Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Strategies For BK Virus Nephropathy Compared

Date:
November 26, 2008
Source:
American Society of Nephrology
Summary:
For kidney transplant recipients with a serious complication called BK virus-associated nephropathy, promptly cutting back on anti-rejection drugs reduces the risk of losing the kidney, according to a new report.

For kidney transplant recipients with a serious complication called BK virus-associated nephropathy (BKVAN), promptly cutting back on anti-rejection drugs reduces the risk of losing the kidney (graft loss), according to a new report.

Related Articles


"Our study is the first that demonstrates differences in outcomes when comparing two different immunosuppression tapering approaches in BKVAN, an increasingly prevalent, discouraging problem after kidney transplantation," comments Alexander C.Wiseman, MD, of the University of Colorado at Denver Health Sciences Center, one of the study authors.

The researchers compared the results of competing strategies for reducing immunosuppressive therapy in kidney transplant recipients with BKVAN. "Recognized slightly more than 10 years ago, BKVAN is caused by reactivation of a virus that exists latent in about 80 percent of all human kidneys," explains Dr. Wiseman. In healthy people, the BK virus is harmless.

However, in patients receiving immunosuppressive drugs to prevent rejection after kidney transplantation, the BK virus can become reactivated. "BKVAN occurs in two to 10 percent of kidney transplant recipients, routinely causing irreversible graft injury with a high frequency of graft loss," says Dr. Wiseman.

Of 910 patients receiving kidney transplants between 1999 and 2005, 3.8 percent developed BKVAN. Of these, 46 percent eventually lost the transplanted kidney. One group of patients was treated using a "withdrawal" strategy, in which the number of immunosuppressive drugs was cut back from three to two. Another group was treated by a "reduction" strategy, with a reduced dose of all three medications. The idea is that cutting back on anti-rejection drugs will allow the body's immune system to become strong enough to fight off the BK virus.

One year later, the transplanted kidney was still functioning in 88 percent of patients treated by the "withdrawal" strategy, compared to 56 percent with the "reduction" strategy. Early withdrawal of immunosuppressive drugs—within one month after the diagnosis of BKVAN—reduced the risk of graft loss by two-thirds.

Another treatment, called depleting antibody induction, was associated with a fourfold increase in the risk of graft loss. All of the treatment differences remained significant after adjustment for other factors.

Outcomes were much better when BKVAN was managed by specialists at the transplant center. For these patients, the risk of graft loss was eleven times lower than for patients managed by the patient's home nephrologist, in cooperation with the transplant center. This may have partially reflected the large number of patients from rural areas, drawn from five Western states, treated at the University of Colorado transplant center.

The results highlight the need for increased awareness and early diagnosis of BKVAN, with "aggressive tapering of immunosuppression" as soon as the diagnosis is made, according to Dr. Wiseman. "Our study also identifies a potential need for the general nephrology community to adopt screening strategies for BKVAN, and to understand the prevalence and severity of the disease outside the transplant center." Dr. Wiseman also notes some limitations of the study, including the fact that it was retrospective in nature and did not include a large percentage of black patients.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society of Nephrology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Aggressive Immunosuppression Minimization Reduces Graft Loss Following Diagnosis of BK Virus-Associated Nephropathy: A Comparison of Two Reduction Strategies. Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, November 2008

Cite This Page:

American Society of Nephrology. "Strategies For BK Virus Nephropathy Compared." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 November 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081126122215.htm>.
American Society of Nephrology. (2008, November 26). Strategies For BK Virus Nephropathy Compared. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081126122215.htm
American Society of Nephrology. "Strategies For BK Virus Nephropathy Compared." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081126122215.htm (accessed February 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Hikers Rescued After Fall from Oregon Mountain

Hikers Rescued After Fall from Oregon Mountain

AP (Feb. 1, 2015) Two climbers who were hurt in a fall on Mount Hood are now being treated for their injuries. Rescue officials say they were airlifted off the mountain Saturday afternoon by an Oregon National Guard helicopter. (Feb. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Glasses Augment Reality to Help Visually Impaired

Smart Glasses Augment Reality to Help Visually Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Feb. 1, 2015) New augmented reality smart glasses developed by researchers at Oxford University can help people with visual impairments improve their vision by providing depth-based feedback, allowing users to "see" better. Joel Flynn reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flu Season Hitting Elderly Hard

Flu Season Hitting Elderly Hard

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 31, 2015) The CDC says this year&apos;s flu season is hitting people 65 years of age and older especially hard. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The CDC is urging people to get vaccinated for measles amid an outbreak that began at Disneyland and has now infected more than 90 people. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins