Publications by authors named "Lutz Weber"

142 Publications

Refining genotype-phenotype correlations in 304 patients with autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease and PKHD1 gene variants.

Kidney Int 2021 Apr 30. Epub 2021 Apr 30.

Department of Pediatrics, University Hospital Cologne and University of Cologne, Faculty of Medicine, Cologne, Germany.

Autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease (ARPKD) is a severe disease of early childhood that is clinically characterized by fibrocystic changes of the kidneys and the liver. The main cause of ARPKD are variants in the PKHD1 gene encoding the large transmembrane protein fibrocystin. The mechanisms underlying the observed clinical heterogeneity in ARPKD remain incompletely understood, partly due to the fact that genotype-phenotype correlations have been limited to the association of biallelic null variants in PKHD1 with the most severe phenotypes. In this observational study we analyzed a deep clinical dataset of 304 patients with ARPKD from two independent cohorts and identified novel genotype-phenotype correlations during childhood and adolescence. Biallelic null variants frequently show severe courses. Additionally, our data suggest that the affected region in PKHD1 is important in determining the phenotype. Patients with two missense variants affecting amino acids 709-1837 of fibrocystin or a missense variant in this region and a null variant less frequently developed chronic kidney failure and patients with missense variants affecting amino acids 1838-2624 showed better hepatic outcome. Variants affecting amino acids 2625-4074 of fibrocystin were associated with poorer hepatic outcome. Thus, our data expand the understanding of genotype-phenotype correlations in pediatric ARPKD patients and can lay the foundation for more precise and personalized counselling and treatment approaches.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.kint.2021.04.019DOI Listing
April 2021

COVID-19 study found that 0.4% of 5730 asymptomatic children aged 0-18 years tested positive for virus before hospital procedures or admission.

Acta Paediatr 2021 Apr 24. Epub 2021 Apr 24.

Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital Cologne, University Hospital of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/apa.15884DOI Listing
April 2021

Molecular causes of congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract (CAKUT).

Mol Cell Pediatr 2021 Feb 24;8(1). Epub 2021 Feb 24.

Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University Hospital Cologne, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.

Congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract (CAKUT) occur in 0.5-1/100 newborns and as a group they represent the most frequent cause for chronic kidney failure in children. CAKUT comprise clinically heterogeneous conditions, ranging from mild vesicoureteral reflux to kidney aplasia. Most forms of CAKUT share the pathophysiology of an impaired developmental interaction of the ureteric bud (UB) and the metanephric mesenchyme (MM). In most cases, CAKUT present as an isolated condition. They also may occur as a component in rare multi-organ syndromes. Many CAKUT probably have a multifactorial etiology. However, up to 20% of human patients and > 200 transgenic mouse models have a monogenic form of CAKUT, which has fueled our efforts to unravel molecular kidney (mal-)development. To date, genetic variants in more than 50 genes have been associated with (isolated) CAKUT in humans. In this short review, we will summarize typical imaging findings in patients with CAKUT and highlight recent mechanistic insight in the molecular pathogenesis of monogenic forms of CAKUT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40348-021-00112-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7904997PMC
February 2021

Arterial Hypertension in a 10-Year-Old Girl.

Am J Kidney Dis 2021 03;77(3):A11-A13

Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital Cologne, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany; Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne, Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital Cologne, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.ajkd.2020.08.019DOI Listing
March 2021

Prevalence of COVID-19 Among Children and Adolescents While Easing Lockdown Restrictions in Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.

Klin Padiatr 2021 May 18;233(3):135-140. Epub 2021 Jan 18.

Department of Pediatrics, University Hospital Cologne, Cologne, Germany.

Background: In Germany, widespread full closures of schools and day care facilities were part of lockdown measures to control the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). In the state of North Rhine-Westphalia closures took place on March 16, 2020 and were gradually eased from end of April 2020 until beginning of June 2020.

Objective: This study aims to evaluate the prevalence of COVID-19 among children and adolescents during the reopening period of schools and day care facilities in Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It further depicts medical history and results of physical examinations of pediatric patients undergoing a test for severe acute respiratory distress syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).

Methods: Testing for SARS-CoV-2 was carried out by a naso- and / or oropharyngeal swab by local pediatricians at the time of presentation. Samples were analyzed by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Medical history and physical examination results were retrospectively analyzed.

Results: 525 children and adolescents presented mainly with mild upper respiratory tract infections. Three patients were diagnosed with COVID-19. Their medical history and examination results did not stand out from the other patients.

Conclusion: A precautious stepwise opening of schools and day care facilities was not associated with the occurrence of a relevant prevalence of COVID-19 among children and adolescents. However, a low general prevalence of COVID-19 at the end of the observation period has to be taken into account. Systematic testing might enable adjusted regulations in favor of full closures, especially in the light of increasing evidence for pediatric patients constituting a low-risk group for COVID-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1341-9530DOI Listing
May 2021

Clinical practice recommendations for recurrence of focal and segmental glomerulosclerosis/steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome.

Pediatr Transplant 2021 May 30;25(3):e13955. Epub 2020 Dec 30.

Department of Pediatrics II, University Hospital of Essen, University Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany.

