Recent Submissions

  • The role of BAFF and APRIL in IgA nephropathy: pathogenic mechanisms and targeted therapies

    Barratt, Jonathan (2024-02-01)
    Immunoglobulin A nephropathy (IgAN), characterized by mesangial deposition of galactose-deficient-IgA1 (Gd-IgA1), is the most common biopsy-proven primary glomerulonephritis worldwide. Recently, an improved understanding of its underlying pathogenesis and the substantial risk of progression to kidney failure has emerged. The "four-hit hypothesis" of IgAN pathogenesis outlines a process that begins with elevated circulating levels of Gd-IgA1 that trigger autoantibody production. This results in the formation and deposition of immune complexes in the mesangium, leading to inflammation and kidney injury. Key mediators of the production of Gd-IgA1 and its corresponding autoantibodies are B-cell activating factor (BAFF), and A proliferation-inducing ligand (APRIL), each playing essential roles in the survival and maintenance of B cells and humoral immunity. Elevated serum levels of both BAFF and APRIL are observed in patients with IgAN and correlate with disease severity. This review explores the complex pathogenesis of IgAN, highlighting the pivotal roles of BAFF and APRIL in the interplay between mucosal hyper-responsiveness, B-cell activation, and the consequent overproduction of Gd-IgA1 and its autoantibodies that are key features in this disease. Finally, the potential therapeutic benefits of inhibiting BAFF and APRIL in IgAN, and a summary of recent clinical trial data, will be discussed.
  • Improving self-management behaviour through a digital lifestyle intervention: An internal pilot study

    Davies, Melanie; Graham-Brown, Matthew P M; Lightfoot, Courtney; Vadaszy, Noemi (2024-01-31)
    Background: Self-management is a key component of successful chronic kidney disease (CKD) management. Here, we present the findings from the internal pilot of a multicentre randomised controlled trial (RCT) aimed to test the effect of a digital self-management programme ('My Kidneys & Me' (MK&M)). Methods: Participants (aged ≥18 years and CKD stages 3-4) were recruited from hospital kidney services across England. Study processes were completed virtually. Participants were randomised 2:1 to either intervention (MK&M) or control group. The first 60 participants recruited were included in a 10-week internal pilot which assessed study feasibility and acceptability against pre-specified progression criteria: 1) eligibility and recruitment, acceptability of 2) randomisation and 3) outcomes, 4) MK&M activation, and 5) retention and attrition rates. Semi-structured interviews further explored views on trial participation. Results: Of the 60 participants recruited, 41 were randomised to MK&M and 19 to control. All participants completed baseline measures and 62% (n=37) completed post-intervention outcome measures. All progression criteria met the minimum thresholds to proceed. Nine participants were interviewed. The themes identified were satisfaction with study recruitment processes (openness to participate, reading and agreeing to "terms and conditions"), acceptability of study design (remote study participation, acceptability of randomisation, completion of online assessment(s)), and methods to improve recruitment and retention (personalised approach, follow-up communication). Conclusion: This internal pilot demonstrated the feasibility and acceptability of a virtually run RCT. Progression criteria thresholds to proceed to the definitive RCT were met. Areas for improvement were identified and protocol amendments were made to improve trial delivery.
  • Advance care planning for patients with end-stage kidney disease on dialysis: narrative review of the current evidence, and future considerations

    Adenwalla, Sherna; Faull, Christina; Graham-Brown, MPM (2024-01-18)
    Patients with end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) have a high symptom-burden and high rates of morbidity and mortality. Despite this, evidence has shown that this patient group does not have timely discussions to plan for deterioration and death, and at the end of life there are unmet palliative care needs. Advance care planning is a process that can help patients share their personal values and preferences for their future care and prepare for declining health. Earlier, more integrated and holistic advance care planning has the potential to improve access to care services, communication, and preparedness for future decision-making and changing circumstances. However, there are many barriers to successful implementation of advance care planning in this population. In this narrative review we discuss the current evidence for advance care planning in patients on dialysis, the data around the barriers to advance care planning implementation, and interventions that have been trialled. The review explores whether the concepts and approaches to advance care planning in this population need to be updated to encompass current and future care. It suggests that a shift from a problem-orientated approach to a goal-orientated approach may lead to better engagement, with more patient-centred and satisfying outcomes.
  • The development and internal pilot trial of a digital physical activity and emotional well-being intervention (Kidney BEAM) for people with chronic kidney disease

