We investigated the value of genetic, histopathologic, and early treatment response information in prognosing long-term renal outcome in children with primary steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome. From the PodoNet Registry, we obtained longitudinal clinical information for 1354 patients (disease onset at >3 months and <20 years of age): 612 had documented responsiveness to intensified immunosuppression (IIS), 1155 had kidney biopsy results, and 212 had an established genetic diagnosis. We assessed risk factors for ESRD using multivariate Cox regression models. Complete and partial remission of proteinuria within 12 months of disease onset occurred in 24.5% and 16.5% of children, respectively, with the highest remission rates achieved with calcineurin inhibitor-based protocols. Ten-year ESRD-free survival rates were 43%, 94%, and 72% in children with IIS resistance, complete remission, and partial remission, respectively; 27% in children with a genetic diagnosis; and 79% and 52% in children with histopathologic findings of minimal change glomerulopathy and FSGS, respectively. Five-year ESRD-free survival rate was 21% for diffuse mesangial sclerosis. IIS responsiveness, presence of a genetic diagnosis, and FSGS or diffuse mesangial sclerosis on initial biopsy as well as age, serum albumin concentration, and CKD stage at onset affected ESRD risk. Our findings suggest that responsiveness to initial IIS and detection of a hereditary podocytopathy are prognostic indicators of favorable and poor long-term outcome, respectively, in children with steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome. Children with multidrug-resistant sporadic disease show better renal survival than those with genetic disease. Furthermore, histopathologic findings may retain prognostic relevance when a genetic diagnosis is established.
Congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract (CAKUT) are a major cause of pediatric kidney failure. We performed a genome-wide analysis of copy number variants (CNVs) in 2,824 cases and 21,498 controls. Affected individuals carried a significant burden of rare exonic (i.e. affecting coding regions) CNVs and were enriched for known genomic disorders (GD). Kidney anomaly (KA) cases were most enriched for exonic CNVs, encompassing GD-CNVs and novel deletions; obstructive uropathy (OU) had a lower CNV burden and an intermediate prevalence of GD-CNVs; vesicoureteral reflux (VUR) had the fewest GD-CNVs but was enriched for novel exonic CNVs, particularly duplications. Six loci (1q21, 4p16.1-p16.3, 16p11.2, 16p13.11, 17q12, and 22q11.2) accounted for 65% of patients with GD-CNVs. Deletions at 17q12, 4p16.1-p16.3, and 22q11.2 were specific for KA; the 16p11.2 locus showed extensive pleiotropy. Using a multidisciplinary approach, we identified TBX6 as a driver for the CAKUT subphenotypes in the 16p11.2 microdeletion syndrome.
BACKGROUND The DiGeorge syndrome, the most common of the microdeletion syndromes, affects multiple organs, including the heart, the nervous system, and the kidney. It is caused by deletions on chromosome 22q11.2; the genetic driver of the kidney defects is unknown. METHODS We conducted a genomewide search for structural variants in two cohorts: 2080 patients with congenital kidney and urinary tract anomalies and 22,094 controls. We performed exome and targeted resequencing in samples obtained from 586 additional patients with congenital kidney anomalies. We also carried out functional studies using zebrafish and mice. RESULTS We identified heterozygous deletions of 22q11.2 in 1.1% of the patients with congenital kidney anomalies and in 0.01% of population controls (odds ratio, 81.5; P=4.5×10−14). We localized the main drivers of renal disease in the DiGeorge syndrome to a 370-kb region containing nine genes. In zebrafish embryos, an induced loss of function in snap29, aifm3, and crkl resulted in renal defects; the loss of crkl alone was sufficient to induce defects. Five of 586 patients with congenital urinary anomalies had newly identified, heterozygous protein-altering variants, including a premature termination codon, in CRKL. The inactivation of Crkl in the mouse model induced developmental defects similar to those observed in patients with congenital urinary anomalies. CONCLUSIONS We identified a recurrent 370-kb deletion at the 22q11.2 locus as a driver of kidney defects in the DiGeorge syndrome and in sporadic congenital kidney and urinary tract anomalies. Of the nine genes at this locus, SNAP29, AIFM3, and CRKL appear to be critical to the phenotype, with haploinsufficiency of CRKL emerging as the main genetic driver. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and others.)
