Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology
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Published By American Society Of Nephrology

1555-905x, 1555-9041

Søren Vestergaard ◽  
Uffe Heide-Jørgensen ◽  
Henrik Birn ◽  
Christian Christiansen

Hayley Worth ◽  
Daniel O'Hara ◽  
Neeru Agarwal ◽  
David Collister ◽  
Frank Brennan ◽  

People with kidney failure can experience a range of symptoms that lead to suffering and poor quality of life. Available therapies are limited, and evidence for new treatment options is sparse, often resulting in incomplete relief of symptoms. There is growing interest in the potential for cannabinoids, including cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol, to treat symptoms across a wide range of chronic diseases. As legal prohibitions are withdrawn or minimized in many jurisdictions, patients are increasingly able to access these agents. Cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, are widely expressed in the body, including within the nervous and immune systems, and exogenous cannabinoids can have anxiolytic, anti-emetic, analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects. Considering their known physiological actions and successful studies in other patient populations, cannabinoids may be viewed as potential therapies for a variety of common symptoms affecting those with kidney failure, including pruritus, nausea, insomnia, chronic neuropathic pain, anorexia, and restless legs syndrome. In this review, we summarize the pharmacology and pharmacokinetics of cannabinoids, along with what is known about the use of cannabinoids for symptom relief in those with kidney disease, and the evidence available concerning their role in management of common symptoms. Presently, while these agents show varying efficacy with a reasonable safety profile in other patient populations, evidence-based prescribing of cannabinoids for people with symptomatic kidney failure is not possible. Given the symptom burden experienced by individuals with kidney failure, there is an urgent need to understand the tolerability and safety of these agents in this population, which must ultimately be followed by robust, randomized controlled trials to determine if they are effective for symptom relief.

Angela Yee-Moon Wang ◽  
Ikechi G. Okpechi ◽  
Feng Ye ◽  
Csaba P. Kovesdy ◽  
Giuliano Brunori ◽  

Background and objectivesNutrition intervention is an essential component of kidney disease management. This study aimed to understand current global availability and capacity of kidney nutrition care services, interdisciplinary communication, and availability of oral nutrition supplements.Design, setting, participants, & measurementsThe International Society of Renal Nutrition and Metabolism (ISRNM), working in partnership with the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) Global Kidney Health Atlas Committee, developed this Global Kidney Nutrition Care Atlas. An electronic survey was administered among key kidney care stakeholders through 182 ISN-affiliated countries between July and September 2018.ResultsOverall, 160 of 182 countries (88%) responded, of which 155 countries (97%) answered the survey items related to kidney nutrition care. Only 48% of the 155 countries have dietitians/renal dietitians to provide this specialized service. Dietary counseling, provided by a person trained in nutrition, was generally not available in 65% of low-/lower middle–income countries and “never” available in 23% of low-income countries. Forty-one percent of the countries did not provide formal assessment of nutrition status for kidney nutrition care. The availability of oral nutrition supplements varied globally and, mostly, were not freely available in low-/lower middle–income countries for both inpatient and outpatient settings. Dietitians and nephrologists only communicated “sometimes” on kidney nutrition care in ≥60% of countries globally.ConclusionsThis survey reveals significant gaps in global kidney nutrition care service capacity, availability, cost coverage, and deficiencies in interdisciplinary communication on kidney nutrition care delivery, especially in lower-income countries.

Bhanu Prasad ◽  
Meric Osman ◽  
Maryam Jafari ◽  
Lexis Gordon ◽  
Navdeep Tangri ◽  

Background and objectivesPatients with CKD exhibit heterogeneity in their rates of progression to kidney failure. The kidney failure risk equation (KFRE) has been shown to accurately estimate progression to kidney failure in adults with CKD. Our objective was to determine health care utilization patterns of patients on the basis of their risk of progression.Design, setting, participants, & measurementsWe conducted a retrospective cohort study of adults with CKD and eGFR of 15–59 ml/min per 1.73 m2 enrolled in multidisciplinary CKD clinics in the province of Saskatchewan, Canada. Data were collected from January 1, 2004 to December 31, 2012 and followed for 5 years (December 31, 2017). We stratified patients by eGFR and risk of progression and compared the number and cost of hospital admissions, physician visits, and prescription drugs.ResultsIn total, 1003 adults were included in the study. Within the eGFR of 15–29 ml/min per 1.73 m2 group, the costs of hospital admissions, physician visits, and drug dispensations over the 5-year study period comparing high-risk patients with low-risk patients were (Canadian dollars) $89,265 versus $48,374 (P=0.008), $23,423 versus $11,231 (P<0.001), and $21,853 versus $16,757 (P=0.01), respectively. Within the eGFR of 30–59 ml/min per 1.73 m2 group, the costs of hospital admissions, physician visits, and prescription drugs were $55,944 versus $36,740 (P=0.10), $13,414 versus $10,370 (P=0.08), and $20,394 versus $14,902 (P=0.02) in high-risk patients in comparison with low-risk patients, respectively, for progression to kidney failure.ConclusionsIn patients with CKD and eGFR of 15–59 ml/min per 1.73 m2 followed in multidisciplinary clinics, the costs of hospital admissions, physician visits, and drugs were higher for patients at higher risk of progression to kidney failure by the KFRE compared with patients in the low-risk category. The high-risk group of patients with CKD and eGFR of 15–29 ml/min per 1.73 m2 had stronger association with hospitalizations costs, physician visits, and drug utilizations.

Simon A. Carter ◽  
Liz Lightstone ◽  
Dan Cattran ◽  
Allison Tong ◽  
Arvind Bagga ◽  

Background and objectivesOutcomes reported in trials in adults with glomerular disease are often selected with minimal patient input, are heterogeneous, and may not be relevant for clinical decision making. The Standardized Outcomes in Nephrology–Glomerular Disease (SONG-GD) initiative aimed to establish a core outcome set to help ensure that outcomes of critical importance to patients, care partners, and clinicians are consistently reported.Design, setting, participants, and measurementsWe convened two 1.5-hour workshops in Melbourne, Australia, and Washington, DC, United States. Attendees were identified purposively with 50 patients/care partners and 88 health professionals from 19 countries; 51% were female. Patients and care partners were from the United States, Australia, and Canada, and had experience of a glomerular disease with systemic features (n=9), kidney-limited nephrotic disease (n=9), or other kidney-limited glomerular disease (n=8). Attendees reviewed the results of the SONG-GD Delphi survey and aims of the workshop and then discussed potential core outcomes and their implementation in trials among moderated breakout groups of eight to 12 people from diverse backgrounds. Transcripts of discussions were analyzed thematically.ResultsThree themes were identified that supported the proposed core outcomes: limiting disease progression, stability and control, and ensuring universal relevance (i.e., applicable across diverse populations and settings). The fourth theme, preparedness for implementation, included engaging with funders and regulators, establishing reliable and validated measures, and leveraging existing endorsements for patient-reported outcomes.ConclusionsWorkshop themes demonstrated support for kidney function, disease activity, death, life participation, and cardiovascular disease, and these were established as the core outcomes for trials in adults with glomerular disease. Future work is needed to establish the core measures for each domain, with funders and regulators central to the uptake of the core outcome set in trials.

Mohammad Kazem Fallahzadeh ◽  
Kelly A. Birdwell

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