h MAP was found (mean difference - 0.6; 95% limits of agreement -4.9-3.8). At baseline, 82% on HD and 44% on HDF were hypertensive, with uncontrolled hypertension in 88% vs. 25% respectively; p < 0.001. At 12 months, children on HDF had consistently lower MAP-SDS compared to those on HD (p < 0.001). Over 1-year follow-up, the HD group had mean MAP-SDS increase of +0.98 (95%CI 0.77-1.20; p < 0.0001), whereas the HDF group had a non-significant increase of +0.15 (95%CI -0.10-0.40; p = 0.23). Significant predictors of MAP-SDS were dialysis modality (β = +0.83 [95%CI +0.51 - +1.15] HD vs. HDF, p < 0.0001) and higher inter-dialytic-weight-gain (IDWG)% (β = 0.13 [95%CI 0.06-0.19]; p = 0.0003).

Conclusions: Children on HD had a significant and sustained increase in BP over 1 year compared to a stable BP in those on HDF, despite an equivalent dialysis dose. Higher IDWG% was associated with higher 24-h MAP-SDS in both groups.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00467-021-04930-2DOI Listing
February 2021

Countermeasures against COVID-19: how to navigate medical practice through a nascent, evolving evidence base - a European multicentre mixed methods study.

BMJ Open 2021 02 17;11(2):e043015. Epub 2021 Feb 17.

Division of Pediatric Nephrology and Gastroenterology, Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Comprehensive Center for Pediatrics, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria

Objectives: In a previously published Delphi exercise the European Pediatric Dialysis Working Group (EPDWG) reported widely variable counteractive responses to COVID-19 during the first week of statutory public curfews in 12 European countries with case loads of 4-680 infected patients per million. To better understand these wide variations, we assessed different factors affecting countermeasure implementation rates and applied the capability, opportunity, motivation model of behaviour to describe their determinants.

Design: We undertook this international mixed methods study of increased depth and breadth to obtain more complete data and to better understand the resulting complex evidence.

Setting: This study was conducted in 14 paediatric nephrology centres across 12 European countries during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Participants: The 14 participants were paediatric nephrologists and EPDWG members from 12 European centres.

Main Outcome Measures: 52 countermeasures clustered into eight response domains (access control, patient testing, personnel testing, personal protective equipment policy, patient cohorting, personnel cohorting, suspension of routine care, remote work) were categorised by implementation status, drivers (expert opinion, hospital regulations) and resource dependency. Governmental strictness and media attitude were independently assessed for each country and correlated with relevant countermeasure implementation factors.

Results: Implementation rates varied widely among response domains (median 49.5%, range 20%-71%) and centres (median 46%, range 31%-62%). Case loads were insufficient to explain response rate variability. Increasing case loads resulted in shifts from expert opinion-based to hospital regulation-based decisions to implement additional countermeasures despite increased resource dependency. Higher governmental strictness and positive media attitude towards countermeasure implementation were associated with higher implementation rates.

Conclusions: COVID-19 countermeasure implementation by paediatric tertiary care centres did not reflect case loads but rather reflected heterogeneity of local rules and of perceived resources. These data highlight the need of ongoing reassessment of current practices, facilitating rapid change in 'institutional behavior' in response to emerging evidence of countermeasure efficacy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-043015DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7893209PMC
February 2021

Influenza and pneumococcus vaccination rates in pediatric dialysis patients in Europe: Recommendations vs reality A European Pediatric Dialysis Working Group and European Society for Pediatric Nephrology Dialysis Working Group Study.

Turk J Med Sci 2021 02 4. Epub 2021 Feb 4.

Background: Children on dialysis are under increased risk of influenza and invasive pneumococcal disease. Although, vaccination against these microorganisms are recommended in dialysis patients and despite the fact that these vaccines can reduce disease burden and rates of hospitalization due to infection, vaccination rates are below expected and desired. We aimed to evaluate influenza and pneumococcal vaccination and infection rates in European pediatric dialysis centers.

Methods: In 16 centers from 11 countries, 357 pediatric dialysis patients were evaluated retrospectively during one year of observation period between 01.01.2014 and 01.01.2015.

Results: In all centers, vaccination policy included immunization of dialysis patients with inactive influenza vaccine and pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV). 50% of centers recommended pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine following routine PCV series. Significantly higher pneumococcal vaccination rate (43.9 %) was seen in PD patients compared to those on HD (32.9 %) (p=0.035), while the rates for influenza were similar (42.4 % and 46.1 respectively, p=0.496). Among all dialysis patients, 2,2 % (n=8) developed pneumonia and 6.4 % (n=23) infected by influenza. Pneumococcic pneumonia rate was 5 % for 140 patients who received anti-pneumococcal vaccine, while only one pneumonia episode was recorded out of 217 unvaccinated patients (p=0.007). The influenza virus infection rates were similar for patients vaccinated and non-vaccinated (7 % and 6 %, respectively).

Conclusions: Although influenza and pneumococcal vaccines are highly recommended in pediatric dialysis patients, vaccination rates were lower than expected. Pneumococcal vaccination rates were higher in PD compared to the patients on HD. The rate of children with influenza infection was higher than pneumonia. The efficacy of influenza and pneumococcal vaccines was highlighted by the low infection rates. Higher pneumonia rates in patients vaccinated against pneumococcus compared to unvaccinated ones might be due to coexisting risk factors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3906/sag-2012-26DOI Listing
February 2021

Update on the creation and maintenance of arteriovenous fistulas for haemodialysis in children.

Pediatr Nephrol 2020 Oct 15. Epub 2020 Oct 15.

"Mitera" Children's Hospital, Maroussi, Athens, Greece.

Arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs) are widely used for haemodialysis (HD) in adults with stage 5 chronic kidney disease (CKD 5) and are generally considered the best form of vascular access (VA). The 'Fistula First' initiative in 2003 helped to change the culture of VA in adults. However, this cultural change has not yet been adopted in children despite the fact that a functioning AVF is associated with lower complication rates and longer access survival than a central venous line (CVL). For children with CKD 5, especially when kidney failure starts early in life, there is a risk that all VA options will be exhausted. Therefore, it is essential to develop long-term strategies for optimal VA creation and maintenance. Whilst AVFs are the preferred VA in the paediatric population on chronic HD, they may not be suitable for every child. Recent guidelines and observational data in the paediatric CKD 5 population recommend switching from a 'Catheter First' to 'Catheter Last' approach. In this review, recent evidence is summarized in order to promote change in current practices.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00467-020-04746-6DOI Listing
October 2020

Antibody-mediated rejection with the presence of glomerular crescents in a pediatric kidney transplant recipient: A case report.