Recurrence of primary disease is one of the major risks for allograft loss after pediatric RTx. The risk of recurrence of FSGS/SRNS after pediatric RTx in particular can be up to 86% in idiopathic cases. There is a need for consensus recommendations on its prevention and treatment. The CERTAIN study group has therefore performed a thorough literature search based on the PICO model of clinical questions to formulate educated statements to guide the clinician in the process of decision-making. A set of educated statements on prevention and treatment of FSGS/SRNS after pediatric RTx has been generated after careful evaluation of available evidence and thorough panel discussion. We do not recommend routine nephrectomy prior to transplantation; neither do we recommend abstaining from living donation. Special attendance needs to be given to those patients who had already experienced graft loss due to FSGS/SRNS recurrence. Early PE or IA with or without high-dose CsA and/or rituximab seems to be most promising to induce remission. The educated statements presented here acknowledge that FSGS/SRNS recurrence after pediatric RTx remains a major concern and is associated with shorter graft survival or even graft loss. The value of any recommendation needs to take into account that evidence is based on cohorts that differ in ethnicity, pre-transplant history, immunosuppressive regimen, definition of recurrence (eg, clinical and/or histological diagnosis) and treatment modalities of recurrence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/petr.13955DOI Listing
May 2021

Steering Transplant Immunosuppression by Measuring Virus-Specific T Cell Levels: The Randomized, Controlled IVIST Trial.

J Am Soc Nephrol 2021 Feb 15;32(2):502-516. Epub 2020 Dec 15.

Department of Pediatric Kidney, Liver and Metabolic Diseases, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany

Background: Pharmacokinetic monitoring is insufficient to estimate the intensity of immunosuppression after transplantation. Virus-specific T cells correlate with both virus-specific and general cellular immune defense. Additional steering of immunosuppressive therapy by virus-specific T cell levels might optimize dosing of immunosuppressants.

Methods: In a multicenter, randomized, controlled trial, we randomized 64 pediatric kidney recipients to a control group with trough-level monitoring of immunosuppressants or to an intervention group with additional steering of immunosuppressive therapy by levels of virus-specific T cells (quantified by cytokine flow cytometry). Both groups received immunosuppression with cyclosporin A and everolimus in the same target range of trough levels. Primary end point was eGFR 2 years after transplantation.

Results: In the primary analysis, we detected no difference in eGFR for the intervention and control groups 2 years after transplantation, although baseline eGFR 1 month after transplantation was lower in the intervention group versus the control group. Compared with controls, patients in the intervention group received significantly lower daily doses of everolimus and nonsignificantly lower doses of cyclosporin A, resulting in significantly lower trough levels of everolimus (3.5 versus 4.5 g/L, <0.001) and cyclosporin A (47.4 versus 64.1 g/L, <0.001). Only 20% of patients in the intervention group versus 47% in the control group received glucocorticoids 2 years after transplantation (=0.04). The groups had similar numbers of donor-specific antibodies and serious adverse events.

Conclusions: Steering immunosuppressive therapy by virus-specific T cell levels in addition to pharmacokinetic monitoring seems safe, results in a similar eGFR, and personalizes immunosuppressive therapy by lowering exposure to immunosuppressive drugs, likely resulting in lower drug costs.

Clinical Trial Registry Name And Registration Number: IVIST trial, https://www.clinicaltrialsregister.eu/ctr-search/search?query=2009-012436-32 and ISRCTN89806912.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1681/ASN.2020050645DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8054884PMC
February 2021

Therapeutic drug monitoring of mycophenolate mofetil in pediatric patients: novel techniques and current opinion.

Expert Opin Drug Metab Toxicol 2021 Feb 8;17(2):201-213. Epub 2020 Nov 8.

Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital Cologne, Department of Pediatrics, University of Cologne , Cologne, Germany.

: Mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) is an ester prodrug of the immunosuppressant mycophenolic acid (MPA) and is recommended and widely used for maintenance immunosuppressive therapy in solid organ and stem-cell transplantation as well as in immunological kidney diseases. MPA is a potent, reversible, noncompetitive inhibitor of the inosine monophosphate dehydrogenase (IMPDH), a crucial enzyme in the purine synthesis in T- and B-lymphocytes, thereby inhibiting cell-mediated immunity and antibody formation. The use of therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) of MMF is still controversial as outcome data of clinical trials are equivocal. : This review covers in great depth the existing literature on TDM of MMF in the field of pediatric (kidney) transplantation. In addition, the relevance of TDM in immunological kidney diseases, in particular childhood nephrotic syndrome is highlighted. : TDM of MMF has the potential to optimize therapy in pediatric transplantation as well as in nephrotic syndrome. Limited sampling strategies to estimate MPA exposure increase its feasibility. Future perspectives rather encompass approaches reflecting total immunosuppressive load than single drug TDM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17425255.2021.1843633DOI Listing
February 2021

Severe neurological outcomes after very early bilateral nephrectomies in patients with autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease (ARPKD).

Sci Rep 2020 09 29;10(1):16025. Epub 2020 Sep 29.

Division of Pediatric Nephrology, Center for Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, University Hospital Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.

To test the association between bilateral nephrectomies in patients with autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease (ARPKD) and long-term clinical outcome and to identify risk factors for severe outcomes, a dataset comprising 504 patients from the international registry study ARegPKD was analyzed for characteristics and complications of patients with very early (≤ 3 months; VEBNE) and early (4-15 months; EBNE) bilateral nephrectomies. Patients with very early dialysis (VED, onset ≤ 3 months) without bilateral nephrectomies and patients with total kidney volumes (TKV) comparable to VEBNE infants served as additional control groups. We identified 19 children with VEBNE, 9 with EBNE, 12 with VED and 11 in the TKV control group. VEBNE patients suffered more frequently from severe neurological complications in comparison to all control patients. Very early bilateral nephrectomies and documentation of severe hypotensive episodes were independent risk factors for severe neurological complications. Bilateral nephrectomies within the first 3 months of life are associated with a risk of severe neurological complications later in life. Our data support a very cautious indication of very early bilateral nephrectomies in ARPKD, especially in patients with residual kidney function, and emphasize the importance of avoiding severe hypotensive episodes in this at-risk cohort.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-71956-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7525474PMC
September 2020

Cardiovascular Outcome of Pediatric Patients With Bi-Allelic (Homozygous) Familial Hypercholesterolemia Before and After Initiation of Multimodal Lipid Lowering Therapy Including Lipoprotein Apheresis.

