Philip A McFarlane

Cornerstone Research Group Inc., Burlington, Ontario, Canada

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Publications (57)263.66 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Practices in vascular access management with intensive hemodialysis may differ from those used in conventional hemodialysis. We conducted a systematic review to inform clinical practice guidelines for the provision of intensive hemodialysis. Adult patients receiving maintenance (>3 months) intensive hemodialysis (frequent [≥5 hemodialysis treatments per week] and/or long [>5.5 hours per hemodialysis treatment]). We searched EMBASE and MEDLINE (1990-2011) for randomized and observational studies. We also searched conference proceedings (2007-2011). (1) Central venous catheter (CVC) versus arteriovenous (AV) access, (2) buttonhole versus rope-ladder cannulation, (3) topical antimicrobial cream versus none in buttonhole cannulation, and (4) closed connector devices among CVC users. Access-related infection, survival, hospitalization, patency, access survival, intervention rates, and quality of life. We included 23, 7, and 5 reports describing effectiveness by access type, buttonhole cannulation, and closed connector device, respectively. No study directly compared CVC with AV access. On average, bacteremia and local infection rates were higher with CVC compared with AV access. Access intervention rates were higher with more frequent hemodialysis, but access survival did not differ. Buttonhole cannulation was associated with bacteremia rates similar to those seen with CVCs in some series. Topical mupirocin seemed to attenuate this effect. No direct comparisons of closed connector devices versus standard luer-locking devices were found. Low rates of actual or averted (near misses) air embolism and bleeding were reported with closed connector devices. Overall, evidence quality was very low. Limited direct comparisons addressing main review questions, small sample sizes, selective outcome reporting, publication bias, and residual confounding were major factors. This review highlights several differences in the management of vascular access in conventional and intensive hemodialysis populations. We identify a need for standardization of vascular access outcome reporting and a number of priorities for future research.
    American Journal of Kidney Diseases 07/2013; 62(1):112-31. · 5.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: AIM: To investigate the cardiometabolic risk assessment and management patterns for individuals with and without type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in Canadian primary care practices. METHODS: Between April 2011 and March 2012, physicians from 9 primary care teams and 88 traditional non-team practices completed a practice assessment on the management of 2461 patients >40 years old with no clinical evidence of cardiovascular disease and diagnosed with at least one of the following risk factor - T2DM, dyslipidemia or hypertension. RESULTS: There were 1304 individuals with T2DM and 1157 without. Pharmacotherapy to manage hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia and hypertension was widely prescribed. Fifty-eight percent of individuals with T2DM had an HbA1c ≤7.0%. Amongst individuals with dyslipidemia, median LDL-C was 1.8 mmol/L for those with T2DM and 2.8 mmol/L for those without. Amongst individuals with hypertension, 30% of those with T2DM achieved the <130/80 mmHg target while 60% of those without met the <140/90 mmHg target. The composite glycemic, LDL-C and blood pressure (BP) target outcome was achieved by 12% of individuals with T2DM. Only 17% of individuals with T2DM and 11% without were advised to increase their physical activity. Dietary modifications were recommended to 32% and 10% of those with and without T2DM respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Patients at elevated cardiometabolic risk were sub-optimally managed in the primary care practices surveyed. There was low attainment of recommended therapeutic glycemic, lipid and BP targets. Advice on healthy lifestyle changes was infrequently dispensed, representing a missed opportunity to educate patients on the long-term benefits of lifestyle modification.
