New and simple urine test detects common cause of kidney transplant failure
According to the National Cancer Policy Board, it is estimated that by the year 2050 there will be more cancer survivors in the United States than those newly diagnosed with the disease. That is why researchers at The Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ) are taking a closer look at the specific needs of cancer
Full Post: Cancer survivor needs examined beyond specialized care
A new and simple urine test can detect polyomavirus nephropathy, a relatively new and serious complication that affects up to 9% of kidney transplant recipients, according to a study appearing in the February 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology (JASN).
The advance could lead to better diagnosis and treatment of patients with this condition.
While polyomaviruses are normally occurring viruses that harmlessly infect many adults, they can pose serious health problems for individuals who become immunocompromised. Such is the case for many kidney transplant recipients who must take immunosuppressive medications to safeguard against organ rejection. Some of these patients develop a damaging condition called polyomavirus nephropathy that can lead to chronic kidney failure and the need to re-initiate dialysis or undergo another transplant.
Because there are no effective therapies to treat polyomavirus nephropathy, it is important to diagnose the condition as early as possible, before it becomes serious. Therapy normally consists of lowering the dose of immunosuppressive drugs and hoping for natural viral clearance.
Unfortunately, there currently is no definitive way to accurately diagnose polyomavirus nephropathy. Physicians rely mostly on invasive and expensive kidney biopsies, which sometimes give false negative results. But now Volker Nickeleit, MD, of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and his colleagues have discovered a new and noninvasive way to test for the condition. The test measures “Haufen”-a German term meaning stack or pile-in the urine. Haufen are tightly clustered viral aggregates that form within the kidneys in patients with polyomavirus nephropathy and are excreted in the urine. Testing for Haufen is fast (three hours), inexpensive (less than $400), and easy to perform with current laboratory equipment.
Through their investigation, the researchers found Haufen in urine samples from all 21 patients with early or late stages of polyomavirus nephropathy, but not in any of the 139 individuals without the condition.
According to Dr. Nickeleit, the new test could help physicians identify and monitor patients with polyomavirus nephropathy and could guide them as they design new therapeutic strategies. “An early and accurate diagnosis of polyomavirus nephropathy will result in a better understanding of the disease and ultimately improve treatment,” he said. “Our diagnostic test is unique and could have a tremendous clinical impact,” he added.
While their findings look promising, the authors stress that additional studies-particularly large prospective clinical trials-are needed to verify the test’s potential before it can become available for widespread use in patients with suspected polyomavirus nephropathy.
A noninvasive test that analyzes proteins in the urine can correctly identify patients whose transplanted kidneys are failing, according to a study appearing in the February 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology (JASN). The results might allow physicians to more accurately monitor transplant patients and to fine-tune the immunosuppressive therapies prescribed
Full Post: Noninvasive test for urine protein detects kidney dysfunction in transplant patients
For kidney transplant recipients with a serious complication called BK virus-associated nephropathy (BKVAN), promptly cutting back on anti-rejection drugs reduces the risk of losing the kidney (graft loss), according to a report in the November Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN). “Our study is the first that demonstrates differences in outcomes when
Full Post: Study compares strategies for BK virus nephropathy
A Johns Hopkins study finds that HIV-positive kidney transplant recipients could have the same one-year survival rates for themselves and their donor organs as those without HIV, provided certain risk factors for transplant failure are recognized and tightly managed. “Kidney transplantation is a viable and necessary option for HIV-positive patients with chronic kidney disease, especially
Full Post: Kidney transplant survival can be long-term for people with HIV
Individuals who were underweight at birth are at increased risk of developing a condition called secondary focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, according to a study appearing in the January 2009 issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology ( CJASN ). Because birth history is often overlooked by kidney specialists who take care of adult
Full Post: Low birth weight a risk factor for focal segmental glomerulosclerosis
There are more than 76,000 end-stage renal disease patients waiting for one of the 17,000 kidneys transplanted each year, making a host rejection an unacceptable waste. Kidney transplantation is the preferred treatment for patients with end-stage renal disease. As the demand for organs exceeds the supply, blood group (ABO)-incompatible kidney transplantations have gained much importance
Full Post: Humoral immunity in kidney transplantation