The gold standard in long-term glucose monitoring for patients with diabetes proved to be of limited value in dialysis patients, according to a new study at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.
Although the American Diabetes Association has deemed the HbA1c test an effective tool for diagnosing diabetes, kidney doctors recently determined that the HbA1c is not as useful for managing patients with diabetes and advanced kidney failure.
"Most dialysis patients have anemia with fewer red blood cells than they should, which has a dramatic impact on the accuracy of the HbA1c reading," said Dr. Barry Freedman, professor and lead investigator.
Researchers recommended that physicians use the glycated albumin or GA assay instead. The GA test, developed by Tokyo-based Asahi Kasei Pharma Corporation, measures blood sugars over the past 17 days, as opposed to the longer time frame for HbA1c.
Freedman and colleagues evaluated 444 patients with diabetes undergoing dialysis. Patients continued their normal treatment and HbA1c monitoring, but also agreed to have a GA test every three months for an average of more than 2.3 years.
The GA assay was a strong predictor of patient survival and hospitalizations, researchers said.
Nearly half a million people are on dialysis in the U.S. and diabetes causes kidney failure in about 50 percent of them, according to the release.
The study appears online in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology and is scheduled for the July print issue.
Here’s a roundup of recent clinical trial and scientific study news:
External electrical stimulation may be an option for epileptic patients who find no relief from drugs, according to researchers at UCLA.
The researchers conducted Phase 2 clinical trials of trigeminal nerve stimulation, in which an external stimulator connected to electrodes placed on the forehead transmit signals to the trigeminal nerve, which extends from the forehead into the brain.
"Since the electrical energy does not travel directly into the brain, TNS provides a safe method of brain modulation," said Dr. Christopher DeGiorgio, the UCLA professor and lead investigator who presented the study results at the Antiepileptic Drug Trials XI Conference in Miami, Fla.
At the end of the 18-week study 40 percent of patients receiving TNS experienced a significant improvement in seizure reduction, defined as a 50 percent or greater decrease in the frequency of seizures, and researchers found that the treatment improved the mood of the participants.
MicroVention-Terumo Inc. announced that its HydroCoil hydrogel-coated endovascular coil system for treatment of cerebral aneurysms showed positive results from 18-month follow-up data in an international study.
The device is a coil of wire delivered to brain aneurysms via catheter, designed to encourage blood to clot around it to relieve pressure. Aneurysms involve weak portions of blood vessel walls, which pouch out from the pressure within the vessel and are at risk of bursting.
The 500-patient, independently-run, multicenter, multinational 18-month trial found that patients treated with the HydroCoil system had reduced recurrent and retreatment rates when compared to treatment with bare platinum coils.
The study is published in The Lancet.
InspireMD Inc. (OTC:NSPR) touted positive results from a preliminary evaluation of its MGuard stent which took place at the Department of Cardiology at Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel. The device was tested in a population of 82 patients with highly complex lesions, and proved to be safe and effective. InspireMD began marketing MGuard in India last month.