    Diabetes Obesity and Metabolism 05/2013; · 5.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Patients treated with conventional hemodialysis (HD) develop disorders of mineral metabolism that are associated with increased morbidity and mortality. More frequent and longer HD has been associated with improvement in hyperphosphatemia that may improve outcomes. STUDY DESIGN: Systematic review and meta-analysis to inform the clinical practice guideline on intensive dialysis for the Canadian Society of Nephrology. SETTING & POPULATION: Adult patients receiving outpatient long (≥5.5 hours/session; 3-4 times per week) or long-frequent (≥5.5 hours/session, ≥5 sessions per week) HD. SELECTION CRITERIA FOR STUDIES: We included clinical trials, cohort studies, case series, case reports, and systematic reviews. INTERVENTIONS: Dialysate calcium concentration ≥1.5 mmol/L and/or phosphate additive. OUTCOMES: Fragility fracture, peripheral arterial and coronary artery disease, calcific uremic arteriolopathy, mortality, intradialytic hypotension, parathyroidectomy, extraosseous calcification, markers of mineral metabolism, diet liberalization, phosphate-binder use, and muscle mass. RESULTS: 21 studies were identified: 2 randomized controlled trials, 2 reanalyses of data from the randomized controlled trials, and 17 observational studies. Dialysate calcium concentration ≥1.5 mmol/L for patients treated with long and long-frequent HD prevents an increase in parathyroid hormone levels and a decline in bone mineral density without causing harm. Both long and long-frequent HD were associated with a reduction in serum phosphate level of 0.42-0.45 mmol/L and a reduction in phosphate-binder use. There was no direct evidence to support the use of a dialysate phosphate additive. LIMITATIONS: Almost all the available information is related to changes in laboratory values and surrogate outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: Dialysate calcium concentration ≥1.5 mmol/L for most patients treated with long and long-frequent dialysis prevents an increase in parathyroid hormone levels and decline in bone mineral density without increased risk of calcification. It seems prudent to add phosphate to the dialysate for patients with a low predialysis phosphate level or very low postdialysis phosphate level until more evidence becomes available.
    American Journal of Kidney Diseases 04/2013; · 5.29 Impact Factor
  • PharmacoEconomics 04/2013; · 2.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Intensive (longer and more frequent) hemodialysis has emerged as an alternative to conventional hemodialysis for the treatment of patients with end-stage renal disease. However, given the differences in dialysis delivery and models of care associated with intensive dialysis, alternative approaches to patient management may be required. The purpose of this work was to develop a clinical practice guideline for the Canadian Society of Nephrology. We applied the GRADE (Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation) approach for guideline development and performed targeted systematic reviews and meta-analysis (when appropriate) to address prioritized clinical management questions. We included studies addressing the treatment of patients with end-stage renal disease with short daily (≥5 days per week, <3 hours per session), long (3-4 days per week, ≥5.5 hours per session), or long-frequent (≥5 days per week, ≥5.5 hours per session) hemodialysis. We included clinical trials and observational studies with or without a control arm (1990 and later). Based on a prioritization exercise, 6 interventions of interest included optimal vascular access type, buttonhole cannulation, antimicrobial prophylaxis for buttonhole cannulation, closed connector devices, and dialysate calcium and dialysate phosphate additives for patients receiving intensive hemodialysis. We developed 6 recommendations addressing the interventions of interest. Overall quality of the evidence was very low and all recommendations were conditional. We provide detailed commentaries to guide in shared decision making. The main limitation was the very low overall quality of evidence that precluded strong recommendations. Most included studies were small single-arm observational studies. Three randomized controlled trials were applicable, but provided only indirect evidence. Published information for patient values and preference was lacking. In conclusion, we provide 6 recommendations for the practice of intensive hemodialysis. However, due to very low-quality evidence, all recommendations were conditional. We therefore also highlight priorities for future research.
