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Background - Vadadustat, an inhibitor of hypoxia-inducible factor prolyl-4-hydroxylase domain dioxygenases, is an oral investigational agent in development for the treatment of anemia secondary to chronic kidney disease.
Methods - In this open-label Phase 2 trial, vadadustat was evaluated in 94 subjects receiving hemodialysis, previously maintained on epoetin alfa. Subjects were sequentially assigned to one of three vadadustat dose cohorts by starting dose: 300 mg once daily (QD), 450 mg QD or 450 mg thrice weekly (TIW). The primary endpoint was mean hemoglobin (Hb) change from pre-baseline average to midtrial (Weeks 7-8) and end-of-trial (Weeks 15-16) and was analyzed using available data (no imputation).
Results - Overall, 80, 73 and 68% of subjects in the 300 mg QD, 450 mg QD, and 450 mg TIW dose cohorts respectively, completed the study. For all dose cohorts no statistically significant mean change in Hb from pre-baseline average was observed, and mean Hb concentrations-analyzed using available data-remained stable at mid- and end-of-trial. There was one subject with an Hb excursion >13 g/dL. Overall, 83% of subjects experienced an adverse event (AE); the proportion of subjects who experienced at least one AE was similar among the three dose cohorts. The most frequently reported AEs were nausea (11.7%), diarrhea (10.6%) and vomiting (9.6%). No deaths occurred during the study. No serious AEs were attributed to vadadustat.
Conclusions - Vadadustat maintained mean Hb concentrations in subjects on hemodialysis previously receiving epoetin. These data support further investigation of vadadustat to assess its long-term safety and efficacy in subjects on hemodialysis.
BACKGROUND - Sickle cell disease is a group of disorders that affects haemoglobin, which causes distorted sickle- or crescent-shaped red blood cells. It is characterized by anaemia, increased susceptibility to infections and episodes of pain. The disease is acquired by inheriting abnormal genes from both parents, the combination giving rise to different forms of the disease. Due to increased erythropoiesis in people with sickle cell disease, it is hypothesized that they are at an increased risk for folate deficiency. For this reason, children and adults with sickle cell disease, particularly those with sickle cell anaemia, commonly take 1 mg of folic acid orally every day on the premise that this will replace depleted folate stores and reduce the symptoms of anaemia. It is thus important to evaluate the role of folate supplementation in treating sickle cell disease.
OBJECTIVES - To analyse the efficacy and possible adverse effects of folate supplementation (folate occurring naturally in foods, provided as fortified foods or additional supplements such as tablets) in people with sickle cell disease.
SEARCH METHODS - We searched the Cochrane Cystic Fibrosis and Genetic Disorders Group's Haemoglobinopathies Trials Register comprising references identified from comprehensive electronic database searches and handsearches of relevant journals and abstract books of conference proceedings. We also conducted additional searches in both electronic databases and clinical trial registries.Date of last search: 07 December 2015.
SELECTION CRITERIA - Randomised, placebo-controlled trials of folate supplementation for sickle cell disease.
DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS - Four review authors assessed the eligibility and risk of bias of the included trials and extracted and analysed the data included in the review. We used the standard Cochrane-defined methodological procedures.
