INFLAMMATION STUDY UPDATES
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FIRST STUDY UPDATE
December 21, 2019
We’ve received the latest update to the study “Exploring the Role of Chronic Inflammation in the Pathogenesis of Feline Chronic Kidney Disease” from Principal Investigator Rosanne Jepson, BVSc (Dist), MVetMed, PhD, DipACVIM, DipECVIM, MRCVS. You will recall that, in this study we will endeavor to better understand the potential role of chronic inflammation in Feline CKD.
The first year of this three-year long study is complete. Here is what we have accomplished:
I. A retrospective review of cats’ medical records and their corresponding bio-banked blood samples*, to select cats for inclusion in the study has been performed, and;
II. A subsequent detailed examination of those records and samples has been performed to determine:
A. If chronic inflammation is, generally, associated with Feline CKD;
B. If chronic inflammation corresponds with dental disease in cats and;
C. If dental disease is associated with CKD in cats.
Based on their records and their existing CKD status, 538 cats were selected for inclusion in the study, with kidney health conditions ranging from non-azotemic (no demonstrable signs of CKD), to IRIS stage 4 **CKD.
Our preliminary findings at this early stage indicate that systemic chronic inflammation does indeed appear to be associated with Feline Chronic Kidney Disease. Furthermore, there does appear to be a significant association between inflammation in cats with CKD and the severity of dental disease.
We must now dig deeper. During the remainder of the study we will endeavor to confirm the aforementioned findings, and will attempt to determine, in more specific detail, how and why there appears to be an association between inflammation and CKD in cats. We will do this by looking at specific biomarkers*** of systemic and renal inflammation. One important goal of this study is to establish an optimal panel of biomarkers that could be used in the future to determine a cat’s risk of developing CKD, and/or to diagnose CKD at an earlier stage by measuring the levels of these biomarkers in the blood. We will also work to obtain more specific information into the relationship between dental disease and inflammation and, ultimately, between dental disease and CKD. To this end, a scoring system has been devised to categorize the stage of dental disease based on the degree of tartar and gingivitis. Scores range from 1 to 4, with 4 representing the most severe pathology, and each cat seen for a checkup will have the results of their oral examination carefully documented with a score and photographs.
Additional highlights of upcoming work on this study include prospective evaluation of the relationship between dental disease and urinary tract infections on chronic inflammation and CKD, and how treatment of these conditions may affect chronic inflammation and/or kidney function.
Research requires patience and persistence, and science moves forward through thoughtful, evidence-based inquiry. The process is neither quick nor simple; thank you very much for standing with us in the battle against Feline CKD. We look forward to providing you with an additional update soon.
* We will not fund any research that harms or exploits animals. Blood and urine samples utilized in this study are routine samples provided by companion cats during the course of their regularly scheduled veterinary visits. The samples, after being used for the cats’ own necessary diagnostic purposes, are then preserved for use in this study with the consent of the cats’ human family members.
** The International Renal Interest Society’s (IRIS’) guidelines are considered the gold standard for staging and managing Feline CKD. Their staging of CKD ranges from Stage 1--the least advanced disease state, through Stage 4—the most advanced disease state.
*** Biomarkers are physical characteristics that can be measured--for example, particular proteins circulating in blood, that can be signs of an abnormal or diseased state.
Copyright 2019. Foundation For Feline Renal Research.
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