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Flynn nephrology research

The Nephrology Program at Seattle Children’s is one of the largest and most recognized programs in the country specializing in research and clinical care. Through collaboration, our faculty and staff remain at the forefront of kidney disease management, giving children better options for innovative therapies and successful transplants.

Our investigators conduct an array of clinical studies focusing on many aspects of kidney disease. While the specific goals of each study may be different, the basic goal remains the same – to improve of our understanding of childhood kidney disease and develop improved treatments for children affected by both acute and chronic kidney conditions. Below is a brief summary of our current research efforts.

Chronic Kidney Disease 

Chronic Kidney Disease in Children (CKiD)

Our researchers are interested in better understanding chronic kidney disease and how to better manage this condition. Children’s is one of the largest participating centers in the CKiD study, an NIH-funded study of nearly 900 children with mild-to-moderate chronic kidney disease. CKiD-related studies conducted by our investigators have helped better characterize blood pressure patterns in children with chronic kidney disease and how elevated blood pressure in these patients results in further damage to the kidneys.

To learn more about our CKiD studies, please contact Janna Stults.

Dialysis

Our dialysis-related research aims to improve our understanding of how to perform dialysis better in children with end-stage kidney disease and those with acute kidney injury. Examples of ongoing dialysis projects include:

Standardized Care to Improve Outcomes in Pediatric ESRD (SCOPE) 

SCOPE is a quality-improvement project sponsored by the Children’s Hospital Association intended to reduce the rates of infection in children treated with peritoneal dialysis. The project seeks to identify best practices for infection prevention and to share those practices among the centers collaborating in the project.

International Pediatric Peritonitis Registry

We participate in the International Pediatric Peritonitis Registry, which has collected data on thousands of children worldwide who have been treated with peritoneal dialysis. Data from this registry will help identify changes in the peritoneal dialysis procedure which may improve outcomes for children with this condition.

Prospective Pediatric Continuous Renal-Replacement Therapy (ppCRRT) Registry

Children’s was one of the founding centers of the Prospective Pediatric CRRT (ppCRRT) Registry. Data from this registry has been used to identify key characteristics of children with acute kidney injury and aspects of the continuous renal-replacement therapy procedure which may affect outcomes of these children.

Prospective Pediatric Acute Kidney Injury Research Group (ppAKI-RG)

We are participating in the development of the Prospective Pediatric Acute Kidney Injury Research Group (ppAKI-RG), which will examine new devices and procedures for treatment of acute kidney injury in children. This multicenter research group will serve as a platform for significant advancements in pediatric acute kidney injury research.

For more information about dialysis research studies, please contact Nancy McAfee, RN

Glomerular Disease

Nephrotic Syndrome Study Network (NEPTUNE)

NEPTUNE is a group of medical centers, patient support organizations and clinical research resources dedicated to advancing the understanding and treatment of nephrotic syndrome. The main goal of the NEPTUNE study is to find markers of nephrotic syndrome. A marker is a biological substance that can be found in blood, urine or tissue. It can show us whether a person has a certain condition or disease.

Our investigators are interested in the diseases called focal and segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS); minimal change disease (MCD); and membranous nephropathy (MN). These are all types of nephrotic syndrome. As part of the NEPTUNE network, we hope to learn more about these syndromes, so we can find better way to prevent, diagnose and treat patients with these conditions.

If you would to learn about the NEPTURE studies going on at Children’s, please contact JD Sandhu.

Hypertension

Our hypertension research focuses on evaluation and management of elevated blood pressures in children. We conduct studies in which we review data collected on existing patients. Utilizing such data may help us identify patients who demonstrate hypertension while sleeping, which would be missed at a routine doctor’s visit.

We are also assessing medications that are used to treat hypertension. For example, we participate in multicenter drug studies sponsored by pharmaceutical companies. In these studies, the medications have already been approved for use in adults but require evaluation in children.

Transplant

The goal of the transplant research program is to increase long-term graft survival (to make kidney transplants last longer). Examples of our current projects include:

Teen Adherence in Kidney Transplant Effectiveness of Intervention Trial (TAKE-IT)

TAKE-IT is an NIH multicenter study aimed to improve medication adherence in adolescent kidney transplant recipients. For more information about our TAKE-IT studies, contact Alexis Christensen or Liz Kleine.

Subclinical Viral Infection in Kidney Transplant Chronic

This is an NIH-funded study which aims to evaluate how viral infections lead to damage and accelerated failure of kidney transplants. For information about this study, please contact JD Sandhu.

Renal Injury After Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant

Our research team is pursuing studies to identify risk factors for the development of chronic kidney disease after transplant and to better understand renal injury. For information about these studies, please contact Emily Pao.

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