Pediatr Transplant 2020 08 21;24(5):e13722. Epub 2020 May 21.

Pediatric Nephrology Department, Panagiotis & Aglaia Kyriakou Children's Hospital, Athens, Greece.

Glomerular crescents in kidney transplantation are indicative of severe glomerular injury and constitute a hallmark of RPGN. Their concurrence with ABMR has been rarely described only in adult patients. We report a case of 10-year-old boy with compound heterozygous Fin-major Finnish-type congenital nephrotic syndrome, who had received a deceased-donor kidney transplant 5 years before onset of acute kidney injury and nephrotic range proteinuria without hematuria. Kidney allograft biopsy illustrated 6 glomeruli with global sclerosis and 6 with remarkable circumferential or segmental cellular crescents. Negative glomerular immunofluorescence for immune-complex deposits and the absence of serum ANCA eliminated the presence of immune-mediated and ANCA-positive pauci-immune crescentic glomerulonephritis. Diagnosis of ABMR was based on the high levels of HLA class II DSA and the histological evidence of glomerulitis, peritubular capillaritis, and acute tubular injury with positive linear peritubular capillary C4d staining. The patient despite plasmapheresis and enhanced immunosuppressive treatment progressed to end-stage renal disease. We conclude that glomerular crescents may represent a finding of AMBR and possibly a marker of poor allograft prognosis in pediatric patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/petr.13722DOI Listing
August 2020

Rapid response in the COVID-19 pandemic: a Delphi study from the European Pediatric Dialysis Working Group.

Pediatr Nephrol 2020 09 17;35(9):1669-1678. Epub 2020 May 17.

Division of Pediatric Nephrology and Gastroenterology, Comprehensive Center for Pediatrics, Medical University of Vienna, Waehringer Guertel 18-20, 1090, Vienna, Austria.

Background: COVID-19 was declared a global health emergency. Since children are less than 1% of reported cases, there is limited information to develop evidence-based practice recommendations. The objective of this study was to rapidly gather expert knowledge and experience to guide the care of children with chronic kidney disease during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: A four-round multi-center Delphi exercise was conducted among 13 centers in 11 European countries of the European Pediatric Dialysis Working Group (EPDWG) between March, 16th and 20th 2020. Results were analyzed using a mixed methods qualitative approach and descriptive statistics.

Results: Thirteen COVID-19 specific topics of particular need for guidance were identified. Main themes encompassed testing strategies and results (n = 4), changes in use of current therapeutics (n = 3), preventive measurements of transmission and management of COVID-19 (n = 3), and changes in standard clinical care (n = 3). Patterns of center-specific responses varied according to regulations and to availability of guidelines.

Conclusions: As limited quantitative evidence is available in real time during the rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, qualitative expert knowledge and experience represent the best evidence available. This Delphi exercise demonstrates that use of mixed methodologies embedded in an established network of experts allowed prompt analysis of pediatric nephrologists' response to COVID-19 during this fast-emerging public health crisis. Such rapid sharing of knowledge and local practices is essential to timely and optimal guidance for medical management of specific patient groups in multi-country health care systems such as those of Europe and the US.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00467-020-04584-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7230035PMC
September 2020

Haemodiafiltration does not lower protein-bound uraemic toxin levels compared with haemodialysis in a paediatric population.

Nephrol Dial Transplant 2020 04;35(4):648-656

Department of Internal Medicine & Pediatrics, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.

Background: Haemodiafiltration (HDF) is accepted to effectively lower plasma levels of middle molecules in the long term, while data are conflicting with respect to the additive effect of convection on lowering protein-bound uraemic toxins (PBUTs). Here we compared pre-dialysis β2-microglobulin (β2M) and PBUT levels and the percentage of protein binding (%PB) in children on post-dilution HDF versus conventional high- (hf) or low-flux (lf) haemodialysis (HD) over 12 months of treatment.

Methods: In a prospective multicentre, non-randomized parallel-arm intervention study, pre-dialysis levels of six PBUTs and β2M were measured in children (5-20 years) on post-HDF (n = 37), hf-HD (n = 42) and lf-HD (n = 18) at baseline and after 12 months. Analysis of variance was used to compare levels and %PB in post-HDF versus conventional hf-HD and lf-HD cross-sectionally at 12 months and longitudinal from baseline to 12 months.

Results: For none of the PBUTs, no difference was found in either total and free plasma levels or %PB between post-HDF versus the hf-HD and lf-HD groups. Children treated with post-HDF had lower pre-dialysis β2M levels [median 23.2 (21.5; 26.6) mg/dL] after 12 months versus children on hf-HD [P<0.01; 35.2 (29.3; 41.2) mg/dL] and children on lf-HD [P<0.001; 47.2 (34.3; 53.0) mg/dL]. While β2M levels remained steady in the hf-HD and lf-HD group, a decrease in β2M was demonstrated for children on post-HDF (P<0.01).

Conclusions: While post-HDF successfully decreased β2M, no additive effect on PBUT over 12 months of treatment was found. PBUT removal is complex and hampered by several factors. In children, these factors might be different from adults and should be explored in future research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ndt/gfz132DOI Listing
April 2020

Association between timing of dialysis initiation and clinical outcomes in the paediatric population: an ESPN/ERA-EDTA registry study.

Nephrol Dial Transplant 2019 11;34(11):1932-1940

Department of Pediatric Nephrology, Gazi University, Ankara, Turkey.

Background: There is no consensus regarding the timing of dialysis therapy initiation for end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) in children. As studies investigating the association between timing of dialysis initiation and clinical outcomes are lacking, we aimed to study this relationship in a cohort of European children who started maintenance dialysis treatment.

Methods: We used data on 2963 children from 21 different countries included in the European Society of Pediatric Nephrology/European Renal Association-European Dialysis and Transplant Association Registry who started renal replacement therapy before 18 years of age between 2000 and 2014. We compared two groups according to the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) at start: eGFR ≥8 mL/min/1.73 m2 (early starters) and eGFR <8 mL/min/1.73 m2 (late starters). The primary outcomes were patient survival and access to transplantation. Secondary outcomes were growth and cardiovascular risk factors. Sensitivity analyses were performed to account for selection- and lead time-bias.

