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October 2021 CKD Insider Newsletter

Welcome to the Chronic Kidney Disease Insider Newsletter. If you are living with chronic kidney disease (CKD) on dialysis, have had a kidney transplant or are helping care for someone who is, this newsletter was created for you! The content is meant to keep you and/or a family member up to date on the latest information to help you manage your health now and in the near future in consultation with your physician.

In this month’s CKD Insider: ASN's Kidney Week, TRULO Transplant Rejection observational study, Living Donor Mentor Program Expansion, Gout research and the Fun Tip of the Day!


COVID-19 Updates

ASN's Kidney Week Panelists provide updates on COVID-19 and CKD

The American Society of Nephrology (ASN) hosted their annual Kidney Week meeting this month which features advances in treatment, research, and technology in the fight against kidney disease. ASN is currently providing free access to select webcasts from Kidney Week.

Key takeaways from the COVID-19 Panel Discussion.

  • Panelists recommend people with CKD on dialysis get the COVID-19 booster vaccine for multiple reasons including:

    • People with CKD on dialysis don't mount as strong an immune response following vaccination and this response doesn't last as long as people not on dialysis

    • Increased risk of exposure for those going to the dialysis center 3x/week

    • 50+% of infections are from people with no symptoms

    • The SARS-CoV-2 delta variant, found in 99% of COVID-19 cases in the US, has viral loads 1000X greater than other variants, and is highly transmissible.

    • Vaccine effectiveness diminishes over time and this waning immunity increases risk for severe COVID-19 disease.

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci's presentation: COVID-19 2021 Lessons Learned and Remaining Challenges gives a full review of what is known as of today about the SARS-CoV-2 virus and associated COVID-19 disease, including information on the state of the current surge, how SARS-CoV-2 is transmitted, clinical outcomes, COVID-19 therapeutics currently available and details regarding vaccine booster recommendations.

  • Dr. Susan Weiss's presentation: Coronavirus variants, where do they come from, where are they going? gives a thorough history from the first identified coronavirus in the 1960s to the current SARS-CoV-2 variants. If you are looking for basic knowledge about these viruses her talk is a good one.

  • Global view presentations were given by Dr. Banerjee (Key point made: Long COVID-19 not linked to hospitalization), and Dr. Jha (Key point made: Africa is in dire need of vaccines with only 5% of population vaccinated as of today)

  • Dr. Silberzweig presented on ASNs contributions regarding making accurate information available to and with multiple CKD organizations and dialysis centers.


Your Fun Tip of the Day!

Meet the authors of your favorite books & support NKF

Have you ever wanted to have a conversation with an author you admire or the person who wrote that inspiring novel you read? Well now is the time to seek them out, and you can do this COVID-19 safe. Look for a virtual or outdoor author led book event at your local bookstore or online.

If your looking for book ideas check out the authors in the upcoming NKF San Francisco Bay Area's 33rd ANNUAL AUTHORS LUNCHEON which is being held virtually Saturday, November 13, 2021 - 12:00pm PST, and see if any of these authors are someone you would want to talk to and support NKF at the same time!

Some additional ideas for you:


Clinical Observational Study: Kidney Transplant Recipients

What it is: TRULO Observational Study conducted by Transplant Genomics. This is a prospective, multi-center, observational study for kidney transplant recipients who are being tested for kidney rejection using the TruGraf® blood gene expression test. Study participants also have Viracor TRAC® donor-derived cell-free DNA testing performed as part of the study; and the study will incorporate Transplant Genomics’ new rejection biomarker panel, OmniGraf™ which is a combination of TruGraf and TRAC to provide a comprehensive view of both subclinical acute rejection and clinical acute rejection. Data collection for the primary objective extends over a 2-year period.

Why it matters to you: If you or a family member have a kidney transplant and are monitoring your kidney for rejection and would like to be part of this study speak to your nephrologist. Study details can be found at the website. Clinicians can sign up here.


National Kidney Donation Organization Expands Living Donor Mentor Program to Major Kidney Transplant Centers

What it is: The National Kidney Donation Organization (NKDO) has implemented Donor Connect, a living donor mentor program to help donor candidates who apply through the National Kidney Registry. These mentors explain the testing, donation, and recovery process and share the protections available based on the donor’s transplant center. The mentors maintain contact with the candidates throughout the evaluation process and are available to answer non-medical questions. Why this is important for you: If you know someone who is interested in becoming a donor this organization can walk them through the process. The program prepares individuals and results in a higher conversion rate of candidates into living donors. The success of Donor Connect has come to the attention of some key transplant centers, and this month the program was implemented at Georgetown Transplant Center and Hackensack, and they are having discussions with other transplant centers. If you know someone who is interested in becoming a donor this group can walk them through the process. If you are a living donor and you would like to be considered for an NKDO donor mentor position, please contact She will explain the training program and the other requirements to be an NKDO mentor. If you are a Living Donor Coordinator or another transplant center professional and would like to learn more about Donor Connect, please contact

There are multiple living donor support organizations in addition to NKDO. Please visit the NKF Living Donation Resources for additional information.


Research for people with CKD and Gout

What it is: The Gout, Hyperuricemia, and Crystal-Associated Disease Network (G-CAN) released a consensus statement which identified knowledge gaps and areas of research regarding the management of gout in people with chronic kidney disease (CKD). G-CAN evaluated what is known about the safety of medications for the treatment of gout for people with kidney disease as well as how gout disease progression differs in people with CKD experiencing gout compared to those without kidney disease. One of the concerns they identified was the exclusion of people with CKD (all stages) from clinical trials for the treatment of gout despite the fact that gout impacts people with CKD at much higher rates. Why it’s important to you: If you or a loved one has experienced gout, you are not alone approximately 70% of people with CKD have had gout. The consensus statement highlights the need for gout research to include people with CKD in all stages to help provide actionable information for clinicians to use in treatment decisions. If you are interested in participating in a clinical trial on this topic visit to identify clinical trials that are currently enrolling and speak with your physician or the clinical trial organizers about joining. Note: Symptoms of gout include pain and swelling in joints, most commonly the big toe. The toe may also become red and inflamed. If you notice these symptoms, speak with your physician. Make sure you share all medications you are taking with your nephrologist and other healthcare providers to avoid issues with drug interactions.


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