MAIN RESULTS - One trial, undertaken in 1983, was eligible for inclusion in the review. This was a double-blind placebo-controlled quasi-randomised triaI of supplementation of folic acid in people with sickle cell disease. A total of 117 children with homozygous sickle cell (SS) disease aged six months to four years of age participated over a one-year period (analysis was restricted to 115 children).Serum folate measures, obtained after trial entry at six and 12 months, were available in 80 of 115 (70%) participants. There were significant differences between the folic acid and placebo groups with regards to serum folate values above 18 µg/l and values below 5 µg/l. In the folic acid group, values above 18 µg/l were observed in 33 of 41 (81 %) compared to six of 39 (15%) participants in the placebo (calcium lactate) group. Additionally, there were no participants in the folic acid group with serum folate levels below 5 µg/l, whereas in the placebo group, 15 of 39 (39%) participants had levels below this threshold. Haematological indices were measured in 100 of 115 (87%) participants at baseline and at one year. After adjusting for sex and age group, the investigators reported no significant differences between the trial groups with regards to total haemoglobin concentrations, either at baseline or at one year. It is important to note that none of the raw data for the outcomes listed above were available for analysis.The proportions of participants who experienced certain clinical events were analysed in all 115 participants, for which raw data were available. There were no statistically significant differences noted; however, the trial was not powered to investigate differences between the folic acid and placebo groups with regards to: minor infections, risk ratio 0.99 (95% confidence interval 0.85 to 1.15); major infections, risk ratio 0.89 (95% confidence interval 0.47 to 1.66); dactylitis, risk ratio 0.67 (95% confidence interval 0.35 to 1.27); acute splenic sequestration, risk ratio 1.07 (95% confidence interval 0.44 to 2.57); or episodes of pain, risk ratio 1.16 (95% confidence interval 0.70 to 1.92). However, the investigators reported a higher proportion of repeat dactylitis episodes in the placebo group, with two or more attacks occurring in 10 of 56 participants compared to two of 59 in the folic acid group (P < 0.05).Growth, determined by height-for-age and weight-for-age, as well as height and growth velocity, was measured in 103 of the 115 participants (90%), for which raw data were not available. The investigators reported no significant differences in growth between the two groups.The trial had a high risk of bias with regards to random sequence generation and incomplete outcome data. There was an unclear risk of bias in relation to allocation concealment, outcome assessment, and selective reporting. Finally, There was a low risk of bias with regards to blinding of participants and personnel. Overall the quality of the evidence in the review was low.There were no trials identified for other eligible comparisons, namely: folate supplementation (fortified foods and physical supplementation with tablets) versus placebo; folate supplementation (naturally occurring in diet) versus placebo; folate supplementation (fortified foods and physical supplementation with tablets) versus folate supplementation (naturally occurring in diet).
AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS - One doubIe-blind, placebo-controlled triaI on folic acid supplementation in children with sickle cell disease was included in the review. Overall, the trial presented mixed evidence on the review's outcomes. No trials in adults were identified. With the limited evidence provided, we conclude that, while it is possible that folic acid supplementation may increase serum folate levels, the effect of supplementation on anaemia and any symptoms of anaemia remains unclear.Further trials may add evidence regarding the efficacy of folate supplementation. Future trials should assess clinical outcomes such as folate concentration, haemoglobin concentration, adverse effects and benefits of the intervention, especially with regards to sickle cell disease-related morbidity. Trials should include people with sickle cell disease of all ages and both sexes, in any setting. To investigate the effects of folate supplementation, trials should recruit more participants and be of longer duration, with long-term follow up, than the trial currently included in this review.
Ferric pyrophosphate citrate (FPC) is a water-soluble iron salt administered via dialysate to supply iron directly to transferrin. The PRIME study tested whether treatment with FPC could reduce prescribed erythropoiesis-stimulating agent (ESA) use and maintain hemoglobin in hemodialysis patients. This 9-month, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, multicenter clinical study included 103 patients undergoing hemodialysis 3-4 times weekly. The FPC group received dialysate containing 2 μmol/l of iron. The placebo group received standard dialysate. A blinded central anemia management group facilitated ESA dose adjustments. Intravenous iron was administered according to the approved indication when ferritin levels fell below 200 μg/l. The primary end point was the percentage change from baseline in prescribed ESA dose at end of treatment. Secondary end points included intravenous iron use and safety. At the end of treatment, there was a significant 35% reduction in prescribed ESA dose in FPC-treated patients compared with placebo. The FPC patients used 51% less intravenous iron than placebo. Adverse and serious adverse events were similar in both groups. Thus, FPC delivered via dialysate significantly reduces the prescribed ESA dose and the amount of intravenous iron needed to maintain hemoglobin in chronic hemodialysis patients.
BACKGROUND - In patients undergoing maintenance hemodialysis (HD), hyporesponsiveness to erythropoiesis stimulating agents (ESAs) is associated with adverse clinical outcomes. Systemic inflammation is highly prevalent in HD patients and is associated with ESA hyporesponsiveness. Oxidative stress is also highly prevalent in HD patients, but no previous study has determined its association with ESA response. This study assessed the association of plasma markers of oxidative stress and inflammation with ESA resistance in patients undergoing maintenance HD.
METHODS - We analyzed data from 165 patients enrolled in the Provision of Antioxidant Therapy in Hemodialysis study, a randomized controlled trial evaluating antioxidant therapy in prevalent HD patients. Linear and mixed-effects regression were used to assess the association of baseline and time-averaged high sensitivity F2-isoprostanes, isofurans, C-reactive protein (hsCRP), and interleukin-6 (IL-6) with ESA resistance index (ERI), defined as the weekly weight-adjusted ESA dose divided by blood hemoglobin level. Unadjusted models as well as models adjusted for potential confounders were examined. Predicted changes in ERI per month over study follow-up among baseline biomarker quartiles were also assessed.
