Journal of the American Society of Nephrology

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This Month's Highlights

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Using Electronic Health Record Data to Rapidly Identify Children with Glomerular Disease for Clinical Research

Background
The rarity of pediatric glomerular disease makes it difficult to identify sufficient numbers of participants for clinical trials. This leaves limited data to guide improvements in care for these patients.

Methods
The authors developed and tested an electronic health record (EHR) algorithm to identify children with glomerular disease. We used EHR data from 231 patients with glomerular disorders at a single center to develop a computerized algorithm comprising diagnosis, kidney biopsy, and transplant procedure codes. The algorithm was tested using PEDSnet, a national network of eight children’s hospitals with data on >6.5 million children. Patients with three or more nephrologist encounters (n=55,560) not meeting the computable phenotype definition of glomerular disease were defined as nonglomerular cases. A reviewer blinded to case status used a standardized form to review random samples of cases (n=800) and nonglomerular cases (n=798).

Results
The final algorithm consisted of two or more diagnosis codes from a qualifying list or one diagnosis code and a pretransplant biopsy. Performance characteristics among the population with three or more nephrology encounters were sensitivity, 96% (95% CI, 94% to 97%); specificity, 93% (95% CI, 91% to 94%); positive predictive value (PPV), 89% (95% CI, 86% to 91%); negative predictive value, 97% (95% CI, 96% to 98%); and area under the receiver operating characteristics curve, 94% (95% CI, 93% to 95%). Requiring that the sum of nephrotic syndrome diagnosis codes exceed that of glomerulonephritis codes identified children with nephrotic syndrome or biopsy-based minimal change nephropathy, FSGS, or membranous nephropathy, with 94% sensitivity and 92% PPV. The algorithm identified 6657 children with glomerular disease across PEDSnet, ≥50% of whom were seen within 18 months.

Conclusions
The authors developed an EHR-based algorithm and demonstrated that it had excellent classification accuracy across PEDSnet. This tool may enable faster identification of cohorts of pediatric patients with glomerular disease for observational or prospective studies.

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http://jasn.asnjournals.org/cgi/content/short/30/12/2427?rss=1

Racial Differences and Factors Associated with Pregnancy in ESKD Patients on Dialysis in the United States

Background
Pregnancy in women with ESKD undergoing dialysis is uncommon due to impaired fertility. Data on pregnancy in women on dialysis in the United States is scarce.

Methods
We evaluated a retrospective cohort of 47,555 women aged 15–44 years on dialysis between January 1, 2005 and December 31, 2013 using data from the United States Renal Data System with Medicare as primary payer. We calculated pregnancy rates and identified factors associated with pregnancy.

Results
In 47,555 women on dialysis, 2352 pregnancies were identified. Pregnancy rate was 17.8 per thousand person years (PTPY) with the highest rate in women aged 20–24 (40.9 PTPY). In the adjusted time-to-event analysis, a higher likelihood of pregnancy was seen in Native American (HR, 1.77; 95% CI, 1.33 to 2.36), Hispanic (HR, 1.51; 95% CI, 1.32 to 1.73), and black (HR, 1.33; 95% CI, 1.18 to 1.49) women than in white women. A higher rate of pregnancy was seen in women with ESKD due to malignancy (HR, 1.64; 95% CI, 1.27 to 2.12), GN (HR, 1.38; 95% CI, 1.21 to 1.58), hypertension (HR, 1.32; 95% CI, 1.16 to 1.51), and secondary GN/vasculitis (HR, 1.18; 95% CI, 1.02 to 1.37) than ESKD due to diabetes. A lower likelihood of pregnancy was seen among women on peritoneal dialysis than on hemodialysis (HR, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.41 to 0.55).

Conclusions
The pregnancy rate is higher in women on dialysis than previous reports indicate. A higher likelihood of pregnancy was associated with race/ethnicity, ESKD cause, and dialysis modality.

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http://jasn.asnjournals.org/cgi/content/short/30/12/2437?rss=1

Race, Pregnancy, and ESKD

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http://jasn.asnjournals.org/cgi/content/short/30/12/2280?rss=1

Use of Highly Individualized Complement Blockade Has Revolutionized Clinical Outcomes after Kidney Transplantation and Renal Epidemiology of Atypical Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome

Background
Atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) is associated with high recurrence rates after kidney transplant, with devastating outcomes. In late 2011, experts in France recommended the use of highly individualized complement blockade–based prophylaxis with eculizumab to prevent post-transplant atypical HUS recurrence throughout the country.

Methods
To evaluate this strategy’s effect on kidney transplant prognosis, we conducted a retrospective multicenter study from a large French nationwide registry, enrolling all adult patients with atypical HUS who had undergone complement analysis and a kidney transplant since January 1, 2007. To assess how atypical HUS epidemiology in France in the eculizumab era evolved, we undertook a population-based cohort study that included all adult patients with atypical HUS (n=397) between 2007 and 2016.

Results
The first study included 126 kidney transplants performed in 116 patients, 58.7% and 34.1% of which were considered to be at a high and moderate risk of atypical HUS recurrence, respectively. Eculizumab prophylaxis was used in 52 kidney transplants, including 39 at high risk of recurrence. Atypical HUS recurred after 43 (34.1%) of the transplants; in four cases, patients had received eculizumab prophylaxis and in 39 cases they did not. Use of prophylactic eculizumab was independently associated with a significantly reduced risk of recurrence and with significantly longer graft survival. In the second, population-based cohort study, the proportion of transplant recipients among patients with ESKD and atypical HUS sharply increased between 2012 and 2016, from 46.2% to 72.3%, and showed a close correlation with increasing eculizumab use among the transplant recipients.

Conclusions
Results from this observational study are consistent with benefit from eculizumab prophylaxis based on pretransplant risk stratification and support the need for a rigorous randomized trial.

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http://jasn.asnjournals.org/cgi/content/short/30/12/2449?rss=1

Exploring Care Attributes of Nephrologists Ranking Favorably on Measures of Value

Background
Despite growth in value-based payment, attributes of nephrology care associated with payer-defined value remains unexplored.

Methods
Using national health insurance claims data from private preferred provider organization plans, we ranked nephrology practices using total cost of care and a composite of common quality metrics. Blinded to practice rankings, we conducted site visits at four highly ranked and three average ranked practices to identify care attributes more frequently present in highly ranked practices. A panel of nephrologists used a modified Delphi method to score each distinguishing attribute on its potential to affect quality and cost of care and ease of transfer to other nephrology practices.

Results
Compared with average-value peers, high-value practices were located in areas with a relatively higher proportion of black and Hispanic patients and a lower proportion of patients aged >65 years. Mean risk-adjusted per capita monthly total spending was 24% lower for high-value practices. Twelve attributes comprising five general themes were observed more frequently in high-value nephrology practices: preventing near-term costly health crises, supporting patient self-care, maximizing effectiveness of office visits, selecting cost-effective diagnostic and treatment options, and developing infrastructure to support high-value care. The Delphi panel rated four attributes highly on effect and transferability: rapidly adjustable office visit frequency for unstable patients, close monitoring and management to preserve kidney function, early planning for vascular access, and education to support self-management at every contact.

Conclusions
Findings from this small-scale exploratory study may serve as a starting point for nephrologists seeking to improve on payer-specified value measures.

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http://jasn.asnjournals.org/cgi/content/short/30/12/2464?rss=1

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