Lupus is a prominent name among the myriad chronic inflammatory conditions where the body’s immune system begins attacking its own tissues. This autoimmune condition can impact virtually any organ of the body. It is incurable, the clinical presentation is widely variable with sometimes debilitating flares and the complications, potentially fatal in some cases when left untreated. Among other organs, Kidneys are a prime target here. So, as a portal dedicated to nephrology, let us walk you through the what-why-how of this challenging autoimmune disorder with specific focus on Lupus Nephritis – its kidney chapter. It is Lupus Awareness Month (May) after all!
COVID19 prevention has been a tough nut to crack especially in the Immunocompromised. On one hand, the COVID19 vaccines fell short in patients with moderate to severe weakening of immunity. This included kidney patients with advanced pre-dialysis state, those on dialysis and post-transplant. On the other, in certain kidney patient cohorts who did develop traceable immune response to the vaccines ended up with a flaring of pre-existing underlying autoimmune kidney diseases like IgA Nephropathy.
Then we have Evusheld ® – drug maker AstraZeneca’s new long acting monoclonal antibody combo shot. This antibody drug (generic name: AZD7442) was granted an Emergency Use Authorization by the USFDA on December 8th, 2021. With its “ready-made immune protection”, this long acting antibody (LAAB) drug shows promise in preventing symptomatic COVID19 in immunocompromised patients (just like vaccines do in immunocompetent). However, only time will tell how well it performs on-field. Read more here.
But then, amidst this steady inflow of pharmacological strategies to ward-off COVID19, if something has managed to survive it’s the utility of the humble face mask. Of-course, other COVID safe practices like following strict hygiene protocols and avoiding crowds go hand-in-hand.
So what works the best?
When vaccines fall short in offering relevant immune protection in the Immunocompromised, what really works? When such suboptimal immune protection wanes a lot faster in comparison to that immunocompetent individuals, is there a better option?
“Ready-made”, sustainable Immune Protection perhaps?
Well that’s exactly what Evusheld ® – drugmaker AstraZeneca’s “New Kid on the Block” in the long-acting monoclonal antibody drug combo can potentially offer.
COVID19 vaccine inoculations are the best possible protection for most health profiles that science offers against this pandemic menace. However, as we know, COVID vaccines in their initially recommended dose schedules proved less effective in immunocompromised individuals. This was irrespective of whether poor immunity resulted from a medical condition or due to immuno-suppressive medication. Patients with advanced Chronic Kidney Disease & Kidney Transplant recipients are a prominent subgroup in this population subset of the “Vaccine Helpless”.
◾ So how did poor immunity in kidney patients impact vaccine effectiveness?
◾ Will repeated immune challenge with extra doses as part of primary vaccine series truly help all kidney patients? How tenable is it?
◾ Any better alternatives to garner adequate immune protection for our cohort without going overboard with the “immune challenge” and/or inviting side-effects of major concern?
Read on to decode the relevant science and understand your options for adequate immune protection against COVID-19.
(DISCLAIMER: The article is purely a medically feasible insight on current evidence from peer-reviewed scientific literature on COVID-19 vaccine efficiency, its shortcomings & potential relevant alternative pharmacological solutions w.r.t. patients with chronic kidney disease. The intention is to place the facts as they are with due respect to Science. It is not intended to promote any vaccine hesitancy or support anti-vaxxer views. It does not represent any political positioning either.)
On Transgender Day of Visibility, we came across a number of relevant articles on the need for better representation of the Transgender community in various spheres of life.
Invariably, our attention turned towards their representation, inclusion & access to healthcare, especially with respect to kidney disease. This basic thought drove us to present you with evidence based insight into the risk & prevalence of kidney disease in the Trans community that can be linked to Gender affirmation treatments.
Kidney Transplant is the surgical procedure to trans-fer a healthy, matched kidney from a willing donor & im-plant it in a patient with kidney failure to prolong the patient’s life. Till date, this is the best treatment for the majority of patients with kidney failure due to Chronic Kidney Disease.
Team ATK has always advocated in favour of gaining a thorough understanding of your disease process & treatments.
Keeping in sync with this principle, our article today dissects the kidney transplant surgery for you. We present the topic in two parts as below:
Hello kidney warriors & knowledge seekers! Today, we continue from our previous article on all steps that kidney patients & kidney donors need to follow before getting admitted to the hospital for a Transplant surgery.
The article today explains the basic workflow involved for every kidney patient scheduled for a transplant & their donor starting from hospital admission until they finally get to go under the knife.
Every patient with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) or in other words, Kidney failure needs to go on treatments that would “fill the gaps” in the errant functioning of the unwell kidney or completely replace it with healthy functioning. Dialysis is a way to fill the gaps while a Kidney Transplant is a complete replacement.
This article covers an outline of what an average pre-transplant preparation for the patient and the kidney donor may entail.
- What is kidney transplant?
- Who needs a kidney transplant?
- Who can be a kidney donor?
- Kidney transplant vs Dialysis for life
- What is pre-emptive kidney transplant?
- Who makes up your kidney transplant care team?
1. What is Kidney Transplant?
Kidneys are essential for sustaining life. Individuals who end up with very little or almost no kidney function, either due to an incurable disease, birth defect or extensive injury, require a solution to regain/assist with their kidney function. Kidney Transplant is one of the methods to do so.
This involves a surgical procedure of “transferring” a healthy, matched kidney from a willing donor to “implant” it in the belly of the patient requiring the organ. Hence the name, Transplant.
Here, the donor kidney is securely removed with Continue reading “Kidney Transplant – Basics”
Infections that cause kidney damage
In these times of the COVID-19 pandemic, several realizations came to the fore. One of them was how unaware, a big chunk of our society is, on how several infections irrespective of where they initially start, can cause kidney damage. Something that resulted in the death of many patients with COVID-19 – a respiratory illness.
So we at Team ATK decided to get to work and compile a comprehensive list of all infectious diseases which can potentially cause kidney damage, even if the initial infection starts elsewhere. Continue reading “Infections that cause kidney damage”