Results: The median eGFR at the start of dialysis was 6.1 for late versus 10.5 mL/min/1.73 m2 for early starters. Early starters were older [median: 11.0, interquartile range (IQR): 5.7-14.5 versus 9.4, IQR: 2.6-14.1 years]. There were no differences observed between the two groups in mortality and access to transplantation at 1, 2 and 5 years of follow-up. One-year evolution of height standard deviation scores was similar among the groups, whereas hypertension was more prevalent among late initiators. Sensitivity analyses resulted in similar findings.

Conclusions: We found no evidence for a clinically relevant benefit of early start of dialysis in children with ESKD. Presence of cardiovascular risk factors, such as high blood pressure, should be taken into account when deciding to initiate or postpone dialysis in children with ESKD, as this affects the survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ndt/gfz069DOI Listing
November 2019

Uremic Toxin Concentrations are Related to Residual Kidney Function in the Pediatric Hemodialysis Population.

Toxins (Basel) 2019 04 24;11(4). Epub 2019 Apr 24.

Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust, London WC1N 3JH, UK.

Protein-bound uremic toxins (PBUTs) play a role in the multisystem disease that children on hemodialysis (HD) are facing, but little is known about their levels and protein binding (%PB). In this study, we evaluated the levels and %PB of six PBUTs cross-sectionally in a large pediatric HD cohort ( = 170) by comparing these with healthy and non-dialysis chronic kidney disease (CKD) stage 4-5 ( = 24) children. In parallel β2-microglobulin (β2M) and uric acid (UA) were evaluated. We then explored the impact of age and residual kidney function on uremic toxin levels and %PB using analysis of covariance and Spearman correlation coefficients (). We found higher levels of β2M, p-cresyl glucuronide (pCG), hippuric acid (HA), indole acetic acid (IAA), and indoxyl sulfate (IxS) in the HD compared to the CKD4-5 group. In the HD group, a positive correlation between age and pCG, HA, IxS, and pCS levels was shown. Residual urine volume was negatively correlated with levels of β2M, pCG, HA, IAA, IxS, and CMPF ( -0.2 to -0.5). In addition, we found overall lower %PB of PBUTs in HD versus the CKD4-5 group, and showed an age-dependent increase in %PB of IAA, IxS, and pCS. Furhtermore, residual kidney function was overall positively correlated with %PB of PBUTs. In conclusion, residual kidney function and age contribute to PBUT levels and %PB in the pediatric HD population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/toxins11040235DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6521157PMC
April 2019

Vascular Access Choice, Complications, and Outcomes in Children on Maintenance Hemodialysis: Findings From the International Pediatric Hemodialysis Network (IPHN) Registry.

Am J Kidney Dis 2019 08 19;74(2):193-202. Epub 2019 Apr 19.

Center for Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Heidelberg, Germany. Electronic address:

Rationale & Objective: Arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs) have been recommended as the preferred vascular access for pediatric patients on maintenance hemodialysis (HD), but data comparing AVFs with other access types are scant. We studied vascular access choice, placement, complications, and outcomes in children.

Study Design: Prospective observational cohort study.

Setting & Participants: 552 children and adolescents from 27 countries on maintenance HD followed up prospectively by the International Pediatric HD Network (IPHN) Registry between 2012 and 2017.

Predictor: Type of vascular access: AVF, central venous catheter (CVC), or arteriovenous graft.

Outcome: Infectious and noninfectious vascular access complication rates, dialysis performance, biochemical and hematologic parameters, and clinical outcomes.

Analytical Approach: Univariate and multivariable linear mixed models, generalized linear mixed models, and proportional hazards models; cumulative incidence functions.

Results: During 314 cumulative patient-years, 628 CVCs, 225 AVFs, and 17 arteriovenous grafts were placed. One-third of the children with an AVF required a temporary CVC until fistula maturation. Vascular access choice was associated with age and expectations for early transplantation. There was a 3-fold higher living related transplantation rate and lower median time to transplantation of 14 (IQR, 6-23) versus 20 (IQR, 14-36) months with CVCs compared with AVFs. Higher blood flow rates and Kt/V were achieved with AVFs than with CVCs. Infectious complications were reported only with CVCs (1.3/1,000 catheter-days) and required vascular access replacement in 47%. CVC dysfunction rates were 2.5/1,000 catheter-days compared to 1.2/1,000 fistula-days. CVCs required 82% more revisions and almost 3-fold more vascular access replacements to a different site than AVFs (P<0.001).

Limitations: Clinical rather than population-based data.

Conclusions: CVCs are the predominant vascular access choice in children receiving HD within the IPHN. Age-related anatomical limitations and expected early living related transplantation were associated with CVC use. CVCs were associated with poorer dialysis efficacy, higher complication rates, and more frequent need for vascular access replacement. Such findings call for a re-evaluation of pediatric CVC use and practices.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.ajkd.2019.02.014DOI Listing
August 2019

Vascular access in children requiring maintenance haemodialysis: a consensus document by the European Society for Paediatric Nephrology Dialysis Working Group.

Nephrol Dial Transplant 2019 10;34(10):1746-1765

Mitera Children's Hospital, Athens, Greece.

Background: There are three principle forms of vascular access available for the treatment of children with end stage kidney disease (ESKD) by haemodialysis: tunnelled catheters placed in a central vein (central venous lines, CVLs), arteriovenous fistulas (AVF), and arteriovenous grafts (AVG) using prosthetic or biological material. Compared with the adult literature, there are few studies in children to provide evidence based guidelines for optimal vascular access type or its management and outcomes in children with ESKD.

Methods: The European Society for Paediatric Nephrology Dialysis Working Group (ESPN Dialysis WG) have developed recommendations for the choice of access type, pre-operative evaluation, monitoring, and prevention and management of complications of different access types in children with ESKD.

Results: For adults with ESKD on haemodialysis, the principle of "Fistula First" has been key to changing the attitude to vascular access for haemodialysis. However, data from multiple observational studies and the International Paediatric Haemodialysis Network registry suggest that CVLs are associated with a significantly higher rate of infections and access dysfunction, and need for access replacement. Despite this, AVFs are used in only ∼25% of children on haemodialysis. It is important to provide the right access for the right patient at the right time in their life-course of renal replacement therapy, with an emphasis on venous preservation at all times. While AVFs may not be suitable in the very young or those with an anticipated short dialysis course before transplantation, many paediatric studies have shown that AVFs are superior to CVLs.

