The accuracy of hospital discharge records and their use in identifying and staging chronic kidney disease

Abstract

Administrative databases contain precious information that can support the identification of specific pathologies. Specifically, chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients could be identified using hospital discharge records (HDR); these should contain information on the CKD stage using subcategories of the ICD9-CM classification’s 585 code (subcategories can be expressed just by adding a fourth digit to this code). To verify the accuracy of HDR data regarding the coding of CKD collected in the Italian region Emilia-Romagna, we analyzed the HDR records of patients enrolled in the PIRP project, which could easily be matched with eGFR data obtained through laboratory examinations. The PIRP database was used as the gold standard because it contains data on CKD patients followed up since 2004 in thirteen regional nephrology units and includes data obtained from reliable and homogeneous laboratory measurement.

All HDR of PIRP patients enrolled between 2009 and 2017 were retrieved and matched with available laboratory data on eGFR, collected within 15 days before or after discharge. We analyzed 4.168 HDR, which were classified as: a) unreported CKD (n=1.848, 44.3%); b) unspecified CKD, when code 585.9 (CKD, not specified) or 586 was used (n=446, 10.7%); c) wrong CKD (n=833, 20.0%); d) correct CKD (n=1041, 25.0%). We noticed the proportion of unreported CKD growing from 32.9% in 2009 to 56.6% in 2017, and the correspondent proportion of correct CKDs decreasing from 25.4% to 22.3%. Across disciplines, Nephrology showed the highest concordance (69.1%) between the CKD stage specified in the HDRs and the stage reported in the matched laboratory exam, while none of the other disciplines, except for Geriatrics, reached 20% concordance. When the CKD stage was incorrectly coded, it was generally underestimated; among HDRs with unreported or unspecified CKD at least half of the discharges were matched with lab exams reporting CKD in stage 4 or 5.

We found that the quality of CKD stage coding in the HDR record database was very poor, and insufficient to identify CKD patients unknown to nephrologists. Moreover, the growing proportion of unreported CKD could have an adverse effect on patients’ timely referral to a nephrologist, since general practitioners might remain unaware of their patients’ illness. Actions aimed at improving the training of the operators in charge of HDRs compilation and, most of all, at allowing the exploitation of the informative potential of HDRs for epidemiological research are thus needed.

 

Keywords: chronic kidney disease, hospital discharge records, administrative databases, CKD stage, identification of CKD

Sorry, this entry is only available in Italian.

Epidemiologia delle malattie renali nell’anziano

Abstract

L’allungamento dell’aspettativa di vita e la ridotta natalità nella maggior parte dei paesi sviluppati o in via di sviluppo ha determinato un significativo invecchiamento della popolazione, con aumento progressivo delle classi di età più anziane anche se la tradizionale definizione su base anagrafica (> 65 anni) di “soggetto anziano” sembra attualmente limitante.  L’Italia rappresenta una delle nazioni a più alto indice di invecchiamento.

I cambiamenti in termini demografici hanno comportato anche una transizione di carattere epidemiologico, con riduzione delle patologie infettive e acute e progressivo aumento di quelle cronico-degenerative come l’ipertensione, il diabete, la malattia cardiovascolare e, in quanto strettamente correlata, la malattia renale cronica (CKD) nei suoi vari stadi fino all’uremia (ESRD) e al trattamento sostitutivo.

Le casistiche nazionali e internazionali confermano come CKD ed ESRD siano più frequenti nella popolazione anziana, spesso associate a fragilità o ad altre comorbilità.

La prevalenza globale di CKD in Italia resta comunque relativamente bassa, se confrontata ad altri paesi, soprattutto per gli stadi più avanzati, nonostante la maggior percentuale di popolazione anziana a livello nazionale.

Oltre la metà dei nuovi ingressi in trattamento sostitutivo per ESRD in Italia è rappresentato da pazienti con 65 o più anni e l’età avanzata rappresenta per questi soggetti un fattore prognostico negativo, gravando la terapia dialitica di una elevata mortalità precoce nei primi tre mesi.