We assessed the long-term renal complications in a regional cohort of extremely low birth weight (ELBW) children born in 2002–2004. The study group, comprising 78 children born as ELBW infants (88% of the available cohort), was evaluated with measurement of serum cystatin C, urinary albumin excretion, renal ultrasound, and 24-h ambulatory blood pressure measurements. The control group included 38 children born full-term selected from one general practice in the district. Study patients were evaluated at a mean age of 6.7 years, and had a median birthweight of 890 g (25th–75th percentile: 760–950 g) and a median gestational age of 27 weeks (25th–75th percentile: 26–29 weeks). Mean serum cystatin C levels were significantly higher (0.64 vs. 0.59 mg/l; p = 0.01) in the ELBW group. Hypertension was diagnosed in 8/78 ELBW and 2/38 of the control children (p = 0.5). Microalbuminuria (>20 mg/g of creatinine) was detected only in five ELBW children (p = 0.17). The mean renal volume was significantly lower in the ELBW group (absolute kidney volume 81 ml vs. 113 ml; p < 0.001, relative kidney volume 85 vs. 97%; p < 0.001). Abnormally small kidneys (<2/3 of predicted size) were detected in 19 ELBW and four control children (p = 0.08). Multivariate logistic regression revealed that the only independent risk factor for renal complications was weight gained during neonatal hospitalization (odds ratio: 0.67; 95% confidence interval: 0.39–0.94). Serum cystatin C and kidney volume are significantly lower in school-age ELBW children. It is important to include systematic renal evaluation in the follow-up programs of ELBW infants.
Candesartan cilexetil dose-dependently decreases blood pressure and albuminuria in hypertensive infants and is generally well tolerated.
Obesity has become a major epidemic in the 21st century. It increases the risk of dyslipidemia, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes, which are known cardiometabolic risk factors and components of the metabolic syndrome. Although overt cardiovascular (CV) diseases such as stroke or myocardial infarction are the domain of adulthood, it is evident that the CV continuum begins very early in life. Recognition of risk factors and early stages of CV damage, at a time when these processes are still reversible, and the development of prevention strategies are major pillars in reducing CV morbidity and mortality in the general population. In this review, we will discuss the role of well-known but also novel risk factors linking obesity and increased CV risk from prenatal age to adulthood, including the role of perinatal factors, diet, nutrigenomics, and nutri-epigenetics, hyperuricemia, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and cardiorespiratory fitness. The importance of ‘tracking’ of these risk factors on adult CV health is highlighted and the economic impact of childhood obesity as well as preventive strategies are discussed.
Rare single-gene disorders cause chronic disease. However, half of the 6,000 recessive single gene causes of disease are still unknown. Because recessive disease genes can illuminate, at least in part, disease pathomechanism, their identification offers direct opportunities for improved clinical management and potentially treatment. Rare diseases comprise the majority of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in children but are notoriously difficult to diagnose. Whole exome resequencing facilitates identification of recessive disease genes. However, its utility is impeded by the large number of genetic variants detected. We here overcome this limitation by combining homozygosity mapping with whole exome resequencing in 10 sib pairs with a nephronophthisisrelated ciliopathy, which represents the most frequent genetic cause of CKD in the first three decades of life. In 7 of 10 sib-ships with a histologic or ultrasonographic diagnosis of nephronophthisis-related ciliopathy we detect the causative gene. In six sib-ships we identify mutations of known nephronophthisis-related ciliopathy genes, while in two additional sib-ships we found mutations in the known CKD-causing genes SLC4A1 and AGXT as phenocopies of nephronophthisis-related ciliopathy. Thus whole exome resequencing establishes an efficient, noninvasive approach towards early detection and causation-based diagnosis of rare kidney diseases. This approach can be extended to other rare recessive disorders, thereby providing accurate diagnosis and facilitating the study of disease mechanisms.
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