Breath test could provide non-invasive detection of kidney failure
It is one of the top ten leading causes of death and affects five million people in the U.S. Now, doctors at the Cleveland Clinic are testing a new, non-invasive way to detect kidney failure.
Doctors can test your blood and urine for diseases, but now a new device is allowing them to test your breath.
Raed Dweik, MD, Director of Pulmonary Vascular Program at Cleveland Clinic explained, “If you can do it at the side of the road, you can do it anywhere.”
He believes that you can see the health of a patient through their breathprint.
“Anything that is potentially volatile in our blood comes up in the lung and can be measured in exhaled breath,” continued Dr. Dweik. Such as kidney failure.
A healthy kidney gets rid of wastes and toxins in a person’s blood. When the kidneys are not functioning properly, they can cause kidney stones and possibly death. Dr. Dweik and his team are trying to prevent this, by testing for kidney failure using a breathalyzer. In a study of patients with kidney failure and healthy volunteers, he was able to identify five volatile organic compounds in the breath of patients with kidney failure. The device is still being analyzed before it goes to clinical trials.
Researchers also plan to study the effects of dialysis on kidney failure patients’ breathprint. Dr. Dweik has worked on other breath test studies as well, developing breath tests for asthma, heart failure, liver disease, and obesity.
Contributors to this news report include: Milvionne Chery, Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.
Ten percent of the population worldwide is affected by chronic kidney disease (CKD), and millions die each year because they do not have access to affordable treatment. Over 2 million people worldwide currently receive treatment with dialysis or a kidney transplant to stay alive. High blood pressure and diabetes are the main causes of CKD. Almost half of individuals with CKD also have diabetes and/or self-reported cardiovascular disease. More than 661,000 Americans have kidney failure and of those, 468,000 individuals are on dialysis and roughly 193,000 live with a functioning kidney transplant. Kidney disease often has no symptoms in its early stages and can go undetected until it is very advanced. This is the reason it is often referred to as a “silent disease.” Each year, kidney disease kills more people than breast or prostate cancer. In 2013, more than 47,000 Americans died from kidney disease.
If your kidneys can’t keep up with waste and fluid excretion on their own and you develop complete or near-complete kidney failure, you have end-stage kidney disease. At this point, dialysis or a kidney transplant is recommended. Dialysis artificially removes waste products and extra fluid from your blood when your kidneys can no longer do this. A kidney transplant involves surgically placing a healthy kidney from a donor into your body. The patient will need to take medications for the rest of his/her life to keep the body from rejecting the new organ. For some who choose not to have dialysis or a kidney transplant, a third option is to treat kidney failure with conservative measures. There has been recent development of a disease-detecting breathalyzer that can potentially identify 17 different diseases. “One of the major challenges in the modern era of disease diagnosis is how we can detect the disease when we are still feeling healthy,” says Hossam Haick of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. This device is capable of catching a disease in the early stages and may even be able to predict people that are at high risk for certain conditions. Researchers identified more than 100 other chemical compounds exhaled in each breath, 13 of which were associated with certain diseases.
(Source: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/chronic-kidney-disease/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20354527 and http://www.businessinsider.com/disease-breathalyzer-detects-cancer-and-other-illnesses-2016-12)
Researchers at the University of Washington Health Sciences/Medicine are creating and manipulating mini-kidney organoids that contain a realistic micro-anatomy that tracks the early stages of polycystic kidney disease (PKD). The organoids are grown from human stem cells. By substituting certain physical components in the organoid environment, cyst formation can be increased or decreased. The team found that PKD mini-kidneys grown in free-floating conditions formed hollow cysts that were very large. These cysts could easily be seen. In contrast, PKD mini-kidneys attached to plastic dishes stayed small. According to Nelly Cruz, research scientist, other manipulations to the organoid affects the progression of the disease. “We’ve discovered that polycystin proteins, which are causing the disease, are sensitive to their micro-environment. Therefore, if we can change the way they interact or what they are experiencing on the outside of the cell, we might actually be able to change the course of the disease.”