Am J Cardiol 2020 12 16;136:38-48. Epub 2020 Sep 16.

Renal Unit, KfH Pediatric Kidney Centre, and Centre for Undiagnosed and Rare Diseases, University Hospital Marburg, Germany.

Twenty-four patients with bi-allelic familial hypercholesterolemia commencing chronic lipoprotein apheresis (LA) at a mean age of 8.5 ± 3.1 years were analysed retrospectively and in part prospectively with a mean follow-up of 17.2 ± 5.6 years. Mean age at diagnosis was 6.3 ± 3.4 years. Untreated mean LDL-C concentrations were 752 mg/dl ± 193 mg/dl (19.5 mmol/l ± 5.0 mmol/l). Multimodal lipid lowering therapy including LA resulted in a mean LDL-C concentration of 184 mg/dl (4.8 mmol/l), which represents a 75.5% mean reduction. Proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9-antibodies contributed in 3 patients to LDL-C lowering with 5 patients remaining to be tested. After commencing chronic LA, 16 patients (67%) remained clinically stable with only subclinical findings of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), and neither cardiovascular events, nor need for vascular interventions or surgery. In 19 patients (79%), pathologic findings were detected at the aortic valve (AV), which in the majority were mild. AV replacement was required in 2 patients. Mean Lipoprotein(a) concentration was 42.4 mg/dl, 38% had >50 mg/dl. There was no overt correlation of AV pathologies with other ASCVD complications, or Lipoprotein(a) concentration. Physicochemical elimination of LDL particles by LA appears indispensable for patients with bi-allelic familial hypercholesterolemia and severe hypercholesterolemia to maximize the reduction of LDL-C. In conclusion, in this rare patient group regular assessment of both the AV, as well as all arteries accessible by ultrasound should be performed to adjust the intensity of multimodal lipid lowering therapy with the goal to prevent ASCVD events and aortic surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amjcard.2020.09.015DOI Listing
December 2020

Long-term data on two sisters with C3GN due to an identical, homozygous CFH mutation and autoantibodies.

Clin Nephrol 2020 Oct;94(4):197-206

C3 glomerulonephritis (C3GN) is a rare but severe form of kidney disease caused by fluid-phase dysregulation of the alternative complement pathway. Causative mutations in complement regulating genes as well as auto-immune forms of C3GN have been described. However, therapy and prognosis in individual patients remain a matter of debate and long-term data are scarce. This also applies for the management of transplant patients as disease recurrence post-transplant is frequent. Here, we depict the clinical courses of two sisters with the unique combination of an identical, homozygous mutation in the gene as well as autoantibodies with a clinical follow-up of more than 20 years. Interestingly, the sisters presented with discordant clinical courses of C3GN with normal kidney function in one (patient A) and end-stage kidney disease in the other sister (patient B). In patient B, eculizumab was administered immediately prior to and in the course after kidney transplantation, with the result of a stable graft function without any signs of disease recurrence. Comprehensive genetic work-up revealed no further disease-causing mutation in both sisters. Intriguingly, the auto-antibody profile substantially differed in both sisters: autoantibodies in patient A reduced the C3b deposition, while the antibodies identified in patient B increased complement activation and deposition of split products. This study underlines the concept of a personalized-medicine approach in complement-associated diseases after thorough evaluation of the individual risk profile in each patient.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5414/CN110135DOI Listing
October 2020

Bone and Mineral Metabolism in Children with Nephropathic Cystinosis Compared with other CKD Entities.

J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2020 08;105(8)

Department of Pediatric Kidney, Liver and Metabolic Diseases, Hannover Medical School Children's Hospital, Hannover, Germany.

Context: Children with nephropathic cystinosis (NC) show persistent hypophosphatemia, due to Fanconi syndrome, as well as mineral and bone disorders related to chronic kidney disease (CKD); however, systematic analyses are lacking.

Objective: To compare biochemical parameters of bone and mineral metabolism between children with NC and controls across all stages of CKD.

Design: Cross-sectional multicenter study.

Setting: Hospital clinics.

Patients: Forty-nine children with NC, 80 CKD controls of the same age and CKD stage.

Main Outcome Measures: Fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23), soluble Klotho, bone alkaline phosphatase (BAP), tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase 5b (TRAP5b), sclerostin, osteoprotegerin (OPG), biochemical parameters related to mineral metabolism, and skeletal comorbidity.

Results: Despite Fanconi syndrome medication, NC patients showed an 11-fold increased risk of short stature, bone deformities, and/or requirement for skeletal surgery compared with CKD controls. This was associated with a higher frequency of risk factors such as hypophosphatemia, hypocalcemia, low parathyroid hormone (PTH), metabolic acidosis, and a specific CKD stage-dependent pattern of bone marker alterations. Pretransplant NC patients in mild to moderate CKD showed a delayed increase or lacked an increase in FGF23 and sclerostin, and increased BAP, TRAP5b, and OPG concentrations compared with CKD controls. Post-transplant, BAP and OPG returned to normal, TRAP5b further increased, whereas FGF23 and PTH were less elevated compared with CKD controls and associated with higher serum phosphate.

