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November 2008 Issue

Prabir Roy-Chaudhury, MD, PhD
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$2.3 Million Study Aims to Improve Dialysis Pathways

By Katie Pence
Published November 2008

The nephrology division at UC and the Cincinnati Dialysis Access Research Program (CAP) have received $2.3 million to study why arteriovenous fistulas in hemodialysis patients are often unsuccessful.

Arteriovenous fistulas connect the artery and vein in dialysis patients and are essential for the removal and purification of blood during hemodialysis.

The National Institutes of Health awarded Prabir Roy-Chaudhury, MD, PhD, and colleagues a $1.7 million grant to organize a clinical trial to identify the reasons why fistulas don’t mature, or develop appropriately, in the body.

The team also received a $600,000 VA Merit Review grant to look into the causes of fistula failure, such as blood flow abnormalities and cellular stress.

“There are currently over 350,000 patients on hemodialysis in the United States, all of whom are dependent on some form of dialysis access as their lifeline,” Roy-Chaudhury says. “Unfortunately, this lifeline often fails due to a stenosis, or narrowing, of the dialysis access.

“As a result, hemodialysis vascular access dysfunction is currently the Achilles heel of hemodialysis, resulting in a significant morbidity, at a cost of over $1 billion annually,” he says.

Roy-Chaudhury, professor of medicine and director of the CAP, says these grants—which increase the funding of the CAP to almost $4 million—will allow researchers to explore new pathways to prevent dialysis access dysfunction and improve the quality of life for dialysis patients.

The CAP is a translational, multidisciplinary initiative that aims to improve dialysis access care through new therapies. Major collaborators include Rino Munda, MD, professor of surgery, and colleagues from the transplant surgery division, as well as physicians and researchers from the departments of nephrology, mechanical engineering, pathology, biomedical engineering, radiology, cardiology and pharmacy in addition to community nephrologists.

“This is a unique program in which we go from animal models to clinical trial research to clinical care,” Roy-Chaudhury says.

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