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      Diabetic Kidney Disease: Challenges, Advances, and Opportunities

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          Background: Diabetic kidney disease (DKD) is the most common cause of the end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Regardless of intensive treatments with hyperglycemic control, blood pressure control, and the use of renin-angiotensin system blockades, the prevalence of DKD remains high. Recent studies suggest that the spectrum of DKD has been changed and many progresses have been made to develop new treatments for DKD. Therefore, it is time to perform a systemic review on the new developments in the field of DKD. Summary: Although the classic clinical presentation of DKD is characterized by a slow progression from microalbuminuria to macroalbuminuria and by a hyperfiltration at the early stage and progressive decline of renal function at the late stage, recent epidemiological studies suggest that DKD patients have a variety of clinical presentations and progression rates to ESRD. Some DKD patients have a decline in renal function without albuminuria but display prominent vascular and interstitial fibrosis on renal histology. DKD patients are more susceptible to acute kidney injury, which might contribute to the interstitial fibrosis. A large portion of type 2 diabetic patients with albuminuria could have overlapping nondiabetic glomerular disease, and therefore, kidney biopsy is required for differential diagnosis for these patients. Only a small portion of DKD patients eventually progress to end-stage renal failure. However, we do not have sensitive and specific biomarkers to identify these high-risk patients. Genetic factors that have a strong association with DKD progression have not been identified yet. A combination of circulating tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNFR)1, TNFR2, and kidney injury molecular 1 provides predictive value for DKD progression. Artificial intelligence could enhance the predictive values for DKD progression by combining the clinical parameters and biological markers. Sodium-glucose co-transporter-2 inhibitors should be added to the new standard care of DKD patients. Several promising new drugs are in clinical trials. Key Messages: Over last years, our understanding of DKD has been much improved and new treatments to halt the progression of DKD are coming. However, better diagnostic tools, predictive markers, and treatment options are still urgently needed to help us to better manage these patients with this detrimental disease.

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          Most cited references 64

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          Renal insufficiency in the absence of albuminuria and retinopathy among adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

          Kidney disease in type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) is more heterogeneous than in type 1 DM. Reduced glomerular filtration rate (GFR) among individuals with type 2 DM may not always be due to classic diabetic glomerulosclerosis, which is associated with albuminuria and retinopathy. To determine the prevalence of chronic renal insufficiency (CRI), defined as a GFR less than 60 mL/min per 1.73 m2 body surface area (BSA) in the absence of microalbuminuria or macroalbuminuria and diabetic retinopathy among adults with type 2 DM. Cross-sectional analysis of adults aged 40 years or older with type 2 DM in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a probability sample of the total civilian US noninstitutionalized population conducted from 1988-1994. The GFR per 1.73 m2 BSA, calculated with serum creatinine, urea nitrogen, and serum albumin levels using the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease Study prediction equation; albuminuria, assessed using spot urine albumin/creatinine ratio; and presence of retinopathy, determined with fundus photography. Overall, 13% (sampled n = 171) of adults with type 2 DM (n = 1197) had CRI with a population estimate of 1.1 million. Among these adults with CRI, diabetic retinopathy was noted in 28% (n = 58), while the frequencies of microalbuminuria and macroalbuminuria were 45% (n = 64) and 19% (n = 47), respectively. Retinopathy and albuminuria (microalbuminuria or macroalbuminuria) were both absent in 30% (n = 51) of adults with type 2 DM and CRI. The population estimate of adults with type 2 DM and CRI in the absence of diabetic retinopathy or albuminuria was approximately 0.3 million. A substantial burden of CRI among persons with type 2 DM in the United States is likely due to renal parenchymal disease other than classic diabetic glomerulosclerosis. Approaches to screening renal disease in the type 2 DM population should incorporate assessment of GFR in addition to monitoring urine albumin excretion and funduscopic changes to ensure that individuals with type 2 DM and CRI not due to diabetic glomerulosclerosis will receive appropriate intervention.
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            Intensive diabetes therapy and glomerular filtration rate in type 1 diabetes.

