[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hyponatremia is a recognized complication of congestive heart failure (CHF) and is associated with reduced survival. Therefore, early identification and appropriate management of hyponatremia is important. The aim of this study was to determine the general approach amongst Canadian healthcare practitioners and trainees to the identification and management of hyponatremia complicating CHF.
Respondents completed 15 multiple-choice style questions in 3 case scenarios regarding the approach to management of hyponatremia complicating CHF using an online survey on UKidney.com between November 2012 and May 2013. Results were presented as a proportion of averaged correct/incorrect responses amongst Canadian nephrologists, cardiologists, internists and trainees in each of two domains; pathophysiology and management. Management was further subdivided into correct and incorrect use of diuretic therapy, hypertonic saline, oral urea tablets, vasopressin receptor antagonists (vaptans) and rate of sodium correction. Correct responses were determined by an expert panel of Canadian nephrologists and cardiologists based on review of evidence informed guidelines and current recommendations.
There were 1757 responses to our online survey amongst 455 Canadian respondents, 1139 of which were from cardiologists, nephrologists, general internists, or trainees. Overall, the pathophysiology governing hyponatremia in CHF was correctly identified 68.7 % of the time (n = 380 responses, averaged over 4 questions). Hyponatremia was managed inappropriately 43.6 % of the time, with trainees scoring best overall with correct responses 60.3 % of the time (n = 759 responses, over 11 questions). Importantly, an incorrect rate for sodium correction was selected 61.1 % of the time overall, (n = 211 responses, averaged over 3 questions).
This study identified that there are differences in the understanding of pathophysiology and management strategies for hyponatremia in the context of CHF amongst Canadian specialist physicians and trainees. A more consistent approach to hyponatremia is required and might best be achieved through formal knowledge translation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose:
Catheter locking solutions such as recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA) are used to treat and prevent clotting of hemodialysis (HD) catheters during HD treatments and the interdialytic period. However, evidence to guide the use of rt-PA for catheter dysfunction is limited.
We evaluated outcomes using two catheter dysfunction protocols in a cohort of consecutive prevalent dialysis patients (Jan 2013 to Sep 2014) undergoing HD with a tunneled catheter. In the intensive protocol, rt-PA was administered to all catheters based on blood flow and/or line reversal. In the standard protocol, rt-PA administration was based only on blood flow. The primary outcome was the rate of rt-PA use for catheter malfunction (rt-PA treatment days/1000 total line days; [TLD]). Secondary outcomes included the cost of rt-PA/TLD and the rate of catheter-related bacteremia.
There were 26 and 35 patients managed by the intensive and standard protocols, respectively. The rate of rt-PA use was 52/1000 TLD (intensive) versus 39/1000 TLD (standard) (rate ratio 1.30, 95% CI 1.12-1.52 CI, p<0.001). The rate of bacteremia was 0.43 and 0.22/1000 TLD for the intensive and standard protocols, respectively (p = 0.491). The cost of rt-PA was CDN $5.58 and CDN $6.15 per TLD for the intensive protocol and standard protocol groups (p<0.001).
Managing catheter dysfunction based on line reversal and blood flow as opposed to only blood flow was associated with a higher rate of rt-PA use, but at a reduced overall cost.
No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · The journal of vascular access
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It has been shown that in-center hemodialysis (HD) nurses prefer in-center HD for patients with certain characteristics; however it is not known if their opinions can be changed.
To determine if an education initiative modified the perceptions of in-center HD nurses towards home dialysis.
Cross-sectional survey of in-center HD nurses before and after a three hour continuing nursing education (CNE) initiative. Content of the CNE initiative included a didactic review of benefits of home dialysis, common misconceptions about patient eligibility, cost comparisons of different modalities and a home dialysis patient testimonial video.
All in-center HD nurses (including those working in satellite dialysis units) affiliated with a single academic institution.
Survey themes included perceived barriers to home dialysis, preferred modality (home versus in-center HD), ideal modality distribution in the local program, awareness of home dialysis and patient education about home modalities.
Paired comparisons of responses before and after the CNE initiative.
Of the 115 in-center HD nurses, 100 registered for the CNE initiative and 89 completed pre and post surveys (89% response rate). At baseline, in-center HD nurses perceived that impaired cognition, poor motor strength and poor visual acuity were barriers to peritoneal dialysis and home HD. In-center HD was preferred for availability of multidisciplinary care and medical personnel in case of catastrophic events. After the initiative, perceptions were more in favor of home dialysis for all patient characteristics, and most patient/system factors. Home dialysis was perceived to be underutilized both at baseline and after the initiative. Finally, in-center HD nurses were more aware of home dialysis, felt better informed about its benefits and were more comfortable teaching in-center HD patients about home modalities after the CNE session.
CNE initiatives can modify the opinions of in-center HD nurses towards home modalities and should complement the multitude of strategies aimed at promoting home dialysis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
A high level of comorbidity at dialysis initiation is associated with an increased risk of death. However, contemporary assessments of the validity and prognostic value of comorbidity indices are lacking.
To assess the validity of two comorbidity indices and to determine if a high degree of comorbidity is associated with mortality among dialysis patients.
QEII Health Sciences Centre (Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada).
Incident, chronic dialysis patients between 01 Jan 2006 and 01 Jul 2013.
The Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) and End-Stage Renal Disease Comorbidity Index (ESRD-CI) were used to classify individual comorbid conditions into an overall score. Comorbidities were classified using patient charts and electronic records.
All-cause mortality. Confounders: Patient demographics, dialysis access, cause of ESRD and baseline laboratory data.
Regression coefficients were estimated on the CCI and ESRD-CI. Discrimination for death was assessed using Harrell's c-index. Adjusted Cox proportional hazard models were used to calculate relative hazards and 95 % confidence intervals for each category of the CCI and ESRD-CI.
The cohort consisted of 771 ESRD patients from 01 Jan 2006 to 01 Jul 2013. Most were male (62 %) and Caucasian (91 %). The cohort had a high proportion of diabetes (48 %), history of previous myocardial infarction (31 %) and heart failure (22 %). Regression coefficients on the CCI and ESRD-CI were 0.55 and 0.52, respectively. The c-index, for the prediction of death, was 0.61 for the CCI and 0.63 for the ESRD-CI. ESRD-CI scores of 4, 5 and ≥6 were associated with a similar mortality risk (adjusted relative hazard of 1.95, 1.89 and 1.99, respectively). There was a small increased mortality risk for CCI scores of 4, 5 and ≥6 (adjusted relative hazard of 1.86, 2.38 and 2.71, respectively).
Classification of comorbidities for each patient was determined by clinical impression.
The CCI and ESRD-CI have a limited ability to discriminate mortality risk for incident dialysis patients. Acknowledging the frequency with which they are used, this study emphasizes the need to re-examine the usefulness of previously derived comorbidity indices in contemporary dialysis cohorts.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and secondary hyperparathyroidism (SHPT) who require dialysis are at increased risk for cardiovascular events and bone fractures. To assist in economic evaluations, this study aimed to estimate the disutility of these events beyond the impact of CKD and SHPT.
A basic one-year health state was developed describing CKD and SHPT requiring dialysis. Further health states added acute events (cardiovascular events, fractures, and surgical procedures) or chronic post-event effects. Acute health states described a year including an event, and chronic health states described a year subsequent to an event. General population participants in Canada completed time trade-off interviews from which utilities were derived. Pairwise comparisons were made between the basic state and event, and between comparable health states.
A total of 199 participants (54.8% female; mean age = 46.3 years) completed interviews. Each health state had ≥130 valuations. The mean (SD) utility of the basic health state was 0.60 (0.34). For acute events, mean utility differences versus the basic state were: myocardial infarction, -0.06; unstable angina, -0.05; peripheral vascular disease (PVD) with amputation, -0.33; PVD without amputation, -0.11; heart failure, -0.14; stroke, -0.30; hip fracture, -0.14; arm fracture, -0.04; parathyroidectomy, +0.02; kidney transplant, +0.06. Disutilities for chronic health states were: stable angina, -0.09; stroke, -0.27; PVD with amputation, -0.30; PVD without amputation, -0.12; heart failure, -0.14.
Cardiovascular events and fractures were associated with lower utility scores, suggesting a perceived decrease in quality of life beyond the impact of CKD and SHPT.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · Health and Quality of Life Outcomes
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background and objectives:
The relative influence of facilities and regions on the timing of dialysis initiation remains unknown. The purpose of the study is to determine the variation in eGFR at dialysis initiation across dialysis facilities and geographic regions in Canada after accounting for patient-level factors (case mix).
Design, setting, participants, & measurements:
In total, 33,263 dialysis patients with an eGFR measure at dialysis initiation between January of 2001 and December of 2010 representing 63 dialysis facilities and 14 geographic regions were included in the study. Multilevel models and intraclass correlation coefficients were used to evaluate the variation in timing of dialysis initiation by eGFR at the patient, facility, and geographic levels.