Conclusions: Patients with NC show more severe skeletal comorbidity associated with distinct CKD stage-dependent alterations of bone metabolism than CKD controls, suggesting impaired mineralization and increased bone resorption, which is only partially normalized after renal transplantation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/clinem/dgaa267DOI Listing
August 2020

A multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind phase 3 trial with open-arm comparison indicates safety and efficacy of nephroprotective therapy with ramipril in children with Alport's syndrome.

Kidney Int 2020 06 17;97(6):1275-1286. Epub 2020 Jan 17.

Department of Medical Statistics, University Medical Center Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany.

Children with Alport syndrome develop renal failure early in life. Since the safety and efficacy of preemptive nephroprotective therapy are uncertain we conducted a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial in 14 German sites of pediatric patients with ramipril for three to six years plus six months follow-up to determine these parameters. Pretreated children and those whose parents refused randomization became an open-arm control, which were compared to prospective real-world data from untreated children. The co-primary endpoints were safety (adverse drug reactions) and efficacy (time to progression). Out of 66 oligosymptomatic children, 22 were randomized and 44 joined the open-arm comparison. Ramipril therapy showed no safety issues (total of 216.4 patient-years on ramipril; adverse event rate-ratio 1.00; 95% confidence interval 0.66-1.53). Although not significant, our results cautiously showed that ramipril therapy was effective: in the randomized arm, Ramipril decreased the risk of disease progression by almost half (hazard ratio 0.51 (0.12-2.20)), diminished the slope of albuminuria progression and the decline in glomerular filtration. In adjusted analysis, indications of efficacy were supported by prospective data from participants treated open label compared with untreated children, in whom ramipril again seemed to reduce progression by almost half (0.53 (0.22-1.29)). Incorporating these results into the randomized data by Bayesian evidence synthesis resulted in a more precise estimate of the hazard-ratio of 0.52 (0.19-1.39). Thus, our study shows the safety of early initiation of therapy and supports the hope to slow renal failure by many years, emphasizing the value of preemptive therapy. Hence, screening programs for glomerular hematuria in children and young adults could benefit from inclusion of genetic testing for Alport-related gene-variants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.kint.2019.12.015DOI Listing
June 2020

Case Report: Exome Sequencing Reveals LRBA Deficiency in a Patient With End-Stage Renal Disease.

Front Pediatr 2020 11;8:42. Epub 2020 Mar 11.

Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital Cologne, Institute of Human Genetics, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.

Lipopolysaccharide-responsive and beige-like anchor protein (LRBA) deficiency is characterized by autoimmunity, chronic diarrhea, and immunodeficiency. Minor renal manifestations have been found in a few patients, but kidney disease has not been systematically studied and may remain underdiagnosed in this highly variable entity. Our patient initially presented with pancytopenia, enteropathy, hypogammaglobulinemia, and failure to thrive at the age of 15 months. Chronic kidney disease was diagnosed at 6 years. A renal biopsy taken at 11 years of age showed interstitial nephritis. The patient progressed rapidly to end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and underwent kidney transplantation at the age of 12 years. Bronchiolitis obliterans, post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease (PTLD), and chronic rejection complicated the post-transplant management. Graft loss required reinstitution of hemodialysis within 3 years. After negative results of different targeted sequencing strategies, exome sequencing identified a homozygous nonsense mutation (p.Q1010) in the gene more than 21 years after the patient's initial presentation. We report here the development of ESRD and long-term follow-up in a patient with LRBA deficiency. A molecular diagnosis in rare (kidney) disease like LRBA deficiency bears many advantages over a descriptive diagnosis. A precise diagnosis may result in improved (symptomatic) treatment and allows differentiating treatment- and procedure-related complications from manifestations of the primary disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fped.2020.00042DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7078106PMC
March 2020

Peritoneal dialysis in extremely and very low-birth-weight infants.

Perit Dial Int 2020 03 17;40(2):233-236. Epub 2020 Jan 17.

Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital Cologne, Department of Pediatrics, Pediatric Nephrology, University of Cologne, Germany.

The outcome of extremely low-birth-weight (ELBW) and very low-birth-weight (VLBW) infants has substantially improved in recent years. As acute kidney injury is frequent in these infants due to various risk factors, there is an increasing demand for renal replacement therapy in these patients. Data on that topic, however, are scarce. We review the available literature on that topic and report our experience on temporary dialysis in three extremely immature infants (two ELBW and one VLBW) with acute kidney failure. Peritoneal dialysis (PD) was performed for 19, 23, and 44 days until recovery of native renal function. At recent follow-up of 18 and 24 months, two patients are in good clinical condition with chronic kidney disease stages 1 and 4, respectively. One patient deceased at the age of 12 months due to secondary liver failure. The dialysis regimen applied in our study differed significantly from older infants with extremely short dwell times and accordingly high numbers of daily cycles. The use of rigid acute PD catheters was associated with less catheter-related complications (leakage, dislocation, and obstruction) as compared to ascites drainage catheters. In summary, PD was technically feasible and effective also in extremely immature infants, but frequent adjustments of dialysis regimens and high numbers of daily cycles posed immense efforts on both, parents and medical staff.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0896860819887292DOI Listing
March 2020

Altered molecular signatures during kidney development after intrauterine growth restriction of different origins.

