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      What Is Uremia? Retention versus Oxidation

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      Blood Purification

      S. Karger AG

      Guanidino compounds, Retention solutes, Uremic toxins

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          The uremic syndrome is characterized by the retention of a host of compounds which in healthy subjects are secreted into the urine by the healthy kidneys. These compounds disturb many physiologic functions, resulting in toxicity. However, many of the retained compounds as well as many of the pathophysiologic actions of the known retention solutes remain unknown. In this publication, we review recent information on uremic toxicity. Especially the difficulty to remove compounds, such as protein-bound compounds and larger molecules, seems to play a crucial role. New strategies enhancing their removal might be highly useful. Part of the retained compounds are the result of oxidative processes due to the inflammatory status of uremic patients; however, other compounds are not, and even the concentration of oxidative compounds will be further increased by disturbances of urinary clearance.

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          Most cited references 21

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          Folate treatment and unbalanced methylation and changes of allelic expression induced by hyperhomocysteinaemia in patients with uraemia.

          Hyperhomocysteinaemia occurs in several genetically determined and acquired disorders and is highly prevalent in patients with uraemia. In these disorders, homocysteine precursor S-adenosylhomocysteine, a powerful competitive inhibitor of S-adenosylmethionine-dependent methyltransferases, is increased, suggesting unbalanced methylation. We aimed to investigate whether DNA hypomethylation is present in patients with uraemia who also have hyperhomocysteinaemia and whether regulation of specific classes of genes, dependent on DNA methylation, is compromised. We selected men with hyperhomocysteinaemia and uraemia who were having standard haemodialysis treatment, and compared them with healthy male controls. We measured the homocysteine concentration from plasma samples and obtained DNA and RNA samples from peripheral mononuclear cells. DNA methylation was assessed by cytosine extension assay and by Southern blotting. Allelic expression of pseudoautosomal and imprinted genes was investigated by analysis of suitable restriction fragment length polymorphisms. Total DNA hypomethylation was higher in patients than in controls (z score -4.593, p=0.0006) and allelic expression was changed in both sex-linked and imprinted genes. The shift from monoallelic to biallelic expression was dependent on homocysteine concentrations. Folate therapy, a common method to reduce hyperhomocysteinaemia, restored DNA methylation to normal levels and corrected the patterns of gene expression. Our results suggest that hyperhomocysteinaemia affects epigenetic control of gene expression, which can be reverted by folate treatment. Our data support the hypothesis that the toxic action of homocysteine can be mediated by macromolecule hypomethylation.
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            Atherosclerotic renal artery stenosis: epidemiology, cardiovascular outcomes, and clinical prediction rules.

            Atherosclerotic renal artery stenosis is the most common primary disease of the renal arteries, and it is associated with two major clinical syndromes, ischemic renal disease and hypertension. The prevalence of this disease in the population is undefined because there is no simple and reliable test that can be applied on a large scale. Renal artery involvement in patients with coronary heart disease and/or heart failure is frequent, and it may influence cardiovascular outcomes and survival in these patients. Suspecting renal arterial stenosis in patients with recurrent episodes of pulmonary edema is justified by observations showing that about one third of elderly patients with heart failure display atherosclerotic renal disease. Whether interventions aimed at restoring arterial patency may reduce the high mortality in patients with heart failure is still unclear because, to date, no prospective study has been carried out in these patients. Increased awareness of the need for cost containment has renewed the interest in clinical cues for suspecting renovascular hypertension. In this regard, the DRASTIC study constitutes an important attempt at validating clinical prediction rules. In this study, a clinical rule was derived that predicted renal artery stenosis as efficiently as renal scintigraphy (sensitivity: clinical rule, 65% versus scintigraphy, 72%; specificity: 87% versus 92%). When tested in a systematic and quantitative manner, clinical findings can perform as accurately as more complex tests in the detection of renal artery stenosis.
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              Removal of middle molecules and protein-bound solutes by peritoneal dialysis and relation with uremic symptoms.

              Current guidelines for peritoneal dialysis adequacy are based on kinetics of small water-soluble molecules and do not consider the role of other compounds such as middle molecules and protein-bound solutes. Information on the elimination characteristics of the latter solutes by peritoneal dialysis is limited. Moreover, their relation with uremic symptoms remains unclear. The aim of the present study was (1) to investigate the relative contribution of residual renal function to the overall clearances of beta2-microglobulin (beta2m), a middle molecule, and p-cresol, a protein-bound solute, in adults on peritoneal dialysis as compared to small water-soluble molecules and (2) to evaluate relations between serum levels and uremic symptoms. We performed a cross-sectional observational study, including 30 nonanuric peritoneal dialysis patients. Total, peritoneal, and renal clearances were calculated for urea nitrogen (60 D), creatinine (113 D), phosphate (96 D), beta2m (11.8 kD), and p-cresol (108 D). All patients were asked to complete a uremic symptom questionnaire. Declining total clearances (L/week/1.73 m2) were measured for urea nitrogen, creatinine, phosphate, beta2m, and p-cresol, respectively: 97.3 +/- 4.6, 98.9 +/- 6.1, 64.0 +/- 3.4, 23.1 +/- 2.6, and 17.5 +/- 2.3 (Friedman test P < 0.001). Conversely, the contribution of residual renal function (%) to the respective solute clearances increased significantly: 31.6 +/- 3.2, 51.0 +/- 4.0, 42.4 +/- 4.0, 68.0 +/- 5.4, 61.9 +/- 4.6 (Friedman test P < 0.001). The serum level of p-cresol, but of none of the other solutes examined, correlated significantly with the symptom score (Pearson r= 0.48, P= 0.008). During peritoneal dialysis p-cresol behaves like beta2m, probably due to its protein binding. The total clearance of both molecules is significantly lower as compared to water-soluble solutes and mainly depends on residual renal function. Our data further suggest that protein-bound solutes are involved in the pathophysiology of uremic symptoms.

                Author and article information

                Blood Purif
                Blood Purification
                S. Karger AG
                December 2005
                23 December 2005
                : 24
                : 1
                : 33-38
                Nephrology Section, Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium
                89434 Blood Purif 2006;24:33–38
                © 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                References: 32, Pages: 6
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                Cardiovascular Medicine, Nephrology

                Guanidino compounds, Uremic toxins, Retention solutes


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