The proportion initiating dialysis with an eGFR≥10.5 ml/min per 1.73 m(2) was 35.3%, varying from 20.1% to 57.2% across geographic regions and from 10% to 67% across facilities. In an unadjusted, intercept-only linear model, 90.7%, 6.6%, and 2.7% of the explained variability were attributable to patient, facility, and geography, respectively. After adjustment for patient and facility factors, 96.9% of the explained variability was attributable to patient case mix, 3.1% was attributable to the facility, and 0.0% was attributable to the geographic region. These findings were consistent when the eGFR was categorized as a binary variable (≥10.5 ml/min per 1.73 m(2)) or in an analysis limited to patients with >3 months of predialysis care.
Patient characteristics accounted for the majority of the explained variation regarding the eGFR at the initiation of dialysis. There was a small amount of variation at the facility level and no variation among geographic regions that was independent of patient- and facility-level factors.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dabigatran etexilate represents a possible improved alternative to warfarin for anticoagulation in hemodialysis patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). The objective was to determine dabigatran plasma concentrations and anticoagulant effects following administration of a single 110 mg oral dose of dabigatran etexilate to 10 adult patients immediately prior to starting hemodialysis. Mass spectrometry and the Hemoclot® assay were used, respectively, to determine free (unconjugated) dabigatran concentrations and thrombin time (TT) in plasma samples collected intermittently over 48 hours. The median time (tmax) to reach the maximum plasma free dabigatran concentration (Cmax) was 2 h (range 1–3 h). The mean free dabigatran Cmax was 95.5 ± 33.4 ng mL-1. The mean elimination half-lives on and off hemodialysis were, respectively 2.6 ± 1.3 h and 30.2 ± 7.8 h. Hemodialysis effectively removed dabigatran with an extraction ratio of 0.63 ± 0.07. The maximal TT ratio was 2.1 and the TT ratio demonstrated a strong linear dependence on free dabigatran concentration (r2 = 0.741). A 110 mg oral dabigatran dose prior to hemodialysis was rapidly absorbed and achieved therapeutic concentrations. Hemodialysis effectively removed dabigatran from the plasma and may be an effective means of accelerating the elimination of dabigatran in circumstances of excessive anticoagulation.
No preview · Article · Aug 2014 · The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We previously reported a reduction in central venous catheter (CVC) malfunction when using once-weekly recombinant tissue-plasminogen activator (rt-PA) as a locking solution, compared with thrice-weekly heparin.
To identify risk factors for CVC malfunction to inform a targeted strategy for rt-PA use.
Canadian hemodialysis (HD) units.
Adults with newly placed tunnelled upper venous system CVCs randomized to a locking solution of rt-PA(1 mg/mL) mid-week and heparin (5000 u/ml) on the other HD sessions, or thrice-weekly heparin (5000 u/ml).
CVC malfunction (the primary outcome) was defined as: peak blood flow less than 200 mL/min for thirty minutes during a HD session; mean blood flow less than 250 mL/min for two consecutive HD sessions; inability to initiate HD.
Cox regression was used to determine the association between patient demographics, HD session CVC-related variables and the outcome of CVC malfunction.
Patient age (62.4 vs 65.4 yr), proportion female sex (35.6 vs 48.4%), and proportion with first catheter ever (60.7 vs 61.3%) were similar between patients with and without CVC malfunction. After multivariate analysis, risk factors for CVC malfunction were mean blood processed < 65 L when compared with ≥ 85 L in the prior 6 HD sessions (HR 4.36; 95% CI, 1.59 to 11.95), and mean blood flow < 300 mL/min, or 300 - 324 mL/min in the prior 6 HD sessions (HR 7.65; 95% CI, 2.78 to 21.01, and HR 5.52; 95% CI, 2.00 to 15.23, respectively) when compared to ≥ 350 mL/min.
This pre-specified post-hoc analysis used a definition of CVC malfunction that included blood flow, which may result in an overestimate of the effect size. Generalizability of results to HD units where trisodium citrate locking solution is used may also be limited.
HD session characteristics including mean blood processed and mean blood flow were associated with CVC malfunction, while patient characteristics were not. Whether targeting these patients at greater risk of CVC malfunction with rt-PA as a locking solution improves CVC longevity remains to be determined.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background Newer biomarkers, reflective of biological processes, such as inflammation and fibrosis, cardiac stretch or damage and vascular
health may be useful in understanding clinical events in chronic kidney disease (CKD). We assessed whether these newer biomarkers,
alone or as a panel, improve risk prediction for renal replacement therapy or death, over and above conventional clinical,
demographic and laboratory variables.
Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Physicians' perceptions and opinions may influence when to initiate dialysis. Objective: To examine providers' perspectives and opinions regarding the timing of dialysis initiation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) do not always receive care consistent with guidelines, in part due to complexities in CKD management, lack of randomized trial data to inform care, and a failure to disseminate best practice. At a 2007 conference of key Canadian stakeholders in kidney disease, attendees noted that the impact of Canadian Society of Nephrology (CSN) guidelines was attenuated given limited formal linkages between the CSN Clinical Practice Guidelines Group, kidney researchers, decision makers and knowledge users, and that further knowledge was required to guide care in patients with kidney disease. The idea for the Canadian Kidney Knowledge Translation and Generation Network (CANN-NET) developed from this meeting. CANN-NET is a pan-Canadian network established in partnership with CSN, the Kidney Foundation of Canada and other professional societies to improve the care and outcomes of patients with and at risk for kidney disease. The initial priority areas for knowledge translation include improving optimal timing of dialysis initiation, and increasing the appropriate use of home dialysis. Given the urgent need for new knowledge, CANN-NET has also brought together a national group of experienced Canadian researchers to address knowledge gaps by encouraging and supporting multicentre randomized trials in priority areas, including management of cardiovascular disease in patients with kidney failure.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Physicians' perceptions and opinions may influence when to initiate dialysis.
To examine providers' perspectives and opinions regarding the timing of dialysis initiation.
Community and academic dialysis practices in Canada.
A nationally-representative sample of dialysis providers.
Dialysis providers opinions assessing reasons to initiate dialysis at low or high eGFR. Responses were obtained using a 9-point Likert scale. Early dialysis was defined as initiation of dialysis in an individual with an eGFR greater than or equal to 10.5 ml/min/m(2). A detailed survey was emailed to all members of the Canadian Society of Nephrology (CSN) in February 2013. The survey was designed and pre-tested to evaluate duration and ease of administration.
One hundred and forty one (25% response rate) physicians participated in the survey. The majority were from urban, academic centres and practiced in regionally administered renal programs. Very few respondents had a formal policy regarding the timing of dialysis initiation or formally reviewed new dialysis starts (N = 4, 3.1%). The majority of respondents were either neutral or disagreed that late compared to early dialysis initiation improved outcomes (85-88%), had a negative impact on quality of life (89%), worsened AVF or PD use (84-90%), led to sicker patients (83%) or was cost effective (61%). Fifty-seven percent of respondents felt uremic symptoms occurred earlier in patients with advancing age or co-morbid illness. Half (51.8%) of the respondents felt there was an absolute eGFR at which they would initiate dialysis in an asymptomatic patient. The majority of respondents would initiate dialysis for classic indications for dialysis, such as volume overload (90.1%) and cachexia (83.7%) however a significant number chose other factors that may lead them to early dialysis initiation including avoiding an emergency (28.4%), patient preference (21.3%) and non-compliance (8.5%).
25% response rate.
Although the majority of nephrologists in Canada who responded followed evidence-based practice regarding the timing of dialysis initiation, knowledge gaps and areas of clinical uncertainty exist. The implementation and evaluation of formal policies and knowledge translation activities may limit potentially unnecessary early dialysis initiation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Usually inaugural editorials are written by the Editor-in-Chief to describe the scope and vision for the journal to potential authors and readers. This editorial is written by the Editor-in-Chief, the Deputy Editors and the Associate Editors collaboratively as a clear signal that this is a unique and different journal. We will build this journal on a set of principles which are fundamental to improving the outcomes of patients with kidney disease. To that end, we aim to be supportive, to collaborate, to integrate multiple perspectives and to be open to possibilities. Résumé
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Peritoneal dialysis is associated with similar survival and similar improvement in quality of life and is less costly compared with in-centre hemodialysis. We examined facility and geographic variation in the use of peritoneal dialysis in Canada.
We analyzed data from the Canadian Organ Replacement Register for the period January 2001 to December 2010. We identified patients for whom peritoneal dialysis was the primary modality at 90 days after initiation of dialysis. We used multilevel models to evaluate variation in use of peritoneal dialysis by facility and geographic region.
