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Research

Division of Nephrology Research Interests

Glomerulonephritis

Glomerulonephritis is a group of kidney diseases characterized by inflammation of the filtering units of the kidney called glomeruli.  When inflamed these glomeruli allow passage of protein and blood into the urine.  Left untreated this chronic inflammation can lead to scarring, loss of kidney function, high blood pressure, and kidney failure requiring dialysis or transplantation.  Read more...  

Fibromuscular Dysplasia (FMD)

Fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD) is a non-inflammatory, non-atherosclerotic disorder of medium sized arteries of unclear cause.  Affected blood vessels demonstrate single or multiple areas of narrowing (stenosis).  It most commonly involves the arteries to the kidneys resulting in high blood pressure, aneurysms, and occasionally splitting (dissection) of the vessel wall.  The carotid and vertebral arteries to the brain are also frequently involved, which can lead to headache, pulsatile ringing in the ears, and stroke.  Other presentations include involvement of the intestinal arteries leading to abdominal pain and aneurysms, arteries to the arms or legs resulting in cramping or heaviness with use, and heart arteries leading to heart attack.  FMD is mostly seen in women, although men can have it as well.  Read more...     

Polycystic Kidney Disease

Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is a group of diseases characterized by dilatation of the tubular units of the kidney. The kidney tubules process the 140 liters of fluid filtered by the glomerulus into the final urine volume  (0.5-2.0 liters) that is made daily. Cystic tubules are unable to perform this function properly, resulting in fluid retention, high blood pressure and kidney failure requiring dialysis or transplantation.  Read more...   

Thrombotic Microangiopathy

Thrombotic microangiopathies (TMA) are clinical syndromes defined by the presence of hemolytic anemia (destruction of red blood cells), low platelets, and organ damage due to the formation of microscopic blood clots in capillaries and small arteries.  The kidneys are commonly affected, although virtually any organ may be involved.  Smoldering TMA will sometimes result in kidney damage without significant anemia or low platelets.  Under the microscope, the blood demonstrates injured red blood cells known as schistocytes or fragments.  Kidney disease can be severe, with over 50% of individuals requiring dialysis with a cause of TMA known as atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS).  Historically, TMA were often referred to as TTP/HUS, or thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura/hemolytic uremic syndrome.  It is now recognized that a large number of different diseases can result in TMA.  Read more...

Retroperitoneal Fibrosis

Retroperitoneal fibrosis (RPF) is a rare condition characterized by the presence of inflammation and fibrosis in the retroperitoneal space.  The disease process typically begins with clinical symptoms of flank pain, and unexplained weight loss. Anatomically, inflammation and fibrosis start surrounding the large artery, called the aorta, that delivers blood from your heart to the rest of your body at the level just below your kidneys. This inflammation and fibrosis progresses inferiorly toward the arteries that carry blood to your legs, and outwards towards the kidney(s) and surrounding structures, ultimately leading to kidney failure.  Read more...