    Billany, Roseanne; Burton, James O; Graham-Brown, Matthew; Young, Hannah (2024-01-06)
    This trial assessed the feasibility and acceptability of Kidney BEAM, a physical activity and emotional well-being self-management digital health intervention (DHI) for people with chronic kidney disease (CKD), which offers live and on-demand physical activity sessions, educational blogs and videos, and peer support. In this mixed-methods, multicentre randomised waitlist-controlled internal pilot, adults with established CKD were recruited from five NHS hospitals and randomised 1:1 to Kidney BEAM or waitlist control. Feasibility outcomes were based upon a priori progression criteria. Acceptability was primarily explored via individual semi-structured interviews (n = 15). Of 763 individuals screened, n = 519 (68%, 95% CI 65 to 71%) were eligible. Of those eligible, n = 303 (58%, 95% CI 54-63%) did not respond to an invitation to participate by the end of the pilot period. Of the 216 responders, 50 (23%, 95% CI 18-29%) consented. Of the 42 randomised, n = 22 (10 (45%) male; 49 ± 16 years; 14 (64%) White British) were allocated to Kidney BEAM and n = 20 (12 (55%) male; 56 ± 11 years; 15 (68%) White British) to the waitlist control group. Overall, n = 15 (30%, 95% CI 18-45%) withdrew during the pilot phase. Participants completed a median of 14 (IQR 5-21) sessions. At baseline, 90-100% of outcome data (patient reported outcome measures and a remotely conducted physical function test) were completed and 62-83% completed at 12 weeks follow-up. Interview data revealed that remote trial procedures were acceptable. Participants' reported that Kidney BEAM increased their opportunity and motivation to be physically active, however, lack of time remained an ongoing barrier to engagement with the DHI. An randomised controlled trial of Kidney BEAM is feasible and acceptable, with adaptations to increase recruitment, retention and engagement.Trial registration NCT04872933. Date of first registration 05/05/2021.
  • Detection of PatIent-Level distances from single cell genomics and pathomics data with Optimal Transport (PILOT)

    Barratt, Jonathan (2023-12-19)
    Although clinical applications represent the next challenge in single-cell genomics and digital pathology, we still lack computational methods to analyze single-cell or pathomics data to find sample-level trajectories or clusters associated with diseases. This remains challenging as single-cell/pathomics data are multi-scale, i.e., a sample is represented by clusters of cells/structures, and samples cannot be easily compared with each other. Here we propose PatIent Level analysis with Optimal Transport (PILOT). PILOT uses optimal transport to compute the Wasserstein distance between two individual single-cell samples. This allows us to perform unsupervised analysis at the sample level and uncover trajectories or cellular clusters associated with disease progression. We evaluate PILOT and competing approaches in single-cell genomics or pathomics studies involving various human diseases with up to 600 samples/patients and millions of cells or tissue structures. Our results demonstrate that PILOT detects disease-associated samples from large and complex single-cell or pathomics data. Moreover, PILOT provides a statistical approach to find changes in cell populations, gene expression, and tissue structures related to the trajectories or clusters supporting interpretation of predictions.
  • The contribution of a proliferation-inducing ligand (APRIL) and other TNF superfamily members in pathogenesis and progression of IgA nephropathy

    Barratt, Jonathan (2023-12-04)
    Advances in our understanding of the pathogenesis of immunoglobulin A nephropathy (IgAN) have led to the identification of novel therapeutic targets and potential disease-specific treatments. Specifically, a proliferation-inducing ligand (APRIL) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of IgAN, mediating B-cell dysregulation and overproduction of pathogenic galactose-deficient IgA1 (Gd-IgA1). Animal and clinical studies support the involvement of APRIL in the pathogenesis and progression of IgAN. An elevated level of APRIL is found in IgAN when compared with controls, which correlates with the level of Gd-IgA1 and associates with more severe disease presentation and worse outcomes. Conversely, anti-APRIL therapy reduces pathogenic Gd-IgA1 and IgA immune complex formation and ameliorates the severity of kidney inflammation and injury. Genome-wide association studies in IgAN have identified TNFSF13 and TNFRSF13B, a cytokine ligand-receptor gene pair encoding APRIL and its receptor, respectively, as risk susceptibility loci in IgAN, further supporting the causal role of the APRIL signalling pathway in IgAN. Several novel experimental agents targeting APRIL, including atacicept, telitacicept, zigakibart and sibeprenlimab, are currently under investigation as potential therapies in IgAN. Preliminary results suggest that these agents are well-tolerated, and reduce levels of Gd-IgA1, with corresponding improvement in proteinuria. Further studies are ongoing to confirm the safety and efficacy of anti-APRIL approaches as an effective therapeutic strategy in IgAN.
  • Sikh and Muslim perspectives on kidney transplantation: phase 1 of the DiGiT project - a qualitative descriptive study

