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July 2009 Issue
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Timmy Lee, MD, assistant professor in the nephrology and hypertension division
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Researchers Win NIH Grant to Study Dialysis Access

By Katie Pence
Published July 2009


UC researchers have been awarded a five-year, $847,509 renewable grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health to study biological mechanisms that influence the development of arteriovenous fistulas in hemodialysis patients.

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

However, stenosis, or narrowing of the veins, often causes restricted access to the arteriovenous fistulas--the point in the body where blood is removed and then replaced during the dialysis process.

Timmy Lee, MD, an assistant professor of medicine in the division of nephrology and hypertension at UC, will examine blood and tissue markers that may predict why arteriovenous fistulas don't mature, or develop properly, in patients with end-stage renal disease.

"Poor arteriovenous fistula development remains a significant problem among hemodialysis patients," Lee says.

"This study will improve the understanding of why some arteriovenous fistulas do not mature adequately for successful use in dialysis and which individuals are at highest risk for maturation failures."




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