LOYOLA STUDY REVEALS HOW PATIENTS AND FAMILIES SOLICIT LIVING KIDNEY DONORS ON FACEBOOK

Loyola University Medical Center researchers are reporting one of the first studies to examine how patients and families are soliciting living kidney donors on Facebook.

Researchers examined 91 Facebook pages that were seeking kidney donations for patients ranging in age from 2 to 69. Continue reading

Why Kidney Disease Patients Should Be Extra Careful with Nutrition

nutriOne in five overweight Americans is suffering from chronic kidney disease — a very significant number. A brand new piece of health news from the famous “Cleveland Clinic” has led to some valuable health advice: be careful when trying to shed pounds, because some things could damage your kidneys further. Continue reading

Could Patients Own Kidney Cells Cure Kidney Disease?

Reprogrammed kidney cells could make transplants and dialysis things of the past

  • Patients’ own kidney cells can be reprogrammed and used as therapy against kidney disease
  • Cells can easily be collected from the urine
  • 88,000 patients are waiting for a kidney transplant in the United States, and they wait for an average of 3 to 5 years

Washington, DC — Approximately 60 million people across the globe have chronic kidney disease, Continue reading

St. Michael’s Hospital First to Use Novel Blood-Cleaning Procedure for Kidney Transplant

St. Michael’s Hospital today became the first in North America to use a novel blood-cleaning procedure for a kidney patient that will allow him to receive a transplant from a donor with a different blood type.

Transplants involving a donor and recipient with different blood types are rare. Most people have natural antibodies in their blood that would cause their immune system to reject an organ from someone with a different blood type.

The procedure used today is called plasmapheresis and is similar to kidney dialysis, which removes waste products from the blood. Plasmapheresis separates plasma from patient’s blood, and runs it through a column-shaped device containing synthetic carbohydrate beads that trap the blood group antibodies. Continue reading

Radiation Significantly Raising Cancer Risk for Dialysis Patients

High and frequent doses of radiation for dialysis patients many of whom suffer from other illnesses and require radiation for diagnosis and treatments, put them at serious and significant risk of developing cancer, Italian scientists wrote in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. Their findings will trigger discussions on whether doctors should reduce the use radiation for diagnosis purposes.

Many patients receive high doses of radiation often over long periods, the scientists found, both risk factors for cancer.

Marco Brambilla, PhD, Andreana De Mauri, MD, from the University Hospital “Maggiore della Carità,” Novara, Italy and team tracked 106 dialysis patients for approximately three years. They gathered data from hospital records and calculated their radiation exposure.

On average, patients received the equivalent of approximately 1000 chest radiograms per year. Computed tomography (CT) scans accounted for 76% of the total radiation dose, while accounting for only 19% of the total number of radiological procedures. The researchers found that 22 patients received low doses of radiation each year, 51 received moderate doses, 22 received high doses, and 11 received very high doses. Seventeen patients were exposed to radiation at levels associated with a substantial increase in risk for cancer-related death. The investigators also noted that radiation doses were higher in younger patients and in patients on transplant waiting lists.

“These findings emphasize the need to begin tracking at least the CT-related exposure to develop and implement alternative strategies to reduce patient-specific radiation burden. The retrospective nature of this study does not allow us to draw conclusive inferences about the percentage of CT studies that could have been avoided. However, the significant number of examinations that resulted in non-notable findings or in negative results – about 60% – points toward the need of a more stringent process of justification of CT referral,” said Dr. Brambilla.

Study co-authors include Doriana Chiarinotti, MD, Roberta Matheoud, PhD, Alessandro Carriero, MD, and Martino De Leo, MD (University Hospital “Maggiore della Carità,” in Novara, Italy).

In reviewing this study in an accompanying editorial, David Pickens, PhD and Martin Sandler, MD (Vanderbilt School of Medicine) noted that it is an example of what is often seen in patient care settings where individuals of varying clinical experience order diagnostic imaging procedures. “In general, certain types of procedures are often overused because they are relatively easy to perform and a large amount of information is provided very quickly,” they wrote. “The particular example described here, that of CT scans, can produce substantial cumulative doses of radiation when used multiple times.” They noted that radiation appropriately used and calibrated provides great benefit to patients, but proper knowledge of procedures, dosage, effects, alternatives, and expected results is imperative to avoid potential overuse.