J Mol Med (Berl) 2020 03 1;98(3):395-407. Epub 2020 Feb 1.

Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, University of Cologne, Medical Faculty and University Hospital Cologne, Cologne, Germany.

This study was performed to identify transcriptional alterations in male intrauterine growth restricted (IUGR) rats during and at the end of nephrogenesis in order to generate hypotheses which molecular mechanisms contribute to adverse kidney programming. IUGR was induced by low protein (LP) diet throughout pregnancy, bilateral uterine vessel ligation (LIG), or intrauterine stress (IUS) by sham operation. Offspring of unimpaired dams served as controls. Significant acute kidney damage was ruled out by negative results for proteins indicative of ER-stress, autophagy, apoptosis, or infiltration with macrophages. Renal gene expression was examined by transcriptome microarrays, demonstrating 53 (LP, n = 12; LIG, n = 32; IUS, n = 9) and 134 (LP, n = 10; LIG, n = 41; IUS, n = 83) differentially expressed transcripts on postnatal days (PND) 1 and 7, respectively. Reduced Pilra (all IUGR groups, PND 7), Nupr1 (LP and LIG, PND 7), and Kap (LIG, PND 1) as well as increased Ccl20, S100a8/a9 (LIG, PND 1), Ifna4, and Ltb4r2 (IUS, PND 7) indicated that inflammation-related molecular dysregulation could be a "common" feature after IUGR of different origins. Network analyses of transcripts and predicted upstream regulators hinted at proinflammatory adaptions mainly in LIG (arachidonic acid-binding, neutrophil aggregation, toll-like-receptor, NF-kappa B, and TNF signaling) and dysregulation of AMPK and PPAR signaling in LP pups. The latter may increase susceptibility towards obesity-associated kidney damage. Western blots of the most prominent predicted upstream regulators confirmed significant dysregulation of RICTOR in LP (PND 7) and LIG pups (PND 1), suggesting that mTOR-related processes could further modulate kidney programming in these groups of IUGR pups. KEY MESSAGES: Inflammation-related transcripts are dysregulated in neonatal IUGR rat kidneys. Upstream analyses indicate renal metabolic dysregulation after low protein diet. RICTOR is dysregulated after low protein diet and uterine vessel ligation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00109-020-01875-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7080693PMC
March 2020

Pharmacodynamic Monitoring of Mycophenolic Acid Therapy: Improved Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry Method for Measuring Inosin-5'-Monophosphate Dehydrogenase Activity.

Ther Drug Monit 2020 04;42(2):282-288

Center of Pharmacology, Therapeutic Drug Monitoring, University Hospital of Cologne.

Background: Mycophenolic acid (MPA), a powerful inhibitor of lymphocyte proliferation, is widely used in transplantation medicine and as a glucocorticoid-sparing agent in rheumatic and inflammatory diseases. As inosine-5'-monophosphate dehydrogenase (IMPDH), the target enzyme of MPA, shows high interindividual variability in its basal activity, the assessment of IMPDH activity in addition to pharmacokinetic monitoring has emerged as a strategy to individualize MPA pharmacotherapy.

Methods: A liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method was developed to measure IMPDH activity in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from lithium-heparinized blood. Stable isotope-labeled analogs of analytes were used as internal standards for the quantitative analyses of xanthosine-5'-monophosphate (XMP) and adenosine-5'-monophosphate (AMP). IMPDH activity was expressed as enzymatic production of XMP per time normalized to the AMP concentration. Validation and evaluation of the new method were performed by using blood samples from healthy volunteers (n = 10).

Results: Linearity was demonstrated over the concentration ranges of 0.25-80 μM for XMP and 4-80 µM for AMP (R > 0.99). Between-day and within-day assay precisions and accuracies were within the acceptance criterion of ±15%. Matrix effects were fully compensated by the coelution of internal standards. Specific and linear XMP production (R > 0.99) and the inhibition of IMPDH activity by MPA at clinically relevant doses were demonstrated.

Conclusions: In this study, a liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method to measure IMPDH activity was established and fully evaluated for matrix and ion suppression effects. The method enabled precise quantification of IMPDH activity for the improvement of pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic therapeutic drug monitoring approaches to optimize immunosuppressive treatment with MPA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/FTD.0000000000000688DOI Listing
April 2020

Generation and Validation of a Limited Sampling Strategy to Monitor Mycophenolic Acid Exposure in Children With Nephrotic Syndrome.

Ther Drug Monit 2019 12;41(6):696-702

Pediatric Nephrology, Children's and Adolescents' Hospital, University of Cologne, Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital Cologne, Cologne.

Background: Mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) plays an increasingly important role in the treatment of children with nephrotic syndrome, especially in steroid sparing protocols. Recent publications show the relationship of exposure to its active moiety mycophenolic acid (MPA) and clinical efficacy. Performance of full-time pharmacokinetic (PK) profiles, however, is inconvenient and laborious. Established limited sampling strategies (LSS) to estimate the area under the concentration (AUC) versus time curve of MPA (MPA-AUC) in pediatric renal transplant recipients cannot be easily transferred to children suffering from nephrotic syndrome, mainly because of the lack of concomitant immunosuppressive therapy. We therefore aimed for the generation and validation of a LSS to estimate MPA exposure to facilitate therapeutic drug monitoring in children with nephrotic syndrome.