    Morsy, Mohamed (2023-12-01)
    Objectives: Kidney transplantation offers patients better quality of life and survival compared with dialysis. The risk of end stage renal disease is higher among ethnic minorities and they experience longer wait times on transplant lists. This inequality stems from a high need for kidney transplantation combined with a low rate of deceased donation among ethnic minority groups. This study aimed to explore the perspectives around living donor kidney transplantation of members of the Sikh and Muslim communities with an aim to develop a digital intervention to overcome any barriers. Design: A qualitative descriptive study using in person focus groups. Setting: University Teaching Hospital and Transplant Centre. Participants: Convenience sampling of participants from the transplant population. Three focus groups were held with 20 participants, all were of South Asian ethnicity belonging to the Sikh and Muslim communities. Methods: Interviews were digitally audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim; transcripts were analysed thematically. Results: Four themes were identified: (a) religious issues; (b) lack of knowledge within the community; (c) time; (d) cultural identification with transplantation. Conclusions: Not only is the information given and when it is delivered important, but also the person giving the information is crucial to enhance consideration of live donor kidney transplantation. Information should be in a first language where possible and overtly align to religious considerations. A more integrated approach to transplantation counselling should be adopted which includes healthcare professionals and credible members of the target cultural group. Trial registration number: NCT04327167.
  • Evaluating the effect of a digital health intervention to enhance physical activity in people with chronic kidney disease (Kidney BEAM): a multicentre, randomised controlled trial in the UK

    Burton, James; Young, Hannah (2023-11-13)
    Background: Remote digital health interventions to enhance physical activity provide a potential solution to improve the sedentary behaviour, physical inactivity, and poor health-related quality of life that are typical of chronic conditions, particularly for people with chronic kidney disease. However, there is a need for high-quality evidence to support implementation in clinical practice. The Kidney BEAM trial evaluated the clinical effect of a 12-week physical activity digital health intervention on health-related quality of life. Methods: In a single-blind, randomised controlled trial conducted at 11 centres in the UK, adult participants (aged ≥18 years) with chronic kidney disease were recruited and randomly assigned (1:1) to the Kidney BEAM physical activity digital health intervention or a waiting list control group. Randomisation was performed with a web-based system, in randomly permuted blocks of six. Outcome assessors were masked to treatment allocation. The primary outcome was the difference in the Kidney Disease Quality of Life Short Form version 1.3 Mental Component Summary (KDQoL-SF1.3 MCS) between baseline and 12 weeks. The trial was powered to detect a clinically meaningful difference of 3 arbitrary units (AU) in KDQoL-SF1.3 MCS. Outcomes were analysed by an intention-to-treat approach using an analysis of covariance model, with baseline measures and age as covariates. The trial was registered with, NCT04872933. Findings: Between May 6, 2021, and Oct 30, 2022, 1102 individuals were assessed for eligibility, of whom 340 participants were enrolled and randomly assigned to the Kidney BEAM intervention group (n=173) or the waiting list control group (n=167). 268 participants completed the trial (112 in the Kidney BEAM group and 156 in the waiting list control group). All 340 randomly assigned participants were included in the intention-to treat population. At 12 weeks, there was a significant improvement in KDQoL-SF.13 MCS score in the Kidney BEAM group (from mean 44·6 AU [SD 10·8] at baseline to 47·0 AU [10·6] at 12 weeks) compared with the waiting list control group (from 46·1 AU [10·5] to 45·0 AU [10·1]; between-group difference of 3·1 AU [95% CI 1·8-4·4]; p<0·0001). Interpretation: The Kidney BEAM physical activity platform is an efficacious digital health intervention to improve mental health-related quality of life in patients with chronic kidney disease. These findings could facilitate the incorporation of remote digital health interventions into clinical practice and offer a potential intervention worthy of investigation in other chronic conditions.
  • Rationale and design of CONTINUITY: a Phase 4 randomized controlled trial of continued post-discharge sodium zirconium cyclosilicate treatment versus standard of care for hyperkalemia in chronic kidney disease