Conclusions: Here we present clinical practice recommendations for AVFs and CVLs in children with ESKD. The Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) system has been used to develop and GRADE the recommendations. In the absence of high quality evidence, the opinion of experts from the ESPN Dialysis WG is provided, but is clearly GRADE-ed as such and must be carefully considered by the treating physician, and adapted to local expertise and individual patient needs as appropriate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ndt/gfz011DOI Listing
October 2019

Effects of Hemodiafiltration versus Conventional Hemodialysis in Children with ESKD: The HDF, Heart and Height Study.

J Am Soc Nephrol 2019 04 7;30(4):678-691. Epub 2019 Mar 7.

Nephrology Unit, Center for Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Heidelberg, Germany.

Background: Hypertension and cardiovascular disease are common in children undergoing dialysis. Studies suggest that hemodiafiltration (HDF) may reduce cardiovascular mortality in adults, but data for children are scarce.

Methods: The HDF, Heart and Height study is a nonrandomized observational study comparing outcomes on conventional hemodialysis (HD) versus postdilution online HDF in children. Primary outcome measures were annualized changes in carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) SD score and height SD score.

Results: We enrolled 190 children from 28 centers; 78 on HD and 55 on HDF completed 1-year follow-up. The groups were comparable for age, dialysis vintage, access type, dialysis frequency, blood flow, and residual renal function. At 1 year, cIMT SD score increased significantly in children on HD but remained static in the HDF cohort. On propensity score analysis, HD was associated with a +0.47 higher annualized cIMT SD score compared with HDF. Height SD score increased in HDF but remained static in HD. Mean arterial pressure SD score increased with HD only. Factors associated with higher cIMT and mean arterial pressure SD-scores were HD group, higher ultrafiltration rate, and higher 2-microglobulin. The HDF cohort had lower 2-microglobulin, parathyroid hormone, and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein at 1 year; fewer headaches, dizziness, or cramps; and shorter postdialysis recovery time.

Conclusions: HDF is associated with a lack of progression in vascular measures versus progression with HD, as well as an increase in height not seen in the HD cohort. Patient-related outcomes improved among children on HDF correlating with improved BP control and clearances. Confirmation through randomized trials is required.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1681/ASN.2018100990DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6442347PMC
April 2019

Hemodialysis vascular access and subsequent transplantation: a report from the ESPN/ERA-EDTA Registry.

Pediatr Nephrol 2019 04 26;34(4):713-721. Epub 2018 Dec 26.

Department of Pediatric Nephrology, University Children's Hospital, Heidelberg, Germany.

Background: Current guidelines advocate use of arteriovenous fistula (AVF) over central venous catheter (CVC) for children starting hemodialysis (HD). European data on current practice, determinants of access choice and switches, patient survival, and access to transplantation are limited.

Methods: We included incident patients from 18 European countries who started HD from 2000 to 2013 for whom vascular access type was reported to the ESPN/ERA-EDTA Registry. Data were evaluated using descriptive statistics, logistic and Cox regression models, and cumulative incidence competing risk analysis.

Results: Three hundred ninety-three (55.1%) of 713 children started HD with a CVC and were more often females, younger, had more often an unknown diagnosis, glomerulonephritis, or vasculitis, and lower hemoglobin and height-SDS at HD initiation. AVF patients were 91% less likely to switch to a second access, and two-year patient survival was 99.6% (CVC, 97.2%). Children who started with an AVF were less likely to receive a living donor transplant (adjusted HR, 0.30; 95% CI, 0.16-0.54) and more likely to receive a deceased donor transplant (adjusted HR, 1.50; 95% CI, 1.17-1.93), even after excluding patients who died or were transplanted in the first 6 months.

Conclusions: CVC remains the most frequent type of vascular access in European children commencing HD. Our results suggest that the choice for CVC is influenced by the time of referral, rapid onset of end-stage renal disease, young age, and an expected short time to transplantation. The role of vascular access type on the pattern between living and deceased donation in subsequent transplantation requires further study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00467-018-4129-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6394682PMC
April 2019

Factors affecting mortality in children requiring continuous renal replacement therapy in pediatric intensive care unit.

Adv Clin Exp Med 2019 May;28(5):615-623

Department of Pediatric Nephrology and Hypertension, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Kraków, Poland.

Background: Acute kidney injury (AKI) occurs in up to 30% of pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) patients and is associated with a high mortality rate.

Objectives: The objective of the study was to evaluate factors associated with the outcome and to identify the prognostic factors in children receiving continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT).

Material And Methods: This was a retrospective, single-center study, including 46 patients.

Results: Logistic regression analysis demonstrated significant effects on patient survival exerted by the percentage of fluid overload (FO%) (odds ratio (OR): 1.030; p = 0.044). In the group of patients with FO% < 25%, the mortality was 33.3%, and in the FO% ≥ 25% group, the mortality was 67.9% (p < 0.001). The probability of death without multi-organ failure (MOF) was 13%, while with MOF it was 74%. There was no difference in the duration of hospitalization between the CRRT patients (mean: 21.9 days) and the general population of children hospitalized in PICU in the same period (n = 3,255; mean: 25.4 days); however, a significant difference was noted in mortality between the 2 groups of patients (54% vs 6.5%; p < 0.001).

Conclusions: The mortality of PICU CRRT patients is more than 8-fold higher than the mortality of the total PICU population. Coexisting MOF increases the mortality almost 6 times. The mortality of children with FO% ≥ 25% was more than 2-fold higher than the mortality of children with FO% < 25%.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.17219/acem/81051DOI Listing
May 2019

Fever duration during treated urinary tract infections and development of permanent renal lesions.

Arch Dis Child 2019 05 2;104(5):466-470. Epub 2018 Nov 2.

Department of Nephrology, "P&A Kyriakou" Children's Hospital, Athens, Greece.

Objective: To assess the effect of the duration of fever after the initiation of treatment (FAT) of febrile urinary tract infections (UTI) on the development of permanent renal lesions based on dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA) scintigraphy findings. To evaluate the FAT contribution to permanent renal lesion formation in relation to fever before treatment initiation (FBT), the presence of vesicourinary reflux (VUR), age and severity of infection.