Lo sforzo attuale e nei prossimi anni in ambito nefrologico sarà quello di migliorare lo studio e il potere prognostico dei fattori di rischio di questa vasta ma verosimilmente eterogenea popolazione, non solo in termini di evoluzione della malattia renale o di sopravvivenza ma anche di qualità di vita.

PAROLE CHIAVE: Malattia renale cronica, Anziano, Epidemiologia, Demografia

Sorry, this entry is only available in Italian.

Efficacy of sodium thiosulphate in a case of calciphylaxis in a chronic nephropathic ninety-year-old patient on conservative therapy

Abstract

Calcific uremic arteriolopathy, also known as calciphylaxis (CUA), is a rare and potentially fatal condition that occurs in 1-4% of the population with chronic renal failure, most often on dialysis treatment. The pathogenesis is not yet clear although several hypotheses have been advanced, most importantly the alteration of the calcium phosphorus metabolism. Administration of sodium thiosulfate (STS) is the emerging therapy. Below, we report the case of an elderly chronic kidney patient on conservative therapy suffering from CUA who has been successfully treated with STS.

 

KEYWORDS: calciphylaxis, sodium thiosulfate, chronic kidney disease

Sorry, this entry is only available in Italian.

Temporal variation of Chronic Kidney Disease’s epidemiology

Abstract

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is a major risk factor for mortality and morbidity, as well as a growing public health problem. Several studies describe the epidemiology of CKD (i.e. prevalence, incidence) by examining short time intervals. Conversely, the trend of epidemiology over time has not been well investigated, although it may provide useful information on how to improve prevention measures and the allocation of economic resources. Our aim here is to describe the main aspects of the epidemiology of CKD by focusing on its temporal variation. The global incidence of CKD has increased by 89% in the last 27 years, primarily due to the improved socio-demographic index and life-expectancy. Prevalence has similarly increased by 87% over the same period. Mortality rate has however decreased over the last decades, both in the general and CKD populations, due to a reduction in cardiovascular and infectious disease mortality. It is important to emphasize that the upward trend of incidence and prevalence of CKD can be explained by the ageing of the population, as well as by the increase in the prevalence of comorbidities such as hypertension, diabetes and obesity. It seems hard to compare trends between Italy and other countries because of the different methods used to assess epidemiologic measures. The creation of specific CKD Registries in Italy appears therefore necessary to monitor the trend of CKD and its comorbidities over time.

Keywords: chronic kidney disease, CKD, epidemiology, registers, socio-demographic index

Sorry, this entry is only available in Italian.

Challenges and results of the PIRP project (Prevenzione della Insufficienza Renale Progressiva) of the Emilia-Romagna Region

Abstract

The PIRP project was conceived in 2004; with the aim to face the increased prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) associated with the aging and increased survival of the population. The first phase of the project consisted of training primary care physicians to identify people at risk of CKD and to implement intervention strategies that proved to be effective in preventing CKD it or delaying its progression once it is established. In the second phase of the project, dedicated ambulatories were opened in the nephrology units of Emilia-Romagna hospitals to provide an in-depth assessment and personalized care to CKD patients, following them up until renal failure or death or referring them back to general practitioners, according to the study protocol. A web-based registry was implemented to collect demographic and clinical data on PIRP patients. As of 30 June 2018, the registry included 26.211 CKD patients, with a median follow-up of 24.5 months. Over the 14 years of the PIRP the mean age of incident patients increased from 71.0 years to 74.2 years and the mean eGFR increased from 30.56 to 36.52 mL/min/1.73 m2, proving that the project was successful in recruiting older patients with a better renal function. At 5 years, the percentage of patients still active in the project was >45%.The implementation of the project has seen a reduction in the number of patients arriving every year to the dialysis treatment in E-R (about 100 units less from 2006 to 2016). The PIRP cohort is the largest in Italy and in Europe, which makes it ideal for research based on international comparisons and as a model for national registries.

Keywords: Renal insufficiency, CKD, GP, GFR, Proteinuria, Public Health Intervention

Sorry, this entry is only available in Italian.

Direct-acting antiviral agents, hepatitis C and dialysis: an update

Abstract

Hepatitis C virus infection is still common among patients with chronic kidney disease, particularly within Dialysis Units all over the world. Although the full extent of HCV transmission in dialysis units is unknown, outbreaks of HCV infection continue to occur all over the world. Evidence has been accumulated in the last decade suggesting that HCV plays consistent activity at hepatic and extra-hepatic level. A recent systematic review of the medical literature with a meta-analysis of clinical studies retrieved 15 longitudinal studies (n=2,299,134 patients); we found a significant relationship between anti-HCV positive serologic status and higher frequency of CKD; the summary estimate for adjusted hazard risk with HCV across the surveys, 1.54 (95% CI, 1.26; 1.87) (P<0.0001). The advent of direct-acting antiviral agents has revolutionized the therapy of HCV, including patients with advanced chronic kidney disease. Two regimens based on DAAs have been recently approved for the antiviral therapy of HCV in patients with CKD stage 4/5: elbasvir/grazoprevir and glecaprevir/pibrentasvir. Such regimens have been provided with high efficacy and safety, according to the results given by C-SURFER and EXPEDITION-4, respectively. Sofosbuvir, a non-structural 5B polymerase inhibitor, is the backbone of many anti-HCV drug regimens, and has significant renal excretion. As a result, the use of sofosbuvir is not recommended in patients with an eGFR <30 mL/min/1.73m2. In summary, recent studies have shown that several combinations of DAAs are currently available for CKD patients, including those with CKD stage 4/5. These drugs have reported high efficacy and satisfactory tolerability, regardless of HCV genotype or renal impairment. We need to improve the screening for HCV and the access to DAAs in patients with CKD stage 4/5.

 

Keywords: Chronic kidney disease; Dialysis; Direct-acting antiviral agents; Hepatitis C; Sustained virological response

Sorry, this entry is only available in Italian.

Day of Prevention of Renal Diseases in Amatrice, Italy

Abstract

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a very common condition and its prevalence is increasing worldwide. The CARHES study in Italy showed a prevalence of 6.5% in women and 7.5% in men. As a matter of fact, an early diagnosis is essential to slow down the progression and improve the renal and cardiovascular prognosis. For this purpose the A.N.Di.P. association (National Association of Peritoneal Dialysis-Onlus “Enzo Siciliano”) organized the DAY OF PREVENTION OF RENAL DISEASES which was held in AMATRICE the 15th of July 2017 called “WE START A NEW PATH OF LIFE TOGETHER”. The goal of this initiative was to highlight and spread the importance of prevention and early diagnosis of renal disease in Amatrice and its surroundings. During this day, medical history, blood pressure measurements, urinalysis, serum creatinine and serum uric acid were carried out and we suggested to patients how to proceed, if necessary, in a further diagnostic and therapeutic process. We also recommended a correct lifestyle, based on healthy eating and regular physical activity. The choice to dedicate particular attention to the population tragically affected by the earthquake occurred to identify renal diseases, since they are a possible consequence of the earthquake, to draw attention to the importance of renal function and to demonstrate that simple routine checks may lead to an early diagnosis of unrecognized kidney diseases, also reducing cardiovascular risk.

Keywords: Amatrice, chronic kidney disease, crush syndrome

Sorry, this entry is only available in Italian.