Methods: We performed 27 complete PK profiles in 23 children in remission [mean age (±SD):12.3 ± 4.26 years] to generate and validate an LSS. Sampling time points were before administration (C0) and 0.5, 1, 1.5, 2, 4, 6, 8, and 12 hours after the administration of MMF. MPA was measured by enzyme multiplied immunoassay technique. There was no concomitant treatment with calcineurin inhibitors.

Results: Mean daily dose of MMF was 927 ± 209 mg/m of body surface area resulting in a mean MPA-AUC0-12 value of 59.2 ± 29.3 mg × h/L and a predose level of 3.03 ± 2.24 mg/L. Between-patient variability of dose-normalized MPA-AUC0-12 was high (coefficient of variation: 45.5%). Correlation of predose levels with the corresponding MPA-AUC0-12 was moderate (r = 0.59) in a subgroup of 18 patients (20 PK profiles, generation group). An algorithm based on 3 PK sampling time points during the first 2 hours after MMF dosing (estimated AUC0-12 = 8.7 + 4.63 × C0 + 1.90 × C1 + 1.52 × C2) was able to predict MPA-AUC with a low percentage prediction error (3.88%) and a good correlation of determination (r = 0.90). Validation of this algorithm in a randomized separate group of 6 patients (7 PK profiles, validation group) resulted in comparably good correlation (r = 0.95) and low percentage prediction error (5.57%).

Conclusions: An abbreviated profile within the first 2 hours after MMF dosing gives a good estimate of MPA exposure in children with nephrotic syndrome and hence has the potential to optimize MMF therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/FTD.0000000000000671DOI Listing
December 2019

C3-Glomerulopathy Autoantibodies Mediate Distinct Effects on Complement C3- and C5-Convertases.

Front Immunol 2019 31;10:1030. Epub 2019 May 31.

Deparment of Infection Biology, Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology, Jena, Germany.

C3 glomerulopathy (C3G) is a severe kidney disease, which is caused by defective regulation of the alternative complement pathway. Disease pathogenesis is heterogeneous and is caused by both autoimmune and genetic factors. Here we characterized IgG autoantibodies derived from 33 patients with autoimmune C3 glomerulopathy. Serum antibodies from all 33 patients as well as purified IgGs bound to the assembled C3-convertase. Noteworthy, two groups of antibodies were identified: group 1 with strong (12 patients) and group 2 with weak binding C3-convertase autoantibodies (22 patients). C3Nef, as evaluated in a standard C3Nef assay, was identified in serum from 19 patients, which included patients from group 1 as well as group 2. The C3-convertase binding profile was independent of C3Nef. Group 1 antibodies, but not the group 2 antibodies stabilized the C3-convertase, and protected the enzyme from dissociation by Factor H. Also, only group 1 antibodies induced C3a release. However, both group 1 and group 2 autoantibodies bound to the C5-convertase and induced C5a generation, which was inhibited by monoclonal anti-C5 antibody Eculizumab . In summary, group 1 antibodies are composed of C3Nef and C5Nef antibodies and likely over-activate the complement system, as seen in hemolytic assays. Group 2 antibodies show predominantly C5Nef like activities and stabilize the C5 but not the C3-convertase. Altogether, these different profiles not only reveal a heterogeneity of the autoimmune forms of C3G (MPGN), they also show that in diagnosis of C3G not all autoimmune forms are identified and thus more vigorous autoantibody testing should be performed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2019.01030DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6554336PMC
August 2020

Clinical courses and complications of young adults with Autosomal Recessive Polycystic Kidney Disease (ARPKD).

Sci Rep 2019 05 28;9(1):7919. Epub 2019 May 28.

Department of Pediatrics, University Hospital of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.

Autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease (ARPKD) is a severe pediatric hepatorenal disorder with pronounced phenotypic variability. A substantial number of patients with early diagnosis reaches adulthood and some patients are not diagnosed until adulthood. Yet, clinical knowledge about adult ARPKD patients is scarce. Here, we describe forty-nine patients with longitudinal follow-up into young adulthood that were identified in the international ARPKD cohort study ARegPKD. Forty-five patients were evaluated in a cross-sectional analysis at a mean age of 21.4 (±3.3) years describing hepatorenal findings. Renal function of native kidneys was within CKD stages 1 to 3 in more than 50% of the patients. Symptoms of hepatic involvement were frequently detected. Fourteen (31%) patients had undergone kidney transplantation and six patients (13%) had undergone liver transplantation or combined liver and kidney transplantation prior to the visit revealing a wide variability of clinical courses. Hepatorenal involvement and preceding complications in other organs were also evaluated in a time-to-event analysis. In summary, we characterize the broad clinical spectrum of young adult ARPKD patients. Importantly, many patients have a stable renal and hepatic situation in young adulthood. ARPKD should also be considered as a differential diagnosis in young adults with fibrocystic hepatorenal disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-43488-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6538621PMC
May 2019

Maternal High Fat Diet and in-Utero Metformin Exposure Significantly Impact upon the Fetal Renal Proteome of Male Mice.

J Clin Med 2019 May 11;8(5). Epub 2019 May 11.

Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, University of Cologne, Medical Faculty and University Hospital Cologne, 50937 Cologne, Germany.