    American Journal of Kidney Diseases 04/2013; · 5.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We updated the evidence-based recommendations for the diagnosis, assessment, prevention, and treatment of hypertension in adults for 2013. This year's update includes 2 new recommendations. First, among nonhypertensive or stage 1 hypertensive individuals, the use of resistance or weight training exercise does not adversely influence blood pressure (BP) (Grade D). Thus, such patients need not avoid this type of exercise for fear of increasing BP. Second, and separately, for very elderly patients with isolated systolic hypertension (age 80 years or older), the target for systolic BP should be < 150 mm Hg (Grade C) rather than < 140 mm Hg as recommended for younger patients. We also discuss 2 additional topics at length (the pharmacological treatment of mild hypertension and the possibility of a diastolic J curve in hypertensive patients with coronary artery disease). In light of several methodological limitations, a recent systematic review of 4 trials in patients with stage 1 uncomplicated hypertension did not lead to changes in management recommendations. In addition, because of a lack of prospective randomized data assessing diastolic BP thresholds in patients with coronary artery disease and hypertension, no recommendation to set a selective diastolic cut point for such patients could be affirmed. However, both of these issues will be examined on an ongoing basis, in particular as new evidence emerges.
    The Canadian journal of cardiology 03/2013; · 3.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: We evaluated the risk assessment and management patterns employed by primary care physicians in patients at elevated cardiometabolic risk. METHODS: Between April 2011 and March 2012, multiple physicians from 9 Primary Care Teams (PCTs) and 88 physicians from traditional nonteam (Solo) practices completed a practice assessment on the management of 2461 patients > 40 years old with no clinical evidence of cardiovascular disease and diagnosed with at least 1 of the following: dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), or hypertension. RESULTS: Individuals with dyslipidemia, T2DM, or hypertension tended to have a body mass index ≥ 25 kg/m2. Waist circumference measurements, obtained for only 392/829 (47.0%) Solo patients, revealed that 88.9% of these individuals were abdominally obese and that at least 52.2% of Solo patients had metabolic syndrome. Cardiovascular risk, determined by the physicians for 83.5% of all patients without T2DM and typically performed using traditional risk engines, was often miscalculated (43.2% PCTs, 58.8% Solo; P = 0.0007). Healthy behavioural modifications were infrequently recommended (< 50%). Pharmacotherapy was widely used (> 70%) but treatment targets were infrequently met. The composite outcome of guideline-recommended low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, glycemic, and blood pressure targets was met by 9.0% and 8.1% of patients managed by PCT and Solo physicians respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Obesity and cardiovascular risk were underassessed and the latter often underestimated. Patients were infrequently counselled on the benefits of healthy behavioural changes. A paradigm change in assessing and managing obesity and cardiovascular risk via aggressive lifestyle interventions is warranted in individuals at elevated cardiometabolic risk.
    The Canadian journal of cardiology 02/2013; · 3.12 Impact Factor
  • Peritoneal dialysis international : journal of the International Society for Peritoneal Dialysis. 01/2013; 33(1):96-9.
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    ABSTRACT: BackgroundSTARRT recently demonstrated that many patients experience suboptimal dialysis starts (defined as initiation as an inpatient and/or with a central venous catheter), even when followed by a nephrologist for >12 months (NDT 2011). However, STARRT did not identify the factors associated with suboptimal initiation of dialysis. The objectives of this study were to extend the results of STARRT by ascertaining the factors leading to suboptimal initiation of dialysis in patients who were referred at least 12 months prior to commencement of dialysis.Methods At each of the three Toronto centers, charts of consecutive incident RRT patients were identified from 1 January 2009 to 31 December 2010, with predetermined data extracted.ResultsA total of 436 incident RRT patients were studied; 52.4% were followed by a nephrologist for >12 months prior to the initiation of dialysis. Suboptimal starts occurred in 56.4% of these patients. No attempt at arteriovenous fistula (AVF) or arteriovenous graft (AVG) prior to initiation was made in 65% of these starts. Factors contributing to suboptimal starts despite early referral included patient-related delays (31.25%), acute-on-chronic kidney disease (31.25%), surgical delays (16.41%), late decision-making (8.59%) and others (12.50%). The percentage of optimal starts with early referral among 14 nephrologists ranged from 33 to 72%.Conclusions Most patients started dialysis in a suboptimal manner, despite an extended period of pre-dialysis care. Nephrologists should take responsibility for suboptimal initiation of dialysis despite early referral and test methods that attempt to prevent this.
    Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation 12/2012; · 3.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In many jurisdictions, cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) plays an important role in determining drug coverage and reimbursement and, therefore, has the potential to impact patient access. Health economic guidelines recommend the inclusion of future costs related to the intervention of interest within CEAs but provide little guidance regarding the definition of 'related'. In the case of CEAs of therapies that extend the lives of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) on dialysis but do not impact the need for or the intensity of dialysis, the determination of the relatedness of future dialysis costs to the therapy of interest is particularly ambiguous. The uncertainty as to whether dialysis costs are related or unrelated in these circumstances has led to inconsistencies in the conduct of CEAs for such products, with dialysis costs included in some analyses while excluded in others. Due to the magnitude of the cost of dialysis, whether or not dialysis costs are included in CEAs of such therapies has substantial implications for the results of such analyses, often meaning the difference between a therapy being deemed cost effective (in instances where dialysis costs are excluded) or not cost effective (in instances where dialysis costs are included). This paper explores the issues and implications surrounding the inclusion of dialysis costs in CEAs of therapies that extend the lives of dialysis patients but do not impact the need for dialysis. Relevant case studies clearly demonstrate that, regardless of the clinical benefits of a life-extending intervention for dialysis patients, and due to the high cost of dialysis, the inclusion of dialysis costs in the analysis essentially eliminates the possibility of obtaining a favourable cost-effectiveness ratio. This raises the significant risk that dialysis patients may be denied access to interventions that are cost effective in other populations due solely to the high background cost of dialysis itself. Finally, the paper presents a case for excluding dialysis costs in CEAs of therapies that extend the lives of patients receiving dialysis but do not impact the need for dialysis. The argument is founded on the following: (i) health economic guidelines imply that dialysis costs are unrelated to such therapies and therefore should not be included in CEAs of such therapies; (ii) the high cost and cost-effectiveness ratio associated with dialysis place an unreasonable and insurmountable barrier to demonstrating the cost effectiveness of such therapies, particularly since the decision to fund dialysis has already been made; and (iii) current clinical and reimbursement practices include the use of such therapies for patients with CKD receiving dialysis. We conclude that the exclusion of dialysis costs in such cases is methodologically correct given current health economic guidelines and is consistent with current practices regarding the treatment of dialysis patients.
    PharmacoEconomics 09/2012; 30(11):981-9. · 2.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We updated the evidence-based recommendations for the diagnosis, assessment, prevention, and treatment of hypertension in adults for 2012. The new recommendations are: (1) use of home blood pressure monitoring to confirm a diagnosis of white coat syndrome; (2) mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists may be used in selected patients with hypertension and systolic heart failure; (3) a history of atrial fibrillation in patients with hypertension should not be a factor in deciding to prescribe an angiotensin-receptor blocker for the treatment of hypertension; and (4) the blood pressure target for patients with nondiabetic chronic kidney disease has now been changed to < 140/90 mm Hg from < 130/80 mm Hg. We also reviewed the recent evidence on blood pressure targets for patients with hypertension and diabetes and continue to recommend a blood pressure target of less than 130/80 mm Hg.
    The Canadian journal of cardiology 05/2012; 28(3):270-87. · 3.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To prospectively evaluate diabetes management in the primary care setting and explore factors related to guideline-recommended triple target achievement [blood pressure (BP) ≤ 130/80 mmHg, A1C ≤ 7% and low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol < 2.5 mmol/l]. Baseline, 6 and 12 month data on clinical and laboratory parameters were measured in 3002 patients with type 2 diabetes enrolled as part of a prospective quality enhancement research initiative in Canada. A generalised estimating equation model was fitted to assess variables associated with triple target achievement. At baseline, 54%, 53% and 64% of patients, respectively, had BP, A1C and LDL-cholesterol at target; all three goals were met by 19% of patients. The percentage of individuals achieving these targets significantly increased during the study [60%, 57%, 76% and 26%, respectively, at the final visit, p < 0.0001 except for A1C, p = 0.27]. A much smaller proportion of patients had adequate control during the entire study period [30%, 39%, 53% and 7%, respectively]. In multivariable analysis, women, patients younger than 65 years and patients of Afro-Canadian origin were less likely to achieve the triple target. As part of a quality enhancement research initiative, we observed important improvements in the attainment of guidelines-recommended targets in patients with type 2 diabetes followed for a 12-month period in the primary care setting; however, many individuals still failed to achieve and especially maintain optimal goals for therapy, particularly the triple target. Results of the multivariable analysis reinforce the need to address barriers to improve diabetes care, particularly in more susceptible groups.
