Pieter Evenepoel

Universitair Ziekenhuis Leuven, Louvain, Flemish, Belgium

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Publications (224)1234.5 Total impact

  • Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation 12/2015; 30(12):1947-1950. DOI:10.1093/ndt/gfv387 · 3.58 Impact Factor

  • Artery Research 12/2015; 12:16. DOI:10.1016/j.artres.2015.10.248
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    ABSTRACT: Whether warm ischemia during the time to complete the vascular anastomoses determines renal allograft function has not been investigated systematically. We investigated the effect of anastomosis time on allograft outcome in 669 first, single kidney transplantations from brain-dead donors. Anastomosis time independently increased the risk of delayed graft function (odds ratio per minute [OR] 1.05, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.02-1.07, p-<-0.001) and independently impaired allograft function after transplantation (p-=-0.009, mixed-models repeated-measures analysis). In a subgroup of transplant recipients, protocol-specified biopsies at 3 months (n-=-186), 1 year (n-=-189), and 2 years (n-=-153) were blindly reviewed. Prolonged anastomosis time independently increased the risk of interstitial fibrosis and tubular atrophy on these protocol-specified biopsies posttransplant (p-<-0.001, generalized linear models). In conclusion, prolonged anastomosis time is not only detrimental for renal allograft outcome immediately after transplantation, also longer-term allograft function and histology are affected by the duration of this warm ischemia. The authors associate anastomosis time during kidney transplantation with delayed graft function, reduced allograft function, and interstitial fibrosis in kidney transplants from brain-dead donors. See also the editorial from Knechtle and Sudan on page 2791 and the brief communication from Ausania et al on page 2955. © Copyright 2015 The American Society of Transplantation and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons.
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    ABSTRACT: Also known as the "second human genome," the gut microbiome plays important roles in both the maintenance of health and the pathogenesis of disease. The symbiotic relationship between host and microbiome is disturbed due to the proliferation of dysbiotic bacteria in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Fermentation of protein and amino acids by gut bacteria generates excess amounts of potentially toxic compounds such as ammonia, amines, thiols, phenols, and indoles, but the generation of short-chain fatty acids is reduced. Impaired intestinal barrier function in patients with CKD permits translocation of gut-derived uremic toxins into the systemic circulation, contributing to the progression of CKD, cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance, and protein-energy wasting. The field of microbiome research is still nascent, but is evolving rapidly. Establishing symbiosis to treat uremic syndrome is a novel concept, but if proved effective, it will have a significant impact on the management of patients with CKD.
    American Journal of Kidney Diseases 11/2015; DOI:10.1053/j.ajkd.2015.09.027 · 5.90 Impact Factor
  • P Evenepoel · E Goffin · B Meijers · N Kanaan · B Bammens · E Coche · K Claes · M Jadoul ·
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    ABSTRACT: Context: Vascular calcification (VC) is prevalent and progressive in renal transplant recipients. Recent cross-sectional data suggest that activated Wnt signaling contributes to VC. Objective: to investigate whether circulating levels of the Wnt antagonist sclerostin associate with progression of VC. Design: post hoc analysis of the longitudinal observational Brussels Renal Transplant Cohort (BRTC) study. Setting: Tertiary care academic hospital. Patients: Coronary artery (CAC) and aortic calcification (AoC) were measured by multislice spiral CT in 268 prevalent renal transplant recipients (age 53 ± 13 years, 61% male) at baseline and re-measured in 189 patients after a median follow-up of 4.4 years. Baseline serum sclerostin levels were assessed on stored blood samples. Regression analysis was performed to identify determinants of baseline VC and progression. Main outcome measure: progression of VC Results: VC was present in up to 84% of participants at baseline. Almost half of the patients showed progression of VC, according to Hokanson criteria. The cross-sectional analysis at baseline demonstrated a direct association between sclerostin levels and VC score in univariate analysis, which became inverse after adjustment for age, gender and PTH level. Remarkably, a lower sclerostin level was identified as an independent determinant of a higher baseline AoC score in the final regression model. Moreover, baseline sclerostin levels showed an inverse association with VC progression, at least after adjustment for traditional risk factors. Conclusions: serum sclerostin levels inversely associated with vascular calcification burden and progression in prevalent renal transplant recipients after adjustment for traditional risk factors. Our data corroborate previous findings in non-transplanted CKD patients and support the notion that sclerostin may be up-regulated in the vascular wall during the vascular calcification process as part of a local counter regulatory mechanism directed to suppress vascular calcification. Additional clinical and experimental data are required for confirmation.
    The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 10/2015; DOI:10.1210/jc.2015-3056 · 6.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although there has been increasing interest in the use of high protein diets, little is known about dietary protein related changes in the mammalian metabolome. We investigated the influence of protein intake on selected tryptophan and phenolic compounds, derived from both endogenous and colonic microbial metabolism. Furthermore, potential inter-species metabolic differences were studied. For this purpose, 29 healthy subjects were allocated to a high (n = 14) or low protein diet (n = 15) for 2 weeks. In addition, 20 wild-type FVB mice were randomized to a high protein or control diet for 21 days. Plasma and urine samples were analyzed with liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry for measurement of tryptophan and phenolic metabolites. In human subjects, we observed significant changes in plasma level and urinary excretion of indoxyl sulfate (P 0.004 and P 0.001), and in urinary excretion of indoxyl glucuronide (P 0.01), kynurenic acid (P 0.006) and quinolinic acid (P 0.02). In mice, significant differences were noted in plasma tryptophan (P 0.03), indole-3-acetic acid (P 0.02), p-cresyl glucuronide (P 0.03), phenyl sulfate (P 0.004) and phenylacetic acid (P 0.01). Thus, dietary protein intake affects plasma levels and generation of various mammalian metabolites, suggesting an influence on both endogenous and colonic microbial metabolism. Metabolite changes are dissimilar between human subjects and mice, pointing to inter-species metabolic differences with respect to protein intake.
    PLoS ONE 10/2015; 10(10):e0140820. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0140820 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: There is increasing interest in the colonic microbiota as a relevant source of uremic retention solutes accumulating in CKD. Renal disease can also profoundly affect the colonic microenvironment and has been associated with a distinct colonic microbial composition. However, the influence of CKD on the colonic microbial metabolism is largely unknown. Therefore, we studied fecal metabolite profiles of hemodialysis patients and healthy controls using a gas chromatography-mass spectrometry method. We observed a clear discrimination between both groups, with 81 fecal volatile organic compounds detected at significantly different levels in hemodialysis patients and healthy controls. To further explore the differential impact of renal function loss per se versus the effect of dietary and other CKD-related factors, we also compared fecal metabolite profiles between patients on hemodialysis and household contacts on the same diet, which revealed a close resemblance. In contrast, significant differences were noted between the fecal samples of rats 6 weeks after 5/6th nephrectomy and those of sham-operated rats, still suggesting an independent influence of renal function loss. Thus, CKD associates with a distinct colonic microbial metabolism, although the effect of renal function loss per se in humans may be inferior to the effects of dietary and other CKD-related factors. The potential beneficial effect of therapeutics targeting colonic microbiota in patients with CKD remains to be examined.
    Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 09/2015; DOI:10.1681/ASN.2015030279 · 9.34 Impact Factor
  • L Viaene · G J Behets · S Heye · K Claes · D Monbaliu · J Pirenne · P C D'Haese · P Evenepoel ·
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    ABSTRACT: Bone loss and vascular calcification coincide in patients with end-stage renal disease, similar as to what is observed in the general population. In the present bone biopsy study, we provide further evidence that (micro-)inflammation may represent a common soil for both diseases. Vascular calcification is a common complication of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and is predictive of subsequent cardiovascular disease and mortality. Mounting evidence linking bone disorders with vascular calcification has contributed to the development of the concept of the bone-vascular axis. Inflammation is involved in the pathogenesis of both disorders. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the relationship between aortic calcification, inflammation, and bone histomorphometry in patients with ESRD. Parameters of inflammation and mineral metabolism were assessed in 81 ESRD patients (55 ± 13 year, 68 % male) referred for renal transplantation. Static bone histomorphometry parameters were determined on transiliac bone biopsies performed during the transplant procedure. Aortic calcification was quantified on lateral lumbar X-rays using the Kauppila method. Aortic calcification, low bone turnover, and low bone area were observed in 53, 37, and 21 % of patients respectively. Inflammatory markers were found to be independently associated with aortic calcification (hsIL-6) and low bone area (TNF-α). Low bone area associated with aortic calcification, independent of age, diabetes, and inflammation. Low bone area and inflammation associates with aortic calcification, independent of each other and traditional risk factors. Our data emphasize the role of (micro-)inflammation in the bone-vascular axis in CKD.
    Osteoporosis International 08/2015; DOI:10.1007/s00198-015-3233-8 · 4.17 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: CD14 plays a key role in the innate immunity as pattern-recognition receptor of endotoxin. Higher levels of soluble CD14 (sCD14) are associated with overall mortality in hemodialysis patients. The influence of kidney function on plasma sCD14 levels and its relationship with adverse outcomes in patients with CKD not yet on dialysis is unknown. This study examines the associations between plasma levels of sCD14 and endotoxin with adverse outcomes in patients with CKD. We measured plasma levels of sCD14 and endotoxin in 495 Leuven Mild-to-Moderate CKD Study participants. Mild-to-moderate CKD was defined as presence of kidney damage or eGFR<60 ml/min per 1.73 m(2) for ≥3 months, with exclusion of patients on RRT. Study participants were enrolled between November 2005 and September 2006. Plasma sCD14 was negatively associated with eGFR (ρ=-0.34, P<0.001). During a median follow-up of 54 (interquartile range, 23-58) months, 53 patients died. Plasma sCD14 was predictive of mortality, even after adjustment for renal function, Framingham risk factors, markers of mineral bone metabolism, and nutritional and inflammatory parameters (hazard ratio [HR] per SD higher of 1.90; 95% confidence interval [95% CI],1.32 to 2.74; P<0.001). After adjustment for the same risk factors, plasma sCD14 was also a predictor of cardiovascular disease (HR, 1.30; 95% CI, 1.00 to 1.69; P=0.05). Although plasma sCD14 was associated with progression of CKD, defined as reaching ESRD or doubling of serum creatinine in models adjusted for CKD-specific risk factors (HR, 1.24; 95% CI, 1.01 to 1.52; P=0.04), significance was lost when adjusted for proteinuria (HR, 1.19; 95% CI, 0.96 to 1.48; P=0.11). There was neither correlation between plasma endotoxin and sCD14 (ρ=-0.06, P=0.20) nor was endotoxin independently associated with adverse outcome during follow-up. Plasma sCD14 is elevated in patients with decreased kidney function and associated with mortality and cardiovascular disease in patients with CKD not yet on dialysis. Copyright © 2015 by the American Society of Nephrology.
    Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 07/2015; 10(9). DOI:10.2215/CJN.03100315 · 4.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Proteinuria is routinely measured to assess renal allograft status, but the diagnostic and prognostic values of this measurement for renal transplant pathology and outcome remain unclear. We included 1518 renal allograft recipients in this prospective, observational cohort study. All renal allograft biopsy samples with concomitant data on 24-hour proteinuria were included in the analyses (n=2274). Patients were followed for ≥7 years post-transplantation. Compared with proteinuria <0.3 g/24 h, the hazard ratios for graft failure were 1.14 (95% confidence interval [95% CI], 0.81 to 1.60; P=0.50), for proteinuria 0.3-1.0 g/24 h, 2.17 (95% CI, 1.49 to 3.18; P<0.001), for proteinuria 1.0-3.0 g/24 h, and 3.01 (95% CI, 1.75 to 5.18; P<0.001), for proteinuria >3.0 g/24 h, independent of GFR and allograft histology. The predictive performance of proteinuria for graft failure was lower at 3 months after transplant (area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve [AUC] 0.64, P<0.001) than at 1, 2, and 5 years after transplant (AUC 0.73, 0.71, and 0.77, respectively, all P<0.001). Independent determinants of proteinuria were repeat transplantation, mean arterial pressure, transplant glomerulopathy, microcirculation inflammation, and de novo/recurrent glomerular disease. The discriminatory power of proteinuria for these intragraft injury processes was better in biopsy samples obtained >3 months after transplant (AUC 0.73, P<0.001) than in those obtained earlier (AUC 0.56, P<0.01), with 85% specificity but lower sensitivity (47.8%) for proteinuria >1.0 g/24 h. These data support current clinical guidelines to routinely measure proteinuria after transplant, but illustrate the need for more sensitive biomarkers of allograft injury and prognosis. Copyright © 2015 by the American Society of Nephrology.
    Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 07/2015; DOI:10.1681/ASN.2015010062 · 9.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Calcific uraemic arteriolopathy (CUA) is a rare disease and continues to be a clinical challenge. The typical course of CUA is characterized by painful skin discolouration and induration evolving to necrotic ulcerations. Medial calcification of cutaneous arterioles and extensive extracellular matrix remodelling are the hallmarks of CUA. The epidemiology and risk factors associated with this disease are still not fully understood. Moreover, CUA treatment strategies vary significantly among centres and expert recommendations are heterogeneous. Registries may provide important insights and information to increase our knowledge about epidemiology and clinical aspects of CUA and may help to optimize its therapeutic management. In 2006, we established an internet-based registry in Germany (www.calciphylaxie.de) to allow online notification of patients with established or suspected CUA. The registry includes a comprehensive database with questions covering >70 parameters and items regarding patient-related and laboratory data, clinical background and presentation as well as therapeutic strategies. The next phase will be to allow international patient registration via www.calciphylaxis.net as part of the multinational EuCalNet (European Calciphylaxis Network) initiative, which is supported by the ERA-EDTA scientific working group ‘CKD-MBD’. Based on the valuable experience with the previous German CUA registry, EuCalNet will be a useful tool to collect data on the rare disease CUA and may become a basis for prospective controlled trials in the near future.
    CKJ: Clinical Kidney Journal 07/2015; 8(5):sfv056. DOI:10.1093/ckj/sfv056
  • Pieter Evenepoel · Patrick D'Haese · Vincent Brandenburg ·
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    ABSTRACT: For more than a decade, the Wnt-β-catenin pathway has been the focus of intense basic and clinical research in the bone field because of its importance in skeletal development and maintenance of bone mass. Wnt activation increases bone formation and decreases bone resorption. The Wnt-β-catenin signaling pathway is tightly regulated by several inhibitors, among which Dickkopf-related protein 1 (DKK1) and sclerostin have been most comprehensively studied. Mounting evidence indicates that a disturbed Wnt-β-catenin signaling is also implicated in the pathogenesis of the chronic kidney disease-associated bone and mineral disorder (CKD-MBD) and affects its various components. DKK1 and sclerostin, more specifically, may be involved in the intense cross-talk between the kidneys, vasculature, and bone. Studies exploring clinical correlates of circulating sclerostin and DKK1 levels so far yielded conflicting results. Biological variability and analytical issues account at least partly for this inconsistency. Antibodies neutralizing Wnt inhibitors may be an appealing strategy to prevent or treat CKD-MBD. Caution is however warranted as sclerostin not only opposes mineralization in the bone but possibly also in the vasculature. Additional studies are required to define determinants of Wnt inhibitors in CKD and to evaluate the efficacy and safety of recently introduced pharmaceuticals targeting these inhibitors.Kidney International advance online publication, 17 June 2015; doi:10.1038/ki.2015.156.
    Kidney International 06/2015; 88(2). DOI:10.1038/ki.2015.156 · 8.56 Impact Factor

  • 06/2015; DOI:10.1530/boneabs.4.P31
  • Ruben Poesen · Pieter Evenepoel · Björn Meijers ·
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    ABSTRACT: Kidney International aims to inform the renal researcher and practicing nephrologists on all aspects of renal research. Clinical and basic renal research, commentaries, The Renal Consult, Nephrology sans Frontieres, minireviews, reviews, Nephrology Images, Journal Club. Published weekly online and twice a month in print.