            An impaired glomerular filtration rate (GFR) leads to end-stage renal disease and increases the risks of cardiovascular disease and death. Persons with type 1 diabetes are at high risk for kidney disease, but there are no interventions that have been proved to prevent impairment of the GFR in this population. In the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT), 1441 persons with type 1 diabetes were randomly assigned to 6.5 years of intensive diabetes therapy aimed at achieving near-normal glucose concentrations or to conventional diabetes therapy aimed at preventing hyperglycemic symptoms. Subsequently, 1375 participants were followed in the observational Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications (EDIC) study. Serum creatinine levels were measured annually throughout the course of the two studies. The GFR was estimated with the use of the Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration formula. We analyzed data from the two studies to determine the long-term effects of intensive diabetes therapy on the risk of impairment of the GFR, which was defined as an incident estimated GFR of less than 60 ml per minute per 1.73 m(2) of body-surface area at two consecutive study visits. Over a median follow-up period of 22 years in the combined studies, impairment of the GFR developed in 24 participants assigned to intensive therapy and in 46 assigned to conventional therapy (risk reduction with intensive therapy, 50%; 95% confidence interval, 18 to 69; P=0.006). Among these participants, end-stage renal disease developed in 8 participants in the intensive-therapy group and in 16 in the conventional-therapy group. As compared with conventional therapy, intensive therapy was associated with a reduction in the mean estimated GFR of 1.7 ml per minute per 1.73 m(2) during the DCCT study but during the EDIC study was associated with a slower rate of reduction in the GFR and an increase in the mean estimated GFR of 2.5 ml per minute per 1.73 m(2) (P<0.001 for both comparisons). The beneficial effect of intensive therapy on the risk of an impaired GFR was fully attenuated after adjustment for glycated hemoglobin levels or albumin excretion rates. The long-term risk of an impaired GFR was significantly lower among persons treated early in the course of type 1 diabetes with intensive diabetes therapy than among those treated with conventional diabetes therapy. (Funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and others; DCCT/EDIC numbers, NCT00360815 and NCT00360893.).
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              Circulating TNF receptors 1 and 2 predict ESRD in type 2 diabetes.

              Levels of proinflammatory cytokines associate with risk for developing type 2 diabetes but whether chronic inflammation contributes to the development of diabetic complications, such as ESRD, is unknown. In the 1990s, we recruited 410 patients with type 2 diabetes for studies of diabetic nephropathy and recorded their characteristics at enrollment. During 12 years of follow-up, 59 patients developed ESRD (17 per 1000 patient-years) and 84 patients died without ESRD (24 per 1000 patient-years). Plasma markers of systemic inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, and the TNF pathway were measured in the study entry samples. Of the examined markers, only TNF receptors 1 and 2 (TNFR1 and TNFR2) associated with risk for ESRD. These two markers were highly correlated, but ESRD associated more strongly with TNFR1. The cumulative incidence of ESRD for patients in the highest TNFR1 quartile was 54% after 12 years but only 3% for the other quartiles (P<0.001). In Cox proportional hazard analyses, TNFR1 predicted risk for ESRD even after adjustment for clinical covariates such as urinary albumin excretion. Plasma concentration of TNFR1 outperformed all tested clinical variables with regard to predicting ESRD. Concentrations of TNFRs moderately associated with death unrelated to ESRD. In conclusion, elevated concentrations of circulating TNFRs in patients with type 2 diabetes at baseline are very strong predictors of the subsequent progression to ESRD in subjects with and without proteinuria.

                Author and article information

                Kidney Diseases
                S. Karger AG
                July 2020
                31 March 2020
                : 6
                : 4
                : 215-225
                aDepartment of Medicine/Nephrology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York, USA
                bDepartment of Nephrology, Ren Ji Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China
                Author notes
                *John Cijiang He, MD, PhD, Department of Medicine/Nephrology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, One Gustave L Levy Place, Box 1243, New York, NY 10029 (USA),
                506634 Kidney Dis 2020;6:215–225
                © 2020 The Author(s) Published by S. Karger AG, Basel

                This article is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND). Usage and distribution for commercial purposes as well as any distribution of modified material requires written permission. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

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