    Burton, James (2023-03-23)
    Background: Individuals with chronic kidney disease (CKD) hospitalized with hyperkalemia are at risk of hyperkalemia recurrence and re-hospitalization. We present the rationale and design of CONTINUITY, a study to examine the efficacy of continuing sodium zirconium cyclosilicate (SZC)-an oral, highly selective potassium (K+) binder-compared with standard of care (SoC) on maintaining normokalemia and reducing re-hospitalization and resource utilization among participants with CKD hospitalized with hyperkalemia. Methods: This Phase 4, randomized, open-label, multicenter study will enroll adults with Stage 3b-5 CKD and/or estimated glomerular filtration rate <45 mL/min/1.73 m2, within 3 months of eligibility screening, hospitalized with a serum potassium (sK+) level of >5.0-≤6.5 mmol/L, without ongoing K+ binder treatment. The study will include an in-hospital phase, where participants receive SZC for 2-21 days, and an outpatient (post-discharge) phase. At discharge, participants with sK+ 3.5-5.0 mmol/L will be randomized (1:1) to SZC or SoC and monitored for 180 days. The primary endpoint is the occurrence of normokalemia at 180 days. Secondary outcomes include incidence and number of hospital admissions or emergency department visits both with hyperkalemia as a contributing factor, and renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibitor down-titration. The safety and tolerability of SZC will be evaluated.Ethics approval has been received from all relevant ethics committees. Enrollment started March 2022 and the estimated study end date is December 2023. Conclusions: This study will assess the potential of SZC versus SoC in managing people with CKD and hyperkalemia post-discharge. Trial registration: identifier: NCT05347693; EudraCT: 2021-003527-14, registered on 19 October 2021.
  • Efficacy and safety of sparsentan versus irbesartan in patients with IgA nephropathy (PROTECT): 2-year results from a randomised, active-controlled, phase 3 trial

    Barratt, Jonathan (2023-11-02)
    Background: Sparsentan, a novel, non-immunosuppressive, single-molecule, dual endothelin angiotensin receptor antagonist, significantly reduced proteinuria versus irbesartan, an angiotensin II receptor blocker, at 36 weeks (primary endpoint) in patients with immunoglobulin A nephropathy in the phase 3 PROTECT trial's previously reported interim analysis. Here, we report kidney function and outcomes over 110 weeks from the double-blind final analysis. Methods: PROTECT, a double-blind, randomised, active-controlled, phase 3 study, was done across 134 clinical practice sites in 18 countries throughout the Americas, Asia, and Europe. Patients aged 18 years or older with biopsy-proven primary IgA nephropathy and proteinuria of at least 1·0 g per day despite maximised renin-angiotensin system inhibition for at least 12 weeks were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive sparsentan (target dose 400 mg oral sparsentan once daily) or irbesartan (target dose 300 mg oral irbesartan once daily) based on a permuted-block randomisation method. The primary endpoint was proteinuria change between treatment groups at 36 weeks. Secondary endpoints included rate of change (slope) of the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), changes in proteinuria, a composite of kidney failure (confirmed 40% eGFR reduction, end-stage kidney disease, or all-cause mortality), and safety and tolerability up to 110 weeks from randomisation. Secondary efficacy outcomes were assessed in the full analysis set and safety was assessed in the safety set, both of which were defined as all patients who were randomly assigned and received at least one dose of randomly assigned study drug. This trial is registered with, NCT03762850. Findings: Between Dec 20, 2018, and May 26, 2021, 203 patients were randomly assigned to the sparsentan group and 203 to the irbesartan group. One patient from each group did not receive the study drug and was excluded from the efficacy and safety analyses (282 [70%] of 404 included patients were male and 272 [67%] were White) . Patients in the sparsentan group had a slower rate of eGFR decline than those in the irbesartan group. eGFR chronic 2-year slope (weeks 6-110) was -2·7 mL/min per 1·73 m2 per year versus -3·8 mL/min per 1·73 m2 per year (difference 1·1 mL/min per 1·73 m2 per year, 95% CI 0·1 to 2·1; p=0·037); total 2-year slope (day 1-week 110) was -2·9 mL/min per 1·73 m2 per year versus -3·9 mL/min per 1·73 m2 per year (difference 1·0 mL/min per 1·73 m2 per year, 95% CI -0·03 to 1·94; p=0·058). The significant reduction in proteinuria at 36 weeks with sparsentan was maintained throughout the study period; at 110 weeks, proteinuria, as determined by the change from baseline in urine protein-to-creatinine ratio, was 40% lower in the sparsentan group than in the irbesartan group (-42·8%, 95% CI -49·8 to -35·0, with sparsentan versus -4·4%, -15·8 to 8·7, with irbesartan; geometric least-squares mean ratio 0·60, 95% CI 0·50 to 0·72). The composite kidney failure endpoint was reached by 18 (9%) of 202 patients in the sparsentan group versus 26 (13%) of 202 patients in the irbesartan group (relative risk 0·7, 95% CI 0·4 to 1·2). Treatment-emergent adverse events were well balanced between sparsentan and irbesartan, with no new safety signals. Interpretation: Over 110 weeks, treatment with sparsentan versus maximally titrated irbesartan in patients with IgA nephropathy resulted in significant reductions in proteinuria and preservation of kidney function. Funding: Travere Therapeutics.
  • A Phase 2 Trial of Sibeprenlimab in Patients with IgA Nephropathy

    Barratt, Jonathan (2023-11-02)
    Background: A proliferation-inducing ligand (APRIL) is implicated in the pathogenesis of IgA nephropathy. Sibeprenlimab is a humanized IgG2 monoclonal antibody that binds to and neutralizes APRIL. Methods: In this phase 2, multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group trial, we randomly assigned adults with biopsy-confirmed IgA nephropathy who were at high risk for disease progression, despite having received standard-care treatment, in a 1:1:1:1 ratio to receive intravenous sibeprenlimab at a dose of 2, 4, or 8 mg per kilogram of body weight or placebo once monthly for 12 months. The primary end point was the change from baseline in the log-transformed 24-hour urinary protein-to-creatinine ratio at month 12. Secondary end points included the change from baseline in the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) at month 12. Safety was also assessed. Results: Among 155 patients who underwent randomization, 38 received sibeprenlimab at a dose of 2 mg per kilogram, 41 received sibeprenlimab at a dose of 4 mg per kilogram, 38 received sibeprenlimab at a dose of 8 mg per kilogram, and 38 received placebo. At 12 months, the geometric mean ratio reduction (±SE) from baseline in the 24-hour urinary protein-to-creatinine ratio was 47.2±8.2%, 58.8±6.1%, 62.0±5.7%, and 20.0±12.6% in the sibeprenlimab 2-mg, 4-mg, and 8-mg groups and the placebo group, respectively. At 12 months, the least-squares mean (±SE) change from baseline in eGFR was -2.7±1.8, 0.2±1.7, -1.5±1.8, and -7.4±1.8 ml per minute per 1.73 m2 in the sibeprenlimab 2-mg, 4-mg, and 8-mg groups and the placebo group, respectively. The incidence of adverse events that occurred after the start of administration of sibeprenlimab or placebo was 78.6% in the pooled sibeprenlimab groups and 71.1% in the placebo group. Conclusions: In patients with IgA nephropathy, 12 months of treatment with sibeprenlimab resulted in a significantly greater decrease in proteinuria than placebo. (Funded by Visterra; ENVISION number, NCT04287985; EudraCT number, 2019-002531-29.)
  • Risk of recurrence after surgical resection for adenocarcinoma arising from Intraductal Papillary Mucinous Neoplasia (IPMN) with patterns of distribution and treatment: an international, multicentre, observational study

    Bhardwaj, Neil; Alsaoudi, Tareq (2023-10-24)
    Objective: This international multicentre cohort study aims to identify recurrence patterns and treatment of first and second recurrence in a large cohort of patients after pancreatic resection for adenocarcinoma arising from IPMN. Summary background data: Recurrence patterns and treatment of recurrence post resection of adenocarcinoma arising from IPMN are poorly explored. Method: Patients undergoing pancreatic resection for adenocarcinoma from IPMN between January 2010 to December 2020 at 18 pancreatic centres were identified. Survival analysis was performed by the Kaplan-Meier log rank test and multivariable logistic regression by Cox-Proportional Hazards modelling. Endpoints were recurrence (time-to, location, and pattern of recurrence) and survival (overall survival and adjusted for treatment provided). Results: Four hundred and fifty-nine patients were included (median, 70 y; IQR, 64-76; male, 54 percent) with a median follow-up of 26.3 months (IQR, 13.0-48.1 mo). Recurrence occurred in 209 patients (45.5 percent; median time to recurrence, 32.8 months, early recurrence [within 1 y], 23.2 percent). Eighty-three (18.1 percent) patients experienced a local regional recurrence and 164 (35.7 percent) patients experienced distant recurrence. Adjuvant chemotherapy was not associated with reduction in recurrence (HR 1.09;P=0.669) One hundred and twenty patients with recurrence received further treatment. The median survival with and without additional treatment was 27.0 and 14.6 months (P<0.001), with no significant difference between treatment modalities. There was no significant difference in survival between location of recurrence (P=0.401). Conclusion: Recurrence after pancreatic resection for adenocarcinoma arising from IPMN is frequent with a quarter of patients recurring within 12 months. Treatment of recurrence is associated with improved overall survival and should be considered.
  • Genome-wide association study of thyroid-stimulating hormone highlights new genes, pathways and associations with thyroid disease

    Free, Robert; Brightling, Christopher; Pareek, Manish; Tobin, Martin (2023-10-23)
    Thyroid hormones play a critical role in regulation of multiple physiological functions and thyroid dysfunction is associated with substantial morbidity. Here, we use electronic health records to undertake a genome-wide association study of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels, with a total sample size of 247,107. We identify 158 novel genetic associations, more than doubling the number of known associations with TSH, and implicate 112 putative causal genes, of which 76 are not previously implicated. A polygenic score for TSH is associated with TSH levels in African, South Asian, East Asian, Middle Eastern and admixed American ancestries, and associated with hypothyroidism and other thyroid disease in South Asians. In Europeans, the TSH polygenic score is associated with thyroid disease, including thyroid cancer and age-of-onset of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. We develop pathway-specific genetic risk scores for TSH levels and use these in phenome-wide association studies to identify potential consequences of pathway perturbation. Together, these findings demonstrate the potential utility of genetic associations to inform future therapeutics and risk prediction for thyroid diseases.
  • Achieving consensus on psychosocial and physical rehabilitation management for people living with kidney disease

    Young, Hannah; Lightfoot, Courtney; Graham-Brown, Matthew (2023-05-19)
    Background: People living with chronic kidney disease (CKD) need to be able to live well with their condition. The provision of psychosocial interventions (psychological, psychiatric and social care) and physical rehabilitation management is variable across England, as well as the rest of the UK. There is a need for clear recommendations for standards of psychosocial and physical rehabilitation care for people living with CKD, and guidance for the commissioning and measurement of these services. The National Health Service (NHS) England Renal Services Transformation Programme (RSTP) supported a programme of work and modified Delphi process to address the management of psychosocial and physical rehabilitation care as part of a larger body of work to formulate a comprehensive commissioning toolkit for renal care services across England. We sought to achieve expert consensus regarding the psychosocial and physical rehabilitation management of people living with CKD in England and the rest of the UK. Methods: A Delphi consensus method was used to gather and refine expert opinions of senior members of the kidney multi-disciplinary team (MDT) and other key stakeholders in the UK. An agreement was sought on 16 statements reflecting aspects of psychosocial and physical rehabilitation management for people living with CKD. Results: Twenty-six expert practitioners and other key stakeholders, including lived experience representatives, participated in the process. The consensus (>80% affirmative votes) amongst the respondents for all 16 statements was high. Nine recommendation statements were discussed and refined further to be included in the final iteration of the 'Systems' section of the NHS England RSTP commissioning toolkit. These priority recommendations reflect pragmatic solutions that can be implemented in renal care and include recommendations for a holistic wellbeing assessment for all people living with CKD who are approaching dialysis, or who are at listing for kidney transplantation, which includes the use of validated measurement tools to assess the need for further intervention in psychosocial and physical rehabilitation management. It is recommended that the scores from these measurement tools be included in the NHS England Renal Data Dashboard. There was also a recommendation for referral as appropriate to NHS Talking Therapies, psychology, counselling or psychotherapy, social work or liaison psychiatry for those with identified psychosocial needs. The use of digital resources was recommended to be used in addition to face-to-face care to provide physical rehabilitation, and all healthcare professionals should be educated to recognize psychosocial and physical rehabilitation needs and refer/sign-post people with CKD to appropriate services. Conclusion: There was high consensus amongst senior members of the kidney MDT and other key stakeholders, including those with lived experience, in the UK on all aspects of the psychosocial and physical rehabilitation management of people living with CKD. The results of this process will be used by NHS England to inform the 'Systems' section of the commissioning toolkit and data dashboard and to inform the National Standards of Care for people living with CKD.
  • Results of a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled Phase 2 study propose iptacopan as an alternative complement pathway inhibitor for IgA nephropathy