The treatment of the patient presenting with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and fragility fractures

Abstract

Fragility fractures occur in all stages of chronic kidney disease (CKD) due to low bone mineral density and poor bone quality (namely osteoporosis), as well as in CKD-mineral and bone disorders (CKD-MBD). As in postmenopausal women and older adults, the prompt identification of CKD subjects with a history of fragility fractures is crucial in order to implement strategies to reduce the risk of new fragility fractures and their consequences. The treatment of severe osteoporosis for patients with stages 1-3 CKD should not differ from patients without CKD, while clinical decisions and pharmacological treatments in subjects with stages 4-5/5D CKD differ greatly, being more tricky and challenging. Before starting a pharmacological therapy in subjects with stages 4-5/5D CKD and a history of fragility fractures, it is imperative to discriminate between osteoporosis and CKD-MBD, using quantitative bone histomorphometry. After the implementation of general non-pharmacological measures for fractures and falls risk reduction, the management of osteoporotic patients in stages 4-5/5D CKD may consider the use of bisphosphonates and denosumab, though evidence for safety and efficacy is marginal in advanced CKD. Although alendronate, risedronate and denosumab have been shown to be effective (in reducing fracture incidence), safe and well tolerated in stage 4 CKD, further evidence are warranted before suggesting their systematic use in patients with stage 4 CKD. On the other hand, the pharmacological treatment in patients with stage 5/5D CKD has been explored only in small reports/series producing poor or limited evidence. In all cases (stages 4-5/5D), physicians should be aware of the potential risk of adverse events such as the adynamic bone disease or hypocalcaemia.

KEYWORDS: fractures, chronic kidney disease, osteoporosis, bisphosphonate, denosumab

Sorry, this entry is only available in Italian.

Association between fractures and vascular calcifications

Abstract

Several cross-sectional and prospective studies highlight the existence of an association between bone fractures and abdominal aortic calcifications, especially if particularly severe and independent from confounders such as aging, smoking habits and diabetes. This phenomenon affects not only the general population but also patients with chronic kidney disease in which cortical bone lesions are prevalent. Moreover, bone fractures and aortic calcifications have been proved to be linked to increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, both in the general populations and in patients with chronic kidney disease, who notoriously show elevated cardiovascular risks.

Therefore, diagnostic investigations about bone fractures and abdominal aortic calcifications, particularly in patients with chronic kidney disease, may represent a useful tool for identification of patients with a higher cardiovascular risk in order to optimize therapies for bone metabolism disorders.

KEYWORDS: Vertebral fractures, vascular calcifications, Chronic Kidney Disease, mortality

Sorry, this entry is only available in Italian.

Fragility fracture in the Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)

Abstract

Fragility fractures (FF) are common in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), and they occur at a younger age and with a higher frequency than in the general population, producing significant morbidity, mortality and healthcare costs. The pathogenic mechanisms underlying FF in CKD patients have not been completely understood. Behind CKD-MBD, the uremic toxicity should play a role in their pathogenesis, by affecting bone quality (uremic osteoporosis). There are very few prospective studies investigating risk factors for fragility fractures in CKD patients, and available algorithms for fracture risk prediction (FRAX and DeFRA) have never considered CKD. The diagnosis of vertebral fractures (FV), under-diagnosed in CKD patients as well as in general population, should be performed by Quantitative Vertebral Morphometry (QVM) both with DXA or Spine (D4-L5) x-Ray. A recent KDIGO review has qualified the measurement of the Bone Mineral Density by DXA as a predictive tool for fracture risk assessment in patients with stage G3a-G5D. Furthermore, the Trabecular Bone Score (TBS, software applied to DXA) allows the bone quality evaluation as well as the fracture risk prediction. Other techniques, such as Quantitative Computerized Tomography (QCT), especially High Resolution-peripheral QCT (HR-pQCT), have been shown to be useful, although expensive. Finally, some bone biomarkers (PTH and BAP) demonstrated to be informative for the definition of fracture risk in patients with CKD-MBD. In conclusion, there are several different tools and approaches that demonstrated to be useful for the identification of CKD patients at high risk of fracture, when these are appropriately performed and interpreted by expertise clinicians.

KEYWORDS: Fragility Fractures, Chronic Kidney Disease, Dialysis, Osteoporosis.

Sorry, this entry is only available in Italian.