We analyzed data for 31 778 incident dialysis patients at 56 facilities in 13 geographic regions across Canada. Use of peritoneal dialysis at 90 days varied considerably across geographic regions (range 19.8%-36.1%) and declined over time, from 28.8% in 2001 to 22.5% in 2010. After adjustment for case mix and facility-level quality indicators, 9.3% and 3.4% of the variability was attributable to facility and geographic factors, respectively. In adjusted models, there was a substantial difference between geographic regions with the lowest and highest peritoneal dialysis use (odds ratio for high use 1.51, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.33-1.73 v. odds ratio for low use 0.69, 95% CI 0.60-0.79).
In Canada, substantial variability in the use of peritoneal dialysis attributable to facility and geographic region was not explained by differences in patient case mix. An opportunity exists to optimize use of this cost-effective therapy through changes in policy and standardization of criteria for initiation of peritoneal dialysis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The KDIGO (Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes) 2012 clinical practice guideline for anemia management in patients with chronic kidney disease provides the structural and evidence base for the Canadian Society of Nephrology commentary on this guideline's relevancy and application to the Canadian health care system. While in general agreement, we provide commentary on 11 of the 61 KDIGO guideline statements. Specifically, we agreed that a therapeutic trial of iron is appropriate in cases in which a reduction in erythropoiesis-stimulating agent (ESA) dosage or avoidance of ESA and transfusion is desired, transferrin saturations are >30%, and ferritin concentrations are >500 μg/L. However, we concluded that there is insufficient evidence to support an upper target or threshold for ferritin and transferrin saturation levels. We agree with the initiation of ESA treatment when hemoglobin (Hb) level is 90-100 g/L; however, we specifically state that an acceptable range for Hb level is 95-115 g/L, with a target of 100-110 g/L, and add caution to individualization above this range due to concerns regarding the safety of ESAs. We agree that ESAs should be used with considerable caution in patients with active malignancy, history of stroke, or history of malignancy, and we suggest initiating ESA therapy at Hb level of 90 g/L and to aim for a Hb level in the range of 90-105 g/L. The reader is encouraged to note the level of evidence and review the entire KDIGO anemia guideline to interpret the guideline statements and commentary appropriately.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2013 · American Journal of Kidney Diseases
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) increases with age, and the risk of significant anaemia increases as renal function declines. The objectives of this study were to assess the effect of darbepoetin alfa administration on health-related quality of life (HRQOL) through treatment for anaemia in older patients with CKD.
In this multicentre, randomised, placebo-controlled trial, older patients (aged ≥70 years) with CKD (Stages 3-5, predialysis) and haemoglobin (Hb) < 11.0 g/dL were randomised to darbepoetin alfa (n = 28) or placebo (n = 23). HRQOL was measured using a number of instruments including Short Form-36 (SF-36) and Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Anaemia (FACT-An).
The primary endpoint, mean SF-36 Vitality Score at Week 24, was comparable between the darbepoetin alfa (51.4 [95 % CI 48.0, 54.9]) and placebo (46.7 [40.9, 52.5]) groups. Darbepoetin alfa-treated patients experienced statistically significant improvements in some SF-36 and FACT-An Subscale Scores. Mean Hb was higher with darbepoetin alfa (12.5 [12.1, 12.9] g/dL) than with placebo (10.5 [10.1, 11.0] g/dL). The safety profiles were comparable between the treatment groups. The study was limited by only 20 % of the planned patient recruitment being achieved.
Darbepoetin alfa increased Hb and, within study limitations, suggested that improvements in some HRQOL domains in older CKD patients with anaemia may be achieved with more physiological haemoglobin.
No preview · Article · Aug 2013 · International Urology and Nephrology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Calcific uremic arteriolopathy (CUA) is a rare but serious disorder affecting 4% of dialysis patients. Intravenous sodium thiosulfate (IV STS) has been shown as an effective treatment. In Canada, the average cost of IV STS is about CAD 12,000 per month, while the cost of compounded oral STS is CAD 45 per month.
Prospective cohort where all patients diagnosed with CUA during the year 2011 were included. They were treated initially with IV STS. Afterwards, each patient had a baseline bone scan and was started on oral STS for a total of 6 months followed by a repeat bone scan. A single radiologist, blinded to the dates of both scans for a given patient, read all scans.
Four patients were studied. The intravenous dose used was 25 g three times a week for an average duration of 131 days. After the maintenance therapy, 2 patients developed further regression of the lesions, 1 had stable lesions, and 1 got worse; however, nonadherence to the drug was confirmed. The oral medication was well tolerated with no reported side effects.
Oral STS, after IV STS, seems to stabilize, or even improve CUA lesions, and therefore could be useful as maintenance therapy, especially since its cost is much more reasonable than IV STS and due to the ongoing shortage of the IV formulation.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2013 · American Journal of Nephrology