RESULTS - Patients with time-averaged isofurans in the highest quartile had higher adjusted mean ERI compared with patients in the lowest quartile (β = 14.9 ng/ml; 95% CI 7.70, 22.2; reference group <0.26 ng/ml). The highest quartiles of hsCRP and IL-6 were also associated with higher adjusted mean ERI (β = 10.8 mg/l; 95% CI 3.52, 18.1 for hsCRP; β = 10.2 pg/ml; 95% CI 2.98, 17.5 for IL-6). No significant association of F2-isoprostanes concentrations with ERI was observed. Analyses restricted to baseline exposures and ERI showed similar results. Baseline hsCRP, IL-6, and isofurans concentrations in the highest quartiles were associated with greater predicted change in ERI over study follow-up compared to the lowest quartiles (P = 0.008, P = 0.004, and P = 0.04, respectively). There was no association between baseline F2-isoprostanes quartile and change in ERI.
CONCLUSIONS - In conclusion, higher concentrations of isofurans, hsCRP and IL-6, but not F2-isoprostanes, were associated with greater resistance to ESAs in prevalent HD patients. Further research is needed to test whether interventions that successfully decrease oxidative stress and inflammation in patients undergoing maintenance HD improve ESA responsiveness.
Trials raising concerns about erythropoiesis-stimulating agents, revisions to their labeling, and changes to practice guidelines and dialysis payment systems have provided strong stimuli to decrease erythropoiesis-stimulating agent use and increase intravenous iron administration in recent years. These factors have been associated with a rise in iron utilization, particularly among hemodialysis patients, and an unprecedented increase in serum ferritin concentrations. The mean serum ferritin concentration among United States dialysis patients in 2013 exceeded 800 ng/ml, with 18% of patients exceeding 1200 ng/ml. Although these changes are broad based, the wisdom of these practices is uncertain. Herein, we examine influences on and trends in intravenous iron utilization and assess the clinical trial, epidemiologic, and experimental evidence relevant to its safety and efficacy in the setting of maintenance dialysis. These data suggest a potential for harm from increasing use of parenteral iron in dialysis-dependent patients. In the absence of well powered, randomized clinical trials, available evidence will remain inadequate for making reliable conclusions about the effect of a ubiquitous therapy on mortality or other outcomes of importance to dialysis patients. Nephrology stakeholders have an urgent obligation to initiate well designed investigations of intravenous iron in order to ensure the safety of the dialysis population.
Copyright © 2015 by the American Society of Nephrology.
African Americans require higher doses of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) during dialysis to manage anemia, but the influence of sickle cell trait and other hemoglobinopathy traits on anemia in dialysis patients has not been adequately evaluated. We performed a cross-sectional study of a large cohort of adult African-American hemodialysis patients in the United States to determine the prevalence of hemoglobinopathy traits and quantify their influence on ESA dosing. Laboratory and clinical data were obtained over 6 months in 2011. Among 5319 African-American patients, 542 (10.2%) patients had sickle cell trait, and 129 (2.4%) patients had hemoglobin C trait; no other hemoglobinopathy traits were present. Sickle cell trait was more common in this cohort than the general African-American population (10.2% versus 6.5%-8.7%, respectively, P<0.05). Among 5002 patients (10.3% sickle cell trait and 2.4% hemoglobin C trait) receiving ESAs, demographic and clinical variables were similar across groups, with achieved hemoglobin levels being nearly identical. Patients with hemoglobinopathy traits received higher median doses of ESA than patients with normal hemoglobin (4737.4 versus 4364.1 units/treatment, respectively, P=0.02). In multivariable analyses, hemoglobinopathy traits associated with 13.2% more ESA per treatment (P=0.001). Within subgroups, sickle cell trait patients received 13.2% (P=0.003) higher dose and hemoglobin C trait patients exhibited a similar difference (12.9%, P=0.12). Sensitivity analyses using weight-based dosing definitions and separate logistic regression models showed comparable associations. Our findings suggest that the presence of sickle cell trait and hemoglobin C trait may explain, at least in part, prior observations of greater ESA doses administered to African-American dialysis patients relative to Caucasian patients.
BACKGROUND - Most dialysis patients require phosphate binders to control hyperphosphatemia. Ferric citrate has been tested in phase 2 trials as a phosphate binder. This trial was designed as a dose-response and efficacy trial.
STUDY DESIGN - Prospective, phase 3, multicenter, open-label, randomized clinical trial.