Methods: The inpatient records of 148 children (median age: 2.4 months (11 days to 24 months)) with a first episode of UTI during a 3-year period were analysed. DMSA findings, and clinical and laboratory parameters were evaluated.

Results: Among the study population, 34/148 (22.97%) children had permanent renal lesions on the DMSA scan 6 months after a single episode of UTI. Twenty-three children (15.5%) had mild, 10 (6.7%) had moderate and 1 (0.6%) child had severe lesions on the DMSA. FAT prolongation >/48 hours was associated with older age (p=0.01) and increased absolute neutrophil count (p=0.042). The likelihood of lesions was significantly increased when FAT was ≥48 hours (R=0.043, p=0.021). On multiple regression analysis, with the addition of FBT>/72 hours (0.022), the presence of VUR (p<0.001), C-reactive protein (p=0.027) and age (p=0.031), the effect of FAT on lesion development disappeared (p=0.15).

Conclusions: Prolongation of FAT≥48 hours of febrile UTI in children <2 years significantly contributes to the development of permanent renal lesions. However, delay in treatment initiation >/72 hours, the presence of VUR, older age and infection severity seem to be more significant predictors of the development of renal lesions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/archdischild-2017-314576DOI Listing
May 2019

Management of children with congenital nephrotic syndrome: challenging treatment paradigms.

Nephrol Dial Transplant 2019 08;34(8):1369-1377

Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK.

Background: Management of children with congenital nephrotic syndrome (CNS) is challenging. Bilateral nephrectomies followed by dialysis and transplantation are practiced in most centres, but conservative treatment may also be effective.

Methods: We conducted a 6-year review across members of the European Society for Paediatric Nephrology Dialysis Working Group to compare management strategies and their outcomes in children with CNS.

Results: Eighty children (50% male) across 17 tertiary nephrology units in Europe were included (mutations in NPHS1, n = 55; NPHS2, n = 1; WT1, n = 9; others, n = 15). Excluding patients with mutations in WT1, antiproteinuric treatment was given in 42 (59%) with an increase in S-albumin in 70% by median 6 (interquartile range: 3-8) g/L (P < 0.001). Following unilateral nephrectomy, S-albumin increased by 4 (1-8) g/L (P = 0.03) with a reduction in albumin infusion dose by 5 (2-9) g/kg/week (P = 0.02). Median age at bilateral nephrectomies (n = 29) was 9 (7-16) months. Outcomes were compared between two groups of NPHS1 patients: those who underwent bilateral nephrectomies (n = 25) versus those on conservative management (n = 17). The number of septic or thrombotic episodes and growth were comparable between the groups. The response to antiproteinuric treatment, as well as renal and patient survival, was independent of NPHS1 mutation type. At final follow-up (median age 34 months) 20 (80%) children in the nephrectomy group were transplanted and 1 died. In the conservative group, 9 (53%) remained without dialysis, 4 (24%; P < 0.001) were transplanted and 2 died.

Conclusion: An individualized, stepwise approach with prolonged conservative management may be a reasonable alternative to early bilateral nephrectomies and dialysis in children with CNS and NPHS1 mutations. Further prospective studies are needed to define indications for unilateral nephrectomy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ndt/gfy165DOI Listing
August 2019

Effect of haemodiafiltration vs conventional haemodialysis on growth and cardiovascular outcomes in children - the HDF, heart and height (3H) study.

BMC Nephrol 2018 08 10;19(1):199. Epub 2018 Aug 10.

Center for Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Heidelberg, Germany.

Background: Cardiovascular disease is prevalent in children on dialysis and accounts for almost 30% of all deaths. Randomised trials in adults suggest that haemodiafiltration (HDF) with high convection volumes is associated with reduced cardiovascular mortality compared to high-flux haemodialysis (HD); however paediatric data are scarce. We designed the haemodiafiltration, heart and height (3H) study to test the hypothesis that children on HDF have an improved cardiovascular risk profile, growth and nutritional status and quality of life, compared to those on conventional HD. We performed a non-randomised parallel-arm intervention study within the International Paediatric Haemodialysis Network Registry comparing children on HDF and conventional HD to determine annualised change in cardiovascular end-points and growth. Here we present the 3H study design and baseline characteristics of the study population.

Methods: 190 children were screened and 177 (106 on HD and 71 on HDF) recruited from 28 centres in 10 countries. There was no difference in age, underlying diagnosis, comorbidities, previous dialysis therapy, dialysis vintage, residual renal function, type of vascular access or blood flow between HD and HDF groups. High flux dialysers were used in 63% of HD patients and ultra-pure water was available in 52%. HDF patients achieved a median convection volume of 13.3 L/m; this was associated with the blood flow rate only ((p = 0.0004, r = 0.42) and independent of access type (p = 0.38).

Discussion: This is the largest study on dialysis outcomes in children that involves deep phenotyping across a wide range of cardiovascular, anthropometric, nutritional and health-related quality of life measures, to test the hypothesis that HDF leads to improved cardiovascular and growth outcomes compared to conventional HD.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT02063776 . The trial was prospectively registered on the 14 Feb 2014.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12882-018-0998-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6086045PMC
August 2018

Home blood pressure monitoring in pediatric hypertension: the US perspective and a plan for action.

Hypertens Res 2018 Sep 27;41(9):662-668. Epub 2018 Jul 27.

Second Department of Pediatrics, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, School of Medicine, P&A Kyriakou Children's Hospital, Athens, Greece.

The 2017 US guidelines for pediatric hypertension place considerable emphasis on blood pressure measurements, which are the cornerstone for hypertension diagnosis and management. It is recognized that when the diagnosis of hypertension is based solely on office blood pressure measurements, many children are misclassified (over- or underdiagnosed). Therefore, out-of-office blood pressure evaluations using ambulatory or home blood pressure monitoring are often necessary to obtain an accurate diagnosis. Strong evidence for the diagnostic and clinical value of ambulatory blood pressure monitoring in children has justified its central role in decision making in recent pediatric recommendations. However, ambulatory blood pressure monitoring is not widely accessible in primary care. There is little evidence for home blood pressure monitoring in children, yet this method is widely available and feasible for the evaluation of elevated blood pressure in children. This article presents a case for using home blood pressure monitoring for the management of children with suspected or treated hypertension in clinical practice in comparison to using office measurements or ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, as well as its optimal application. More research on home blood pressure monitoring in children is urgently needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41440-018-0078-5DOI Listing
September 2018

Vaccination Practices in Pediatric Dialysis Patients Across Europe. A European Pediatric Dialysis Working Group and European Society for Pediatric Nephrology Dialysis Working Group Study.

