Study focuses on dialysis success in children
A study by University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center researchers suggests dialysis is less effective than it should be.
Dialysis, which is used to treat adults and children who have kidney failure, flushes toxins and excess water from blood, according to an OU news release. In this study, researchers focused on a particular molecule to see what happens to it during dialysis in children.
“Cystatin C is a molecule that recently has been suggested as a better molecule for measuring how well kidneys work,” said Dr. Olivera Marsenic Couloures, a pediatric nephrologist with OU Children's Physicians. “We hypothesized that if Cystatin C is so good at measuring kidney function, then it is possibly also good at measuring artificial kidney function; i.e., dialysis.”
The study followed seven children through 21 dialysis sessions, the release notes. Doctors tested the children's blood to see how well Cystatin C and two other molecules were cleared during dialysis. They measured the change in Cystatin C levels between treatments.
The results? Not good.
Dialysis doesn't remove even a tiny amount of Cystatin C, which suggests current treatments don't touch similarly sized, larger molecules, either. Researchers also found that Cystatin C levels are higher in larger pediatric patients, a discovery that runs contrary to standard medical wisdom. The findings indicate a need for different, intensified dialysis treatments to remove larger molecules from patients' blood. They also signify that Cystatin C levels should be used to monitor the effectiveness of intensified treatments. The next step is to launch a clinical study with a larger number of patients. The Cystatin C research is published in the online edition of Pediatric Nephrology, a journal of the International Pediatric Nephrology Association.
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