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  • Drs. Rachel Holden and Daren Heyland Receive CIHR Funding

    Published Thu Jul 23rd 2015


    Drs. Holden and Heyland have been awarded funding for their project entitled "Inhibit the progression of arterial calcification in hemodialysis patients: A multi-center pilot study".

    Hemodialysis patients are most likely to die from heart and blood circulation-related problems. This is due, in part, to a process called vascular calcification during which calcium becomes deposited within blood vessel walls causing narrowing of the vessels and altering their flexibility. Matