[ Back to EurekAlert! ] Public release date: 20-Jun-2013
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Contact: Sheila Champlin
schampli@uthsc.edu
901-448-4957
Le Bonheur Children's Hospital

NEJM features IgA nephropathy research from Dr. Robert Wyatt

Memphis, Tenn. (June 20, 2013) Inflammation in the kidney is a serious, common issue among adults and children in North America. Finding noninvasive ways to properly diagnose, monitor and treat the inflammation may be getting easier thanks to research by Robert J. Wyatt, MD, professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC). Dr. Wyatt is co-author of a Medical Progress report titled, "IgA Nephropathy" in this week's edition of the New England Journal of Medicine. His co-author is Bruce A. Julian, MD, in the Department of Medicine at the University of Alabama, Birmingham.

IgA nephropathy is the most prevalent primary chronic glomerular disease worldwide. Inside the kidney, the glomerulus is a network or tuft of capillaries that performs the first step in filtering blood and removing urine. IgA nephropathy is characterized by deposits of the IgA antibody in the glomerulus. Left unchecked, IgA nephropathy is a slow progression that leads to chronic renal failure in 25 to 30 percent of cases during a period of 20 years. In North America, about 75 percent of children and young adults with IgA nephropathy exhibit symptoms of macroscopic hematuria, which is visible blood in their urine, during an upper respiratory or gastrointestinal illness.

"Previously, the required method for diagnosing this disease was a painful and expensive kidney biopsy," said Dr. Wyatt, who performed his research at UTHSC and the Children's Foundation Research Institute at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital. "Over the past decade, advances in analytic approaches have provided better insight into the molecular mechanism of this disease. These advances offer the potential for noninvasive tests for diagnosis and monitoring of disease activity, and an opportunity to envision disease-specific therapy."

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To access the full manuscript, visit: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMra1206793.

The New England Journal of Medicine is the most widely read, cited, and influential general medical periodical in the world. NEJM is dedicated to bringing physicians the best research and key information at the intersection of biomedical science and clinical practice, and to presenting the information in an understandable and clinically useful format. A career companion for physicians, NEJM keeps practicing physicians informed on developments that are important to their patients and keeps them connected to both clinical science and the values of being a good physician. NEJM has earned and sustained its reputation as the "gold standard" for quality biomedical research and for the best practices in clinical medicine for nearly 200 years.

The Children's Foundation Research Institute is a partnership of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Le Bonheur Children's Hospital and the Children's Foundation of Memphis. The Children's Foundation was created by community members who wanted to promote the health and well being of children in the Memphis area. Since 1993, it has provided significant resources to the Children's Foundation Research Institute. In 2010, the CFRI opened a 300,000-square-foot Research Center dedicated to basic, translational and clinical research. The CFRI works to provide the infrastructure and resources to develop a major pediatric research center that makes discoveries in the field of pediatric medicine.

Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., treats more than 250,000 children each year in a 255-bed hospital that features state-of-the-art technology and family-friendly resources. Nationally recognized, Le Bonheur is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as a Best Children's Hospital. Serving as a primary teaching affiliate for the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, the hospital trains more pediatricians than any other hospital in the state. For more information, please call (901) 287-6030 or visit lebonheur.org. Follow us at twitter.com/lebonheurchild or like us on facebook.com/lebonheurchildrens.

As Tennessee's only public, statewide academic health system, the mission of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) is to bring the benefits of the health sciences to the achievement and maintenance of human health, with a focus on the citizens of Tennessee and the region, by pursuing an integrated program of education, research, clinical care, and public service. Offering a broad range of postgraduate and selected baccalaureate training opportunities, the main UTHSC campus is located in Memphis and includes six colleges: Allied Health Sciences, Dentistry, Graduate Health Sciences, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy. UTHSC also educates and trains cohorts of medicine, pharmacy and/or allied health students -- in addition to medical residents and fellows -- at its major sites in Knoxville, Chattanooga and Nashville. Founded in 1911, during its more than 100 years, UT Health Science Center has educated and trained more than 56,000 health care professionals in academic settings and health care facilities across the state. For more information, visit http://www.uthsc.edu.



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