    Kidney International 04/2015; 87(4):864. DOI:10.1038/ki.2014.396 · 8.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Canonical Wnt signaling activity contributes to physiological and adaptive bone mineralization and is an essential player in bone remodeling. Sclerostin is a prototypic soluble canonical Wnt signaling pathway inhibitor that is produced in osteocytes and blocks osteoblast differentiation and function. Therefore, sclerostin is a potent inhibitor of bone formation and mineralization. Accordingly, rodent sclerostin-deficiency models exhibit a strong bone phenotype. Moreover, blocking sclerostin represents a promising treatment perspective against osteoporosis. Beyond the bone field novel data definitely associate Wnt signaling in general and sclerostin in particular with ectopic extraosseous mineralization processes, as is evident in cardiovascular calcification or calciphylaxis. Uremia is characterized by parallel occurrence of disordered bone mineralization and accelerated cardiovascular calcification (chronic kidney disease - mineral and bone disorder, CKD-MBD), linking skeletal and cardiovascular disease-the so-called bone-vascular calcification paradox. In consequence, sclerostin may qualify as an emerging player in CKD-MBD. We present a stepwise review approach regarding the rapidly evolving field sclerostin participation in CKD-MBD. Starting from data originating in the classical bone field we look separately at three major areas of CKD-MBD: disturbed mineral metabolism, renal osteodystrophy, and uremic cardiovascular disease. Our review is intended to help the nephrologist revise the potential importance of sclerostin in CKD by focusing on how sclerostin research is gradually evolving from the classical osteoporosis niche into the area of CKD-MBD. In particular, we integrate the limited amount of available data in the context of pediatric nephrology.
    Pediatric Nephrology 03/2015; DOI:10.1007/s00467-015-3069-7 · 2.86 Impact Factor
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    Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation 03/2015; 30(3):357. DOI:10.1093/ndt/gfv021a · 3.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Transplant recipients are at risk for invasive aspergillosis (IA), associated with a significant mortality rate. Renal transplant-specific risk factors have not been established. Methods: Forty-one adult kidney transplant recipients diagnosed with proven or probable IA from 1995 through 2013 were identified by search of the computerized patient files in the University Hospitals Leuven. The control population in this 1:2 case-control study consisted of the 2 patients who received a kidney transplant immediately before and after each identified patient and did not develop IA (n = 82). Results: Leukopenia after kidney transplant increased the risk of IA among all patients (odds ratio [OR], 2.345 [95% confidence interval {CI}, 1.084-5.071]). For early-onset infection (ie, occurred during the first 3 months after transplant), a longer duration of renal replacement therapy pretransplant and the occurrence of leukopenia were risk factors (OR per year, 1.192 [95% CI, 1.006-1.413] and OR, 3.346 [95% CI, 1.063-10.527], respectively), whereas donor cytomegalovirus seropositivity increased the risk for late-onset IA (ie, occurred >3 months after transplant) (OR, 3.677 [95% CI, 1.388-9.743]). Twelve-week mortality rate was 39%. Disseminated infection, leukopenia, and the height of the serum galactomannan index were associated with an increased risk of death (hazard ratio [HR], 5.080 [95% CI, 1.740-14.830]; HR, 3.198 [95% CI, 1.183-8.649]; and HR, 1.371 [95% CI, 1.123-1.674], respectively). Conclusions: Prolonged renal replacement therapy before kidney transplant increases the risk of IA early after transplant. The height of the serum galactomannan index predicts mortality.
    Clinical Infectious Diseases 02/2015; 60(10). DOI:10.1093/cid/civ103 · 8.89 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A new definition and classification of chronic kidney disease-mineral and bone disorder (CKD-MBD) was proposed in 2005 and it was later followed by a guideline publication on this topic from Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) in 2009. This work recognized that CKD-MBD is a syndrome of bone abnormalities, laboratory abnormalities, and vascular calcification linked to fractures, cardiovascular disease, and mortality. Because of limited data at the time of the original guideline systematic review, many of the recommendations were cautiously vague. KDIGO convened a Controversies Conference in October 2013 to review the CKD-MBD literature published since the 2009 guideline. Specifically, the objective of this conference was to determine whether sufficient new data had emerged to support a reassessment of the CKD-MBD guideline and if so to determine the scope of these potential revisions. This report summarizes the results of these proceedings, highlighting important new studies conducted in the interval since the original KDIGO CKD-MBD guideline.Kidney International advance online publication, 4 February 2015; doi:10.1038/ki.2014.425.
    Kidney International 02/2015; 87(3). DOI:10.1038/ki.2014.425 · 8.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Experimental data indicate that microscopic calcium phosphate deposition in the kidney (nephrocalcinosis) may accelerate progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Data on the prevalence, risk factors and implications of nephrocalcinosis in CKD patients are scarce. A mineral metabolism disorder could play an important pathogenetic role, as suggested by recent protocol biopsy findings in incident renal transplant recipients. Kidney biopsy cylinders of CKD patients, collected between January 1989 and December 2007, were screened for the presence of nephrocalcinosis. Only patients with ≥1 parathyroid hormone (PTH) level available within 180 days of the biopsy were eligible for inclusion (n = 211). Demographics and mineral metabolism parameters were retrieved from medical files. Data on renal death (up to December 2012) were obtained from the Flemish ESRD registry. Baseline biopsies from 110 deceased kidney transplant donors served as controls. The prevalence of nephrocalcinosis in kidney donors and patients with CKD 1-2, CKD 3-4 and CKD 5-5D was 4.6, 14.3, 20.2 and 54.0%, respectively (P < 0.0001). Among CKD patients, patients with nephrocalcinosis were characterized by lower estimated GFR, lower serum bicarbonate level and higher serum PTH and calcium level. In multivariate regression analysis, high serum PTH, calcium and creatinine level, and low serum bicarbonate level were all significantly and independently associated with nephrocalcinosis. Serum phosphorus level, but not nephrocalcinosis predicted renal death, independent of renal function. Our data demonstrate that prevalence rates of nephrocalcinosis increase with increasing CKD stage to reach more than 50% in end-stage renal disease patients and suggest that acid-base and mineral metabolism disturbances are implicated in its pathogenesis. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of ERA-EDTA. All rights reserved.
    Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation 01/2015; 30(5). DOI:10.1093/ndt/gfu400 · 3.58 Impact Factor
  • Björn K I Meijers · Ruben Poesen · Pieter Evenepoel ·
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    ABSTRACT: Evidence on the optimal anticoagulation regimen for hemodialysis in patients at high bleeding risk is scarce. The HepZero study is the first large multinational study comparing two different anticoagulation strategies to avoid systemic heparinization. The use of a heparin-coated dialysis membrane proved to be non-inferior to saline infusion. Superiority of either treatment, however, could not be demonstrated. These findings challenge current guidelines but equally raise questions on the choice of either strategy as compared with regional citrate anticoagulation.
    Kidney International 12/2014; 86(6):1084-6. DOI:10.1038/ki.2014.315 · 8.56 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

6k Citations
1,234.50 Total Impact Points


  • 1997-2015
    • Universitair Ziekenhuis Leuven
      • • Department of Nephrology
      • • Department of Gastroenterology
      Louvain, Flemish, Belgium
  • 1997-2014
    • University of Leuven
      • Department of Microbiology and Immunology
      Louvain, Flemish, Belgium
  • 2013
    • University of Antwerp
      • Laboratory of Pathophysiology
      Antwerpen, Flemish, Belgium
  • 2001-2012
    • Universitair Ziekenhuis Ghent
      • Department of Surgery
      Gand, Flanders, Belgium
  • 2010
    • University of Geneva
      Genève, Geneva, Switzerland
  • 1998
    • Catholic University of Louvain
      Лувен-ла-Нев, Walloon, Belgium