    Barratt, Jonathan (2023-10-30)
    Targeting the alternative complement pathway is an attractive therapeutic strategy given its role in the pathogenesis of immunoglobulin A nephropathy (IgAN). Iptacopan (LNP023) is an oral, proximal alternative complement inhibitor that specifically binds to Factor B. Our randomized, double-blind, parallel-group adaptive Phase 2 study (NCT03373461) enrolled patients with biopsy-confirmed IgAN (within previous three years) with estimated glomerular filtration rates of 30 mL/min/1.73 m2 and over and urine protein 0.75 g/24 hours and over on stable doses of renin angiotensin system inhibitors. Patients were randomized to four iptacopan doses (10, 50, 100, or 200 mg bid) or placebo for either a three-month (Part 1; 46 patients) or a six-month (Part 2; 66 patients) treatment period. The primary analysis evaluated the dose-response relationship of iptacopan versus placebo on 24-hour urine protein-to-creatinine ratio (UPCR) at three months. Other efficacy, safety and biomarker parameters were assessed. Baseline characteristics were generally well-balanced across treatment arms. There was a statistically significant dose-response effect, with 23% reduction in UPCR achieved with iptacopan 200 mg bid (80% confidence interval 8 -34%) at three months. UPCR decreased further through six months in iptacopan 100 and 200 mg arms (from a mean of 1.3 g/g at baseline to 0.8 g/g at six months in the 200 mg arm). A sustained reduction in complement biomarkers levels including plasma Bb, serum Wieslab, and urinary C5b-9 was observed. Iptacopan was well-tolerated, with no reports of deaths, treatment-related serious adverse events or bacterial infections, and led to strong inhibition of alternative complement pathway activity and persistent proteinuria reduction in patients with IgAN. Thus, our findings support further evaluation of iptacopan in the ongoing Phase 3 trial (APPLAUSE-IgAN; NCT04578834).
  • Does cooled dialysate still have a role in reducing intradialytic stress? Implications of the MyTEMP trial

    Hull, Katherine; Burton, James (07/08/2023)
    Purpose of review: There is an excess of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in the maintenance haemodialysis population. Targeting traditional risk factors (e.g. hypercholesterolaemia) do not improve cardiovascular outcomes. Repeated myocardial stunning during haemodialysis is an important nontraditional risk, resulting in pathological cardiac remodelling and fibrosis. This review explores dialysate cooling as a management strategy to promote haemodynamic stability, reduce myocardial injury, and improve cardiovascular disease outcomes for individuals receiving maintenance haemodialysis. Recent findings: Observational data and small interventional studies demonstrate dialysate cooling has the potential to reduce end-organ damage and provide cardioprotection, renal protection and neuroprotection compared with standard care. These data are limited by the small sample sizes, short follow-up times and lack of long-term patient important outcomes. The MyTEMP study, a multicentre pragmatic randomized controlled trial, demonstrated cooled dialysate (0.5°C below body temperature) vs. standard care did not improve cardiovascular outcomes for prevalent haemodialysis patients. Summary: Dialysate cooling has been widely adopted into routine clinical practice; the MyTEMP study challenges the unit-level approach to implementing dialysate cooling. Due to methodological limitations, the absence of other important patient outcome measures, and lack of granularity of patient-level data, dialysate cooling should not be hastily removed from all dialysis care and warrants further research.
  • Using the kidney failure risk equation to predict end-stage kidney disease in CKD patients of South Asian ethnicity: an external validation study