There is accumulating evidence for fetal programming of later kidney disease by maternal obesity or associated conditions. We performed a hypothesis-generating study to identify potentially underlying mechanisms. Female mice were randomly split in two groups and fed either a standard diet (SD) or high fat diet (HFD) from weaning until mating and during pregnancy. Half of the dams from both groups were treated with metformin ((M), 380 mg/kg), resulting in four experimental groups (SD, SD-M, HFD, HFD-M). Caesarean section was performed on gestational day 18.5. Fetal kidney tissue was isolated from cryo-slices using laser microdissection methods and a proteomic screen was performed. For single proteins, a fold change ≥1.5 and -value <0.05 were considered to be statistically significant. Interestingly, HFD versus SD had a larger effect on the proteome of fetal kidneys (56 proteins affected; interaction clusters shown for proteins concerning transcription/translation, mitochondrial processes, eicosanoid metabolism, H2S-synthesis and membrane remodeling) than metformin exposure in either SD (29 proteins affected; clusters shown for proteins involved in transcription/translation) or HFD (6 proteins affected; no cluster). By further analysis, ATP6V1G1, THY1, PRKCA and NDUFB3 were identified as the most promising candidates potentially mediating reprogramming effects of metformin in a maternal high fat diet.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm8050663DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6571731PMC
May 2019

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 Pediatrics, Nephrology and Hypertension, Medical University of Gdansk, Gdansk, Poland.

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

A newly established clinical registry of minimal change disease and focal and segmental glomerulosclerosis in Germany.

Nephrol Dial Transplant 2019 12;34(12):1983-1986

Department II of Internal Medicine and Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ndt/gfz046DOI Listing
December 2019

Acute dialysis in children: results of a European survey.

J Nephrol 2019 Jun 4;32(3):445-451. Epub 2019 Apr 4.

Nephrology and Dialysis Unit, Pediatric Subspecialties Department, Institute for Scientific Research, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital, Piazza S. Onofrio 4, 00165, Rome, Italy.

The number of children with acute kidney injury (AKI) requiring dialysis is increasing. To date, systematic analysis has been largely limited to critically ill children treated with continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT). We conducted a survey among 35 European Pediatric Nephrology Centers to investigate dialysis practices in European children with AKI. Altogether, the centers perform dialysis in more than 900 pediatric patients with AKI per year. PD and CRRT are the most frequently used dialysis modalities, accounting for 39.4% and 38.2% of treatments, followed by intermittent HD (22.4%). In units treating more than 25 cases per year and in those with cardiothoracic surgery programs, PD is the most commonly chosen dialysis modality. Also, nearly one quarter of centers, in countries with a gross domestic product below $35,000/year, do not utilize CRRT at all. Dialysis nurses are exclusively in charge of CRRT management in 45% of the cases and pediatric intensive care nurses in 25%, while shared management is practiced in 30%. In conclusion, this survey indicates that the choice of treatment modalities for dialysis in children with AKI in Europe is affected by the underlying ethiology of the disease, organization/set-up of centers and socioeconomic conditions. PD is utilized as often as CRRT, and also intermittent HD is a commonly applied treatment option. A prospective European AKI registry is planned to provide further insights on the epidemiology, management and outcomes of dialysis in pediatric AKI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40620-019-00606-1DOI Listing
June 2019

Glomerular disease patients have higher odds not to reach quality targets in chronic dialysis compared with CAKUT patients: analyses from a nationwide German paediatric dialysis registry.

Pediatr Nephrol 2019 07 6;34(7):1229-1236. Epub 2019 Mar 6.

Pediatric Nephrology, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital Cologne, University of Cologne, Kerpener Straße 62, 50937, Cologne, Germany.

Background: Paediatric dialysis patients still suffer from high morbidity rates. To improve this, quality assurance programs like the German QiNKid (Quality in Nephrology for Children)-Registry have been developed. In our study, the significance of underlying renal disease on a range of clinical and laboratory parameters impacting morbidity and mortality was analysed. Our aim was to evaluate whether or not disease-specific dialysis strategies should be considered in planning dialysis for a patient.

Methods: Inclusion criteria were defined as follows: (1) CAKUT (congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract) or glomerular disease patient, (2) < 18 years of age, (3) haemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis patient. Only measurements obtained from day 90 to 365 after the date of the first dialysis in the registry were analysed. Laboratory (serum albumin, haemoglobin, ferritin, calcium, phosphate, parathyroid hormone) and clinical parameters (height, blood pressure) were analysed using mixed effects models accounting for the correlation of repeated measures in individual patients.

Results: The study cohort comprised n = 167 CAKUT and n = 55 glomerular disease patients. Glomerular disease patients had significantly higher odds of hypoalbuminemia (OR 13.90, 95% CI 1.35-159.99; p = 0.0274), anaemia (OR 3.31, 95% CI 1.22-9.13; p = 0.0197), hyperphosphatemia (OR 9.69, 95% CI 2.65-37.26; p = 0.0006) and diastolic hypertension (OR 3.38, 95% CI 1.20-9.79; p = 0.0212).

Conclusions: Glomerular disease patients might require more intensive dialysis regimens. The evaluation of hydration status should be given more attention, since conditions differing between the cohorts can be linked to overhydration. The QiNKid-Registry allows monitoring of the quality of paediatric dialysis in a nationwide cohort.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00467-019-04218-6DOI Listing
July 2019

The quest for optimal control of relapses in children with nephrotic syndrome.

Kidney Int 2019 03;95(3):717

Department of Pediatric Nephrology, Amalia Children's Hospital, Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.kint.2019.01.002DOI Listing
March 2019

Synthesis of a tubugi-1-toxin conjugate by a modulizable disulfide linker system with a neuropeptide Y analogue showing selectivity for hY1R-overexpressing tumor cells.

Beilstein J Org Chem 2019 10;15:96-105. Epub 2019 Jan 10.