Nephron 2018 12;138(4):280-286. Epub 2017 Dec 12.

Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy.

Background: Data on the immunization practices in pediatric chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients are scarce. The purpose of this study was to evaluate current vaccination practices for children on dialysis across European pediatric nephrology centers.

Methods: A total of 18 tertiary pediatric nephrology centers from 12 European countries were included in the study. The data on universal national immunization programs and immunization practices for children with chronic disease or risk were recorded from European Center for Disease Prevention and Control and the World Health Organization. The immunization practices and center protocols for monitoring antibody titers after vaccination in dialysis patients were obtained through a questionnaire.

Results: All centers included in the study recommended immunization against hepatitis B virus (HBV), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, Hemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), poliomyelitis, measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), and streptococcus pneumonia in dialysis patients. In 16 centers, dialysis patients were vaccinated against influenza virus annually. HBV protective antibody titers were measured in 17 centers (during dialysis period in 14 centers, during pre-renal transplantation preparations in 14 centers or in both times in 11 centers). Hepatitis A virus (HAV) was reported to be followed in 13 centers, in 8 centers during dialysis period, and in 11 centers during pre-RTx preparations. MMR and varicella-zoster virus (VZV) protective antibody titers were measured during the dialysis period or before renal transplantation (RTx) in 12 and 15 centers, respectively, and in 6 centers both titers were checked both times.

Conclusion: There are variations in vaccination practice across Europe. Children with CKD, those undergoing dialysis, and transplant candidates should receive age-appropriate vaccinations before RTx as well as before the transition to adult nephrology clinics and antibody levels should be monitored to evaluate the immunization status before and after RTx.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000485398DOI Listing
September 2019

Clinical practice recommendations for treatment with active vitamin D analogues in children with chronic kidney disease Stages 2-5 and on dialysis.

Nephrol Dial Transplant 2017 Jul;32(7):1114-1127

Center for Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Heidelberg, Germany.

In patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), renal synthesis of active vitamin D [1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25(OH)2D)] declines and is associated with hypocalcaemia, secondary hyperparathyroidism and the spectrum of CKD-mineral and bone disorder (MBD). In advanced CKD, active vitamin D analogues, including alfacalcidol, calcitriol and paricalcitol, are routinely administered. There are few studies on the use of vitamin D analogues in children with CKD and on dialysis. It is difficult to define bone-specific outcomes that can guide treatment with active vitamin D analogues in children with CKD-MBD. A core working group (WG) of the European Society for Paediatric Nephrology (ESPN) CKD-MBD and Dialysis WGs has developed recommendations for the use of active vitamin D therapy in children with CKD and on dialysis. A second document in parallel with this one covers treatment recommendations for native vitamin D therapy. The WGs have performed an extensive literature review to include systematic reviews and randomized controlled trials in adults and children with CKD and prospective observational studies in children with CKD. The Grading of Recommendation, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) system was used to develop and grade the recommendations. In the absence of applicable study data, the opinion of experts from the ESPN CKD-MBD and Dialysis WGs is provided, but clearly GRADE-ed as such and must be carefully considered by the treating physician and adapted to individual patient needs as appropriate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ndt/gfx080DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5837664PMC
July 2017

Clinical practice recommendations for native vitamin D therapy in children with chronic kidney disease Stages 2-5 and on dialysis.

Nephrol Dial Transplant 2017 07;32(7):1098-1113

Center for Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine, Heidelberg, Germany.

Vitamin D deficiency is widely prevalent and often severe in children and adults with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Although native vitamin D {25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D]} is thought to have pleiotropic effects on many organ systems, its skeletal effects have been most widely studied. The 25(OH)D deficiency is causally linked with rickets and fractures in healthy children and those with CKD, contributing to the CKD-mineral and bone disorder (MBD) complex. There are few studies to provide evidence for vitamin D therapy or guidelines for its use in CKD. A core working group (WG) of the European Society for Paediatric Nephrology (ESPN) CKD-MBD and Dialysis WGs have developed recommendations for the evaluation, treatment and prevention of vitamin D deficiency in children with CKD. We present clinical practice recommendations for the use of ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) and cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) in children with CKD Stages 2-5 and on dialysis. A parallel document addresses treatment recommendations for active vitamin D analogue therapy. The WG has performed an extensive literature review to include meta-analyses and randomized controlled trials in healthy children as well as children and adults with CKD, and prospective observational studies in children with CKD. The Grading of Recommendation, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) system has been used to develop and grade the recommendations. In the absence of applicable study data, the opinion of experts from the ESPN CKD-MBD and Dialysis WGs is provided, but clearly GRADE-ed as such and must be carefully considered by the treating physician, and adapted to individual patient needs as appropriate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ndt/gfx065DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5837199PMC
July 2017

Filter Size Not the Anticoagulation Method is the Decisive Factor in Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy Circuit Survival.

Kidney Blood Press Res 2017 7;42(2):327-337. Epub 2017 Jun 7.

Department of Pediatric Nephrology and Hypertension, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Kraków, Poland.

Background/aim: As continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) has emerged as a standard therapy in pediatric intensive care units (PICU), many related issues that may have an impact on circuit survival have gained in importance. Objective of the study was an evaluation of factors associated with circuit survival, including anticoagulation (ACG).

Methods: Retrospective study that included 40 patients, who in total received 7636 hours of CRRT during 150 sessions (84 filters, 4260 hours with heparin anticoagulation (Hep-ACG); 66 filters, 3376 hours with regional citrate anticoagulation (RCA)).

Results: The Kaplan-Meier analysis of the total circuit survival time depending on the type of ACG did not demonstrate a significant difference between Hep-ACG and RCA. The percentage of clotted filters was significantly higher in case of smaller filters (HF20: 58.8%; ST60: 29.5%; ST100: 15.8%), and their lifetime was significantly lower regardless of ACG (the mean and median lifetime for HF20: 38.7/27.0 h; for ST60: 54.1/72.0 h., for ST100: 62.1/72.0 h, respectively).

