Nephrology Program 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.

Help us answer questions about childhood health and illness, and help other children in the future. Learn more.

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.

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 Jennifer Skytta.

High Blood Pressure 

Adult Hypertension Onset in Youth (SHIP AHOY) Study

What is the goal of this study?

We want to learn more about how high blood pressure in teens affects their risk for cardiovascular injury later in life. We want to learn how lifestyle (diet and exercise) affects the way your teen’s genes and influence blood pressure.

We will compare study results of teens with normal, mid-range and high blood pressure. 

What happens in the study? 

Participants will go through a series of tests to learn how blood pressure has affected their bodies. We will:

  • Collect basic information about you and your child, including medical and family history
  • Collect blood and urine samples 
  • Perform a pregnancy test, if participant is female
  • Record your teen’s blood pressure from his or her last clinic visit and use it as part of our research records
  • Measure your teen’s blood pressure while they are seated
  • Ask you to fill out study questionnaires 
  • Take a picture of your teen’s heart using ultrasound (called an echocardiogram)
  • Test your teen’s blood vessels by placing a pressure sensor the size and shape of a pencil (without using needles or radiation) pulse points (leg and neck). The sensors record the time it takes for blood to flow from the heart to other sites in the body.

Ask your teen to fill out questionnaires about cognitive function, sleep habits, physical activity and diet.

At the end of the study visit, study staff will place a special blood pressure monitor (that your teen will wear for 24 hours). You will return the monitor to Seattle Children’s when the study is finished.

Who can join the study? 

Teens 13 to 17 years with a range of blood pressure levels (normal, mid and high) are eligible for the study.

Who do I contact for more information or to enroll?

Email the research coordinator.

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.