    International Journal of Clinical Practice 03/2012; 66(5):457-64. · 2.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although vascular calcification in end-stage renal disease (ESRD) is common, metastatic pulmonary calcification (MPC) is an under-recognized complication of ESRD with the majority of individuals being asymptomatic. Similar to calcification in other arterial vascular beds, elevated serum calcium and phosphate appear to be potent risk factors although the exact pathogenesis of MPC remains largely unclear. Nocturnal hemodialysis (NHD) is a form of renal replacement therapy that offers superior control of serum phosphate and uremia compared to conventional (3 times weekly) intermittent hemodialysis and shows promise in delaying the progression of vascular calcification. Here, we report the first case of MPC involving the pulmonary vasculature in a patient treated with nocturnal hemodialysis and discuss the epidemiology, pathogenesis, histology and natural history of MPC.
    Clinical nephrology 03/2012; 77(3):231-6. · 1.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Patients undergoing conventional maintenance hemodialysis typically receive three sessions per week, each lasting 2.5-5.5 hours. Recently, the use of more intensive hemodialysis (>5.5 hours, three to seven times per week) has increased, but the effects of these regimens on survival are uncertain. We conducted a retrospective cohort study to examine whether intensive hemodialysis associates with better survival than conventional hemodialysis. We identified 420 patients in the International Quotidian Dialysis Registry who received intensive home hemodialysis in France, the United States, and Canada between January 2000 and August 2010. We matched 338 of these patients to 1388 patients in the Dialysis Outcomes and Practice Patterns Study who received in-center conventional hemodialysis during the same time period by country, ESRD duration, and propensity score. The intensive hemodialysis group received a mean (SD) 4.8 (1.1) sessions per week with a mean treatment time of 7.4 (0.87) hours per session; the conventional group received three sessions per week with a mean treatment time of 3.9 (0.32) hours per session. During 3008 patient-years of follow-up, 45 (13%) of 338 patients receiving intensive hemodialysis died compared with 293 (21%) of 1388 patients receiving conventional hemodialysis (6.1 versus 10.5 deaths per 100 person-years; hazard ratio, 0.55 [95% confidence interval, 0.34-0.87]). The strength and direction of the observed association between intensive hemodialysis and improved survival were consistent across all prespecified subgroups and sensitivity analyses. In conclusion, there is a strong association between intensive home hemodialysis and improved survival, but whether this relationship is causal remains unknown.
    Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 02/2012; 23(4):696-705. · 8.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To determine whether people who donate a kidney have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Retrospective population based matched cohort study. All people who were carefully selected to become a living kidney donor in the province of Ontario, Canada, between 1992 and 2009. The information in donor charts was manually reviewed and linked to provincial healthcare databases. Matched non-donors were selected from the healthiest segment of the general population. A total of 2028 donors and 20,280 matched non-donors were followed for a median of 6.5 years (maximum 17.7 years). Median age was 43 at the time of donation (interquartile range 34-50) and 50 at the time of follow-up (42-58). The primary outcome was a composite of time to death or first major cardiovascular event. The secondary outcome was time to first major cardiovascular event censored for death. The risk of the primary outcome of death and major cardiovascular events was lower in donors than in non-donors (2.8 v 4.1 events per 1000 person years; hazard ratio 0.66, 95% confidence interval 0.48 to 0.90). The risk of major cardiovascular events censored for death was no different in donors than in non-donors (1.7 v 2.0 events per 1000 person years; 0.85, 0.57 to 1.27). Results were similar in all sensitivity analyses. Older age and lower income were associated with a higher risk of death and major cardiovascular events in both donors and non-donors when each group was analysed separately. The risk of major cardiovascular events in donors is no higher in the first decade after kidney donation compared with a similarly healthy segment of the general population. While we will continue to follow people in this study, these interim results add to the evidence base supporting the safety of the practice among carefully selected donors.
    BMJ (Clinical research ed.). 01/2012; 344:e1203.
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    ABSTRACT: Increased left ventricular mass (LVM) is associated with adverse outcomes in patients receiving chronic hemodialysis. Among patients receiving conventional hemodialysis (CHD, 3×/week, 4 hrs/session), we evaluated whether dialysis intensification with in-centre nocturnal hemodialysis (INHD, 3×/week, 7-8 hrs/session in the dialysis unit) was associated with regression of LVM. We conducted a retrospective cohort study of CHD recipients who converted to INHD and received INHD for at least 6 months. LVM on the first echocardiogram performed at least 6 months post-conversion was compared to LVM pre-conversion. In a secondary analysis, we examined echocardiograms performed at least 12 months after starting INHD. The effect of conversion to INHD on LVM over time was also evaluated using a longitudinal analysis that incorporated all LVM data on patients with 2 or more echocardiograms. Thirty-seven patients were eligible for the primary analysis. Mean age at conversion was 49 ± 12 yrs and 30% were women. Mean pre-conversion LVM was 219 ± 66 g and following conversion, LVM declined by 32 ± 58 g (p = 0.002). Among patients whose follow-up echocardiogram occurred at least 12 months following conversion, LVM declined by 40 ± 56 g (p = 0.0004). The rate of change of LVM decreased significantly from 0.4 g/yr before conversion, to -11.7 g/yr following conversion to INHD (p < 0.0001). Conversion to INHD is associated with a significant regression in LVM, which may portend a more favourable cardiovascular outcome. Our preliminary findings support the need for randomized controlled trials to definitively evaluate the cardiovascular effects of INHD.
    BMC Nephrology 01/2012; 13:3. · 1.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Several comparisons of peritoneal dialysis (PD) and hemodialysis (HD) in incident patients with ESRD demonstrate superior survival in PD-treated patients within the first 1 to 2 years. These survival differences may be due to higher HD-related mortality as a result of high rates of incident central venous catheter (CVC) use or due to an initial survival advantage conferred by PD. We compared the survival of incident PD patients with those who initiated HD with a CVC (HD-CVC) or with a functional arteriovenous fistula or arteriovenous graft (HD-AVF/AVG). We used multivariable piece-wise exponential nonproportional and proportional hazards models to evaluate early (1 year) mortality as well as overall mortality during the period of observation using an intention-to-treat approach. We identified 40,526 incident adult dialysis patients from the Canadian Organ Replacement Register (2001 to 2008). Compared with the 7412 PD patients, 1-year mortality was similar for the 6663 HD-AVF/AVG patients but was 80% higher for the 24,437 HD-CVC patients (adjusted HR, 1.8; 95% confidence intervals [CI], 1.6 to 1.9). During the entire period of follow-up, HD-AVF/AVG patients had a lower risk for death, and HD-CVC patients had a higher risk for death compared with patients on PD. In conclusion, the use of CVCs in incident HD patients largely accounts for the early survival benefit seen with PD.
    Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 06/2011; 22(6):1113-21. · 8.99 Impact Factor
  • Philip A McFarlane
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    ABSTRACT: Conventional hemodialysis is often an incomplete treatment for uremia. People receiving hemodialysis often report a poor quality of life and suffer from an accelerated mortality rate. Nocturnal hemodialysis provides long treatments at night in the home or dialysis center. This review will examine how long nocturnal treatments have impact on the clearance of small and larger retention products, and how these treatments influence quality of life and survival. Nocturnal hemodialysis is more effective at clearing most small and middle molecule retention products, and has been associated with improvements in quality of life, especially in those domains related to the effects of kidney disease. Survival on nocturnal hemodialysis is higher than expected, and studies suggest that patients receiving nocturnal hemodialysis have a mortality rate that is about one third of what is seen in similar patients receiving conventional hemodialysis. Although impressive, it is difficult to be sure how much of the results of these studies is due to the duration and timing of dialysis and how much relates to patient level factors and residual confounding, and further research in this area is required.
    Current opinion in nephrology and hypertension 03/2011; 20(2):182-8. · 3.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Our objective was to examine patients who initiate renal replacement therapy (RRT) at 10 representative Canadian centers, characterize their initiation as inpatient or outpatient and describe their initial type of dialysis access, duration of pre-dialysis care and clinical status at the time of dialysis initiation. We also examined the impact of an optimal dialysis start (i.e. initiated as an outpatient with an arteriovenous fistula, arteriovenous graft or peritoneal dialysis catheter) on subsequent health outcomes. Charts of consecutive incident RRT patients were identified from 1 July to 31 December 2006. Information was collected until 6 months after the initiation or until death, transplant or transfer. Three hundred and thirty-nine incident RRT patients were studied: 39.6% initiated as an inpatient; 54% started hemodialysis (HD) with a central venous catheter; 15.3% had <1 month predialysis care, while 64.6% had >1 year. Optimal starts occurred in 39.5% of patients. For HD patients, optimal starts occurred in 19.8%. Suboptimal starts were noted in patients referred <12 months prior to end-stage renal disease (44%) and in patients referred earlier (56%). The composite end point of death, transfusion or subsequent hospitalization was significantly reduced with an optimal start [hazard ratio 0.47 (95% confidence interval 0.32-0.68), P = 0.0001]. Suboptimal initiation of dialysis is common in patients referred early or late. The benefits of early referral are lost if dialysis is initiated suboptimally. There is a need to identify factors that lead to suboptimal initiation despite early referral.
    Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation 02/2011; 26(9):2959-65. · 3.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We updated the evidence-based recommendations for the diagnosis, assessment, prevention, and treatment of hypertension in adults for 2011. The major guideline changes this year are: (1) a recommendation was made for using comparative risk analogies when communicating a patient's cardiovascular risk; (2) diagnostic testing issues for renal artery stenosis were discussed; (3) recommendations were added for the management of hypertension during the acute phase of stroke; (4) people with hypertension and diabetes are now considered high risk for cardiovascular events if they have elevated urinary albumin excretion, overt kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, or the presence of other cardiovascular risk factors; (5) the combination of an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor and a dihydropyridine calcium channel blocker (CCB) is preferred over the combination of an ACE inhibitor and a thiazide diuretic in persons with diabetes and hypertension; and (6) a recommendation was made to coordinate with pharmacists to improve antihypertensive medication adherence. We also discussed the recent analyses that examined the association between angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) and cancer.
    The Canadian journal of cardiology 01/2011; 27(4):415-433.e1-2. · 3.12 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

771 Citations
263.66 Total Impact Points


  • 2013
    • Cornerstone Research Group Inc.
      Burlington, Ontario, Canada
  • 2004–2013
    • St. Michael's Hospital
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 2012
    • Cornerstone Research Group
      Dayton, Ohio, United States
    • McGill University
      • Division of General Internal Medicine
      Montréal, Quebec, Canada
    • Queens University of Charlotte
      New York, United States
  • 2011
    • Humber River Regional Hospital
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    • The University of Calgary
      • Department of Medicine
      Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • 2003–2011
    • University of Toronto
      • • Division of Neurology
      • • Department of Medicine
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 2010
    • The University of Western Ontario
      • Department of Clinical Neurological Sciences
      London, Ontario, Canada