Department of Bioorganic Chemistry, Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry, Weinberg 3, D-06120 Halle (Saale), Germany.

Tubugi-1 is a small cytotoxic peptide with picomolar cytotoxicity. To improve its cancer cell targeting, it was conjugated using a universal, modular disulfide derivative. This allowed conjugation to a neuropeptide-Y (NPY)-inspired peptide [K(C-βA-),F,L,P]-hNPY, acting as NPY Y1 receptor (hY1R)-targeting peptide, to form a tubugi-1-SS-NPY disulfide-linked conjugate. The cytotoxic impacts of the novel tubugi-1-NPY peptide-toxin conjugate, as well as of free tubugi-1, and tubugi-1 bearing the thiol spacer (liberated from tubugi-1-NPY conjugate), and native tubulysin A as reference were investigated by in vitro cell viability and proliferation screenings. The tumor cell lines HT-29, Colo320 (both colon cancer), PC-3 (prostate cancer), and in conjunction with RT-qPCR analyses of the hY1R expression, the cell lines SK-N-MC (Ewing`s sarcoma), MDA-MB-468, MDA-MB-231 (both breast cancer) and 184B5 (normal breast; chemically transformed) were investigated. As hoped, the toxicity of tubugi-1 was masked, with IC values decreased by ca. 1,000-fold compared to the free toxin. Due to intracellular linker cleavage, the cytotoxic potency of the liberated tubugi-1 that, however, still bears the thiol spacer (tubugi-1-SH) was restored and up to 10-fold higher compared to the entire peptide-toxin conjugate. The conjugate shows toxic selectivity to tumor cell lines overexpressing the hY1R receptor subtype like, e.g., the hard to treat triple-negative breast cancer MDA-MB-468 cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3762/bjoc.15.11DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6334802PMC
January 2019

HNF1B nephropathy has a slow-progressive phenotype in childhood-with the exception of very early onset cases: results of the German Multicenter HNF1B Childhood Registry.

Pediatr Nephrol 2019 06 21;34(6):1065-1075. Epub 2019 Jan 21.

Pediatric Nephrology, University Children's Hospital Marburg, Baldingerstrasse 1, 35033, Marburg, Germany.

Background: HNF1B gene mutations are an important cause of bilateral (cystic) dysplasia in children, complicated by chronic renal insufficiency. The clinical variability, the absence of genotype-phenotype correlations, and limited long-term data render counseling of affected families difficult.

Methods: Longitudinal data of 62 children probands with genetically proven HNF1B nephropathy was obtained in a multicenter approach. Genetic family cascade screening was performed in 30/62 cases.

Results: Eighty-seven percent of patients had bilateral dysplasia, 74% visible bilateral, and 16% unilateral renal cysts at the end of observation. Cyst development was non-progressive in 72% with a mean glomerular filtration rate (GFR) loss of - 0.33 ml/min/1.73m per year (± 8.9). In patients with an increase in cyst number, the annual GFR reduction was - 2.8 ml/min/1.73m (± 13.2), in the total cohort - 1.0 ml/min/1.73m (±10.3). A subset of HNF1B patients differs from this group and develops end stage renal disease (ESRD) at very early ages < 2 years. Hyperuricemia (37%) was a frequent finding at young age (median 1 year), whereas hypomagnesemia (24%), elevated liver enzymes (21%), and hyperglycemia (8%) showed an increased incidence in the teenaged child. Genetic analysis revealed no genotype-phenotype correlations but a significant parent-of-origin effect with a preponderance of 81% of maternal inheritance in dominant cases.

Conclusions: In most children, HNF1B nephropathy has a non-progressive course of cyst development and a slow-progressive course of kidney function. A subgroup of patients developed ESRD at very young age < 2 years requiring special medical attention. The parent-of-origin effect suggests an influence of epigenetic modifiers in HNF1B disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00467-018-4188-8DOI Listing
June 2019

Discontinuation of maintenance therapy in frequently relapsing nephrotic syndrome
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Clin Nephrol 2019 Jan;91(1):25-31

Childhood steroid-dependent (SDNS) and frequently relapsing (FRNS) nephrotic syndromes often require long-term immunosuppressive therapy to maintain remission. Successful discontinuation of maintenance therapy remains to be a challenge with these children. In the following article, we report our experience on patients after discontinuation of steroid-sparing immunosuppressive maintenance therapy (IT). Thereby, we retrospectively reviewed all patients between 2006 and 2016 with a relapsing course of steroid-sensitive nephrotic syndrome (SDNS or FRNS) treated with steroid-sparing maintenance immunosuppressive medication. Patient data of a total of 24 patients were recorded for a median time of 53.5 (11.2 - 112) months. In 11 patients, therapy was discontinued at physician's discretion. Thereafter, 8 of 11 patients (group A) relapsed after a median time of 2.21 (0.23 - 9.17) months, and IT was restarted. The remaining 3 patients (group B) maintained in long-term remission for a median time of 26.9 (17.7 - 32.1) months until the end of observation. Neither age, at initial episode nor at discontinuation or duration of IT, differed significantly between the groups of patients with relapse after discontinuation of IT, compared to those without. There was a trend towards a shorter relapse-free interval before discontinuation in group A than in group B (35.7 vs. 44.1 months). All patients who restarted IT again attained a stable remission until the last follow-up and did not show any further relapse. These results demonstrate that a failed discontinuation attempt does not put the patient's future remission at risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5414/CN109532DOI Listing
January 2019