    Major, Rupert; Medcalf, James; Brunskill, Nigel (2023-10-05)
    Background: The kidney failure risk equation (KFRE) predicts the 2- and 5-year risk of needing kidney replacement therapy (KRT) using four risk factors - age, sex, urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio (ACR) and creatinine-based estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). Although the KFRE has been recalibrated in a UK cohort, this did not consider minority ethnic groups. Further validation of the KFRE in different ethnicities is a research priority. The KFRE also does not consider the competing risk of death, which may lead to overestimation of KRT risk. This study externally validates the KFRE for patients of South Asian ethnicity and compares methods for accounting for ethnicity and the competing event of death. Methods: Data were gathered from an established UK cohort containing 35,539 individuals diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. The KFRE was externally validated and updated in several ways taking into account ethnicity, using recognised methods for time-to-event data, including the competing risk of death. A clinical impact assessment compared the updated models through consideration of referrals made to secondary care. Results: The external validation showed the risk of KRT differed by ethnicity. Model validation performance improved when incorporating ethnicity and its interactions with ACR and eGFR as additional risk factors. Furthermore, accounting for the competing risk of death improved prediction. Using criteria of 5 years ≥ 5% predicted KRT risk, the competing risks model resulted in an extra 3 unnecessary referrals (0.59% increase) but identified an extra 1 KRT case (1.92% decrease) compared to the previous best model. Hybrid criteria of predicted risk using the competing risks model and ACR ≥ 70 mg/mmol should be used in referrals to secondary care. Conclusions: The accuracy of KFRE prediction improves when updated to consider South Asian ethnicity and to account for the competing risk of death. This may reduce unnecessary referrals whilst identifying risks of KRT and could further individualise the KFRE and improve its clinical utility. Further research should consider other ethnicities.
  • Kidney function and long-term risk of end-stage kidney disease and mortality in a multiethnic population

    Zaccardi, Francesco; Khunti, Kamlesh; Brunskill, Nigel; Xu, Gang (2023-06-19)
    Introduction: Contemporary differences between South Asian and White ethnicities in the incidence of end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) and mortality are poorly described. Methods: Data for all South Asian patients who had an estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) measure after January 1, 2006, and 1 million randomly selected participants of other ethnicities were extracted from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD). All participants were followed-up with from index date until ESKD, all-cause mortality, or end of study. All-cause mortality rate and ESKD incidence rate by age were described among Whites and South Asians, and adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) of these 2 outcomes by baseline eGFR estimated using Cox proportional hazard model. Results: A total of 40,888 South Asians and 236,634 Whites were followed for a median of 5.3 and 9.4 years for ESKD incidence and mortality outcomes, respectively. All-cause mortality rates were higher among Whites than South Asians; South Asian women aged between 70 and 85 years had a slightly higher ESKD incidence rate compared to their White counterparts. Compared to Whites with a baseline eGFR of 90 ml/min per 1.73 m2, adjusted HRs for all-cause mortality were significantly lower among South Asians than Whites; however, adjusted HRs for ESKD incidence by baseline eGFR were similar in both ethnicities. Calculating South Asian eGFRs using an ethnicity-specific equation had no impact on the results. Conclusions: South Asians experience lower mortality than Whites but not substantially higher rates of ESKD. Further research is warranted to better understand the reasons for these ethnic differences and possible impacts on chronic kidney disease (CKD) service delivery and patient outcomes.
  • Novel approach to intradialytic progressive resistance exercise training

    Smith, Alice (2023-09-22)
    Physical activity levels are typically undesirably low in chronic kidney disease patients, especially in those undergoing haemodialysis, and particularly on dialysis days. Intradialytic exercise programmes could be a solution to this issue and have been reported to be safe and relatively easily implemented in dialysis clinics. Nevertheless, such implementation has been failing in part due to barriers such as the lack of funding, qualified personnel, equipment, and patient motivation. Intradialytic aerobic exercise has been the most used type of intervention in dialysis clinics. However, resistance exercise may be superior in eliciting potential benefits on indicators of muscle strength and mass. Yet, few intradialytic exercise programmes have focused on this type of intervention, and the ones which have report inconsistent benefits, diverging on prescribed exercise intensity, absent or subjective load progression, equipment availability, or exercise supervision. Commonly, intradialytic resistance exercise interventions use free weights, ankle cuffs, or elastic bands which hinder load progression and exercise intensity monitoring. Here, we introduce a recently developed intradialytic resistance exercise device and propose an accompanying innovative resistance exercise training protocol which aims to improve the quality of resistance exercise interventions within dialysis treatment sessions.

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