SETTING & PARTICIPANTS - 151 participants with hyperphosphatemia on maintenance hemodialysis therapy.
INTERVENTION - Fixed dose of ferric citrate taken orally as a phosphate binder for up to 28 days (1, 6, or 8 g/d in 51, 52, and 48 participants, respectively).
OUTCOMES - Primary outcome is dose-response of ferric citrate on serum phosphorus level; secondary outcomes are safety and tolerability.
MEASUREMENTS - Serum chemistry tests including phosphorus, safety data.
RESULTS - 151 participants received at least one dose of ferric citrate. Mean baseline phosphorus levels were 7.3 ± 1.7 (SD) mg/dL in the 1-g/d group, 7.6 ± 1.7 mg/dL in the 6-g/d group, and 7.5 ± 1.6 mg/dL in the 8-g/d group. Phosphorus levels decreased in a dose-dependent manner (mean change at end of treatment, -0.1 ± 1.3 mg/dL in the 1-g/d group, -1.9 ± 1.7 mg/dL in the 6-g/d group, and -2.1 ± 2.0 mg/dL in the 8-g/d group). The mean difference in reduction in phosphorus levels between the 6- and 1-g/d groups was 1.3 mg/dL (95% CI, 0.69 to 1.9; P < 0.001), between the 8- and 1-g/d groups was 1.5 mg/dL (95% CI, 0.86 to 2.1; P < 0.001), and between the 8- and 6-g/d groups was 0.21 mg/dL (95% CI, -0.39 to 0.81; P = 0.5). The most common adverse event was stool discoloration.
LIMITATIONS - Sample size and duration confirm efficacy, but limit our ability to confirm safety.
CONCLUSIONS - Ferric citrate is efficacious as a phosphate binder in a dose-dependent manner. A phase 3 trial is ongoing to confirm safety and efficacy.
Copyright © 2013 National Kidney Foundation, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Estimates suggest that one third of United States health care spending results from overuse or misuse of tests, procedures, and therapies. The American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation, in partnership with Consumer Reports, initiated the "Choosing Wisely" campaign to identify areas in patient care and resource use most open to improvement. Nine subspecialty organizations joined the campaign; each organization identified five tests, procedures, or therapies that are overused, are misused, or could potentially lead to harm or unnecessary health care spending. Each of the American Society of Nephrology's (ASN's) 10 advisory groups submitted recommendations for inclusion. The ASN Quality and Patient Safety Task Force selected five recommendations based on relevance and importance to individuals with kidney disease.Recommendations selected were: (1) Do not perform routine cancer screening for dialysis patients with limited life expectancies without signs or symptoms; (2) do not administer erythropoiesis-stimulating agents to CKD patients with hemoglobin levels ≥10 g/dl without symptoms of anemia; (3) avoid nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in individuals with hypertension, heart failure, or CKD of all causes, including diabetes; (4) do not place peripherally inserted central catheters in stage 3-5 CKD patients without consulting nephrology; (5) do not initiate chronic dialysis without ensuring a shared decision-making process between patients, their families, and their physicians.These five recommendations and supporting evidence give providers information to facilitate prudent care decisions and empower patients to actively participate in critical, honest conversations about their care, potentially reducing unnecessary health care spending and preventing harm.
The objective of this study is to determine the prevalence of adherence to daily medications among children with sickle cell disease (SCD). Prescription records for 12 months were obtained from participants who had insurance in a Medicaid-based single health maintenance organization. Adherence was measured as a ratio between the number of expected days and the observed days between two refill periods for daily medications. A total of 93 children were studied. The average refill prescription rate was 58.4%. More formal strategies are required to identify barriers to prescription refills among children with SCD.
2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
An elderly patient with pure red cell aplasia (PRCA) with antierythropoietin (anti-EPO) antibodies is described. PRCA due to alloimmunization is a rare and severe complication of recombinant human erythropoietin (rHu-EPO) therapy. Most reported patients with PRCA were cured primarily by immunosuppressive drug therapy. The patient in this case, however, did not want to receive any immunosuppressive drugs. Therefore, rHu-EPO injection was simply discontinued, the severe anemia gradually improved, and the hemoglobin approached normal range. This case is very rare and significant in that there have been few such elderly patients with rHu-EPO-induced PRCA in whom PRCA remission was achieved, with decreasing antibody titers, after cessation of rHu-EPO alone. Further cases are needed to assess how PRCA should be treated in patients with anti-EPO antibodies.