Conclusions: Irrespectively of filter size, filter clotting occurs within the first 24 hours after the initiation of CRRT. Most commonly, clotting affects small filters, and their lifetime is significantly shorter as compared to larger filters regardless of the type of the ACG.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000477609DOI Listing
April 2018

Plasma Urotensin II levels in children and adolescents with chronic kidney disease: a single-centre study.

BMC Nephrol 2017 03 31;18(1):113. Epub 2017 Mar 31.

Laboratory of Clinical Biochemistry - Molecular Diagnostic, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, "P. & A. Kyriakou" Childrens' Hospital, Thivon & Levadias str, 11527, Athens, Greece.

Background: Increased plasma Urotensin II (UII) levels have been found in adults with renal diseases. Studies in children are scarce. The objective of the study is to estimate plasma UII levels in subjects with chronic kidney disease (CKD) stages 3 to 5 and renal transplant recipients (RTR). In addition, the correlation of UII with anthropometric features and biochemical parameters was assessed.

Methods: Fifty-four subjects, aged 3 to 20 years old, 23 with CKD, 13 with end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) undergoing hemodialysis (HD) and 18 RTR were enrolled. A detailed clinical evaluation was performed. Biochemical parameters of renal and liver function were measured. Plasma UII levels were measured in all patients and in 117 healthy controls, using a high sensitive enzyme immunoassay (EIA) kit. All data were analyzed using STATA™ (Version 10.1).

Results: Median UII and mean log-transformed UII levels were significantly higher in CKD and RTR patients compared to healthy subjects (p < 0.001). HD patients had higher but not statistically significant UII and log-UII levels than controls. UII levels increased significantly at the end of the HD session and were higher than controls and in line to those of other patients. The geometric scores of UII in HD (before dialysis), CKD and RTR patients increased respectively by 42, 136 and 164% in comparison with controls. Metabolic acidosis was associated with statistical significant change in log-UII levels (p = 0.001). Patients with metabolic acidosis had an increase in UII concentration by 76% compared to those without acidosis.

Conclusions: Children and adolescents with CKD, particularly those who are not on HD and RTR, have significantly higher levels of UII than healthy subjects. UII levels increase significantly at the end of the HD session. The presence of metabolic acidosis affects significantly plasma UII levels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12882-017-0530-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5374664PMC
March 2017

Racial variation in cardiovascular disease risk factors among European children on renal replacement therapy-results from the European Society for Paediatric Nephrology/European Renal Association - European Dialysis and Transplant Association Registry.

Nephrol Dial Transplant 2017 Nov;32(11):1908-1917

ESPN/ERA-EDTA Registry, Department of Medical Informatics, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Background: Racial differences in overall mortality rates have been found in children on renal replacement therapy (RRT). We used data from the European Society for Paediatric Nephrology/European Renal Association - European Dialysis and Transplant Association Registry to study racial variation in the prevalence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors among European children on RRT.

Methods: We included patients aged <20 years between 2006-13 who (i) initiated dialysis treatment or (ii) had a renal transplant vintage of ≥1 year. Racial groups were defined as white, black, Asian and other. The CVD risk factors assessed included uncontrolled hypertension, obesity, hyperphosphataemia and anaemia. Differences between racial groups in CVD risk factors were examined using generalized estimating equation (GEE) models while adjusting for potential confounders.

Results: In this study, 1161 patients on dialysis and 1663 patients with a transplant were included. The majority of patients in both groups were white (73.8% and 79.9%, respectively). The crude prevalence of the CVD risk factors was similar across racial groups. However, after adjustment for potential confounders, Asian background was associated with higher risk of uncontrolled hypertension both in the dialysis group [odds ratio (OR): 1.27; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.01-1.64] and the transplant group (OR: 1.37; 95% CI: 1.11-1.68) compared with white patients. Patients of Asian and other racial background with a renal transplant had a higher risk of anaemia compared with white patients (OR: 1.50; 95% CI: 1.15-1.96 and OR: 1.45; 95% CI: 1.01-2.07, respectively). Finally, the mean number of CVD risk factors among dialysis patients was higher in Asian patients (1.83, 95% CI: 1.64-2.04) compared with white patients (1.52, 95% CI: 1.40-1.65).

Conclusions: We found a higher prevalence of modifiable CVD risk factors in Asian children on RRT. Early identification and management of these risk factors could potentially improve long-term outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ndt/gfw423DOI Listing
November 2017

Delayed treatment of the first febrile urinary tract infection in early childhood increased the risk of renal scarring.

Acta Paediatr 2017 Jan 17;106(1):149-154. Epub 2016 Nov 17.

Department of Pediatric Nephrology, "P. and A. Kyriakou" Children's Hospital, Athens, Greece.

Aim: This study evaluated the controversial relationship between the duration of fever before treatment initiation (FBT) for a febrile urinary tract infection (UTI), with renal scarring based on dimercaptosuccinic acid scintigraphy (DMSA) findings.

Methods: The inpatient records of 148 children under two years of age with a first episode of febrile UTI were analysed. Acute and repeat DMSA findings, and clinical and laboratory parameters were evaluated.

Results: Acute DMSA showed that 76 of the 148 children with a febrile UTI had renal lesions: 20 were mild, and 56 were moderate or severe. Repeat DMSA showed renal scarring in 34 patients. The only factors associated with the development of renal scars in the repeat DMSA were FBT of more than 72 hours, the presence and severity of vesicoureteral reflux and increased procalcitonin levels and absolute neutrophil counts. Multiple regression analysis showed that an FBT above 72 hours was the only significant factor that predicted renal scars.

Conclusion: Delay in treatment initiation of 72 hours or more was a risk factor for permanent renal scars after the first episode of febrile UTI. Other associated factors were increased procalcitonin and absolute neutrophil count on admission and the presence and severity of vesicouretal reflux.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/apa.13636DOI Listing
January 2017

Long-term renal outcome in children with OCRL mutations: retrospective analysis of a large international cohort.

Nephrol Dial Transplant 2018 01;33(1):85-94

University College London, Institute of Child Health and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, National Health Service Trust, London, UK.

Background: Lowe syndrome (LS) and Dent-2 disease (DD2) are disorders associated with mutations in the OCRL gene and characterized by progressive chronic kidney disease (CKD). Here, we aimed to investigate the long-term renal outcome and identify potential determinants of CKD and its progression in children with these tubulopathies.

Methods: Retrospective analyses were conducted of clinical and genetic data in a cohort of 106 boys (LS: 88 and DD2: 18). For genotype-phenotype analysis, we grouped mutations according to their type and localization. To investigate progression of CKD we used survival analysis by Kaplan-Meier method using stage 3 CKD as the end-point.

Results: Median estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) was lower in the LS group compared with DD2 (58.8 versus 87.4 mL/min/1.73 m2, P < 0.01). CKD stage II-V was found in 82% of patients, of these 58% and 28% had moderate-to-severe CKD in LS and DD2, respectively. Three patients (3%), all with LS, developed stage 5 of CKD. Survival analysis showed that LS was also associated with a faster CKD progression than DD2 (P < 0.01). On multivariate analysis, eGFR was dependent only on age (b = -0.46, P < 0.001). Localization, but not type of mutations, tended to correlate with eGFR. There was also no significant association between presence of nephrocalcinosis, hypercalciuria, proteinuria and number of adverse clinical events and CKD.

Conclusions: CKD is commonly found in children with OCRL mutations. CKD progression was strongly related to the underlying diagnosis but did not associate with clinical parameters, such as nephrocalcinosis or proteinuria.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ndt/gfw350DOI Listing
January 2018

Hemodialysis in children with ventriculoperitoneal shunts: prevalence, management and outcomes.

Pediatr Nephrol 2016 Jan 19;31(1):137-43. Epub 2015 Sep 19.

Nephro-Urology Unit, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, NHS Foundation Trust, London, WC1N 3JH, UK.

Background: Hemodialysis (HD) in children with a concomitant ventriculoperitoneal shunt (VPS) is rare. Registry data suggest that peritoneal dialysis with a VPS is safe, but little is known about HD in the presence of a VPS.

Methods: We performed a 10-year survey to determine the prevalence of a VPS, complications and outcome in children with a VPS on HD in 15 dialysis units from the 13 countries participating in the European Pediatric Dialysis Working Group.

Results: Eleven cases of HD with a VPS were reported (prevalence 1.33 %; 328 patient-months) and compared with prospective Registry data. The median age at start of dialysis was 9.6 [inter-quartile range (IQR) 1.0-15.0] years and median HD vintage was 2.4 (IQR 1.7-3.0) years. Dialysis was performed through a central venous line (CVL) and through an arteriovenous fistula in six and five children, respectively. Three CVL infections occurred in two children, but these children did not develop VPS infections or meningitis. Symptoms of hemodynamic instability were reported in six (55 %) children at least once per week, with hypotension or hypertension occurring in four of these children and nausea, vomiting and headaches occurring in two; four other children reported less frequent symptoms. Seizures on dialysis occurred in two children, at a frequency of less than once per month, with one child also experiencing visual disturbances. During follow-up (median 4.0; IQR 0.38-7.63 years), three children remained on HD and eight had a functioning transplant. No patients were switched to PD.

Conclusions: Hemodialysis in children with a VPS is safe, but associated with frequent symptoms of hemodynamic instability. No episodes of VPS infection or meningitis were seen among the children in the survey, not even in those with CVL sepsis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00467-015-3204-5DOI Listing
January 2016

Pleuro-peritoneal or pericardio-peritoneal leak in children on chronic peritoneal dialysis-A survey from the European Paediatric Dialysis Working Group.

Pediatr Nephrol 2015 Nov 9;30(11):2021-7. Epub 2015 Jun 9.

Renal Unit, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust, London, WC1N 3JH, UK.

Background: Pleural or pericardial effusions secondary to pleuro-peritoneal fistula (PPF) and pericardio-peritoneal fistula (PcPF) are rare but serious complications of peritoneal dialysis (PD).

Methods: We conducted a 10-year survey across all participating centres in the European Paediatric Dialysis Working Group to review the incidence, diagnostic techniques, therapeutic options and outcome of children on chronic PD with PPF and/or PcPF.

Results: Of 1506 children on PD there were ten cases (8 of PPF, 1 each of PcPF and PPF + PcPF), with a prevalence of 0.66%. The median age at presentation was 1.5 [inter-quartile range (IQR) 0.4-2.4] years, and nine children were <3 years. The time on PD before onset of symptoms was 4.3 (IQR 1.3-19.8) months. Eight children had herniae and seven had abdominal surgery in the preceding 4 weeks. Symptoms at presentation were respiratory distress, reduced ultrafiltration and tachycardia. PD was stopped in all children; three were managed conservatively and thoracocentesis was performed in seven (with pleurodesis in 3). PD was restarted in only three children, in two of them with success.

Conclusion: In conclusion, PPF and PcPF are rare in children on chronic PD, but are associated with significant morbidity, requiring a change of dialysis modality in all cases. Risk factors for PPF development include age of <3 years, herniae and recent abdominal surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00467-015-3137-zDOI Listing
November 2015

Screening for hypertension in children and adolescents: the controversy, the research questions and a plan for action.

J Hypertens 2015 Jul;33(7):1359-63

aHypertension Center STRIDE-7, Third University Department of Medicine, Sotiria Hospital, Athens bFirst Department of Pediatrics, P&A Kyriakou Children's Hospital, Athens cFirst Department of Pediatrics, Aristotle University, Hippokration Hospital, Thessaloniki dDepartment of Nephrology, Agia Sophia Children's Hospital eDepartment of Nephrology, P&A Kyriakou Children's Hospital, Athens, Greece.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/HJH.0000000000000629DOI Listing
July 2015

Safety and immunogenicity of booster immunization with 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in children with idiopathic nephrotic syndrome.

Vaccine 2014 Mar 30;32(12):1394-7. Epub 2014 Jan 30.

1st Department of Pediatrics, Infectious Diseases Unit, "Aghia Sophia" Children's Hospital, Athens University School of Medicine, Athens, Greece.

Safety and immunogenicity of a booster dose of 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) were evaluated in 29 patients with idiopathic nephrotic syndrome (INS), who had been primed 12 months earlier with one dose of PCV7. PCV7 was not associated with increased risk of INS relapse (RR=0.77, p=0.8) and serotype-specific antibodies increased in all subjects at 1 month (p<0.01). The quantitative characteristics of immune response and the effect of treatment with mycophenolate mofetil and/or cyclosporine A following booster PCV7 were similar with primary response. Additional PCV7 doses could be safely given in children with INS to increase circulating antibodies above the protective threshold.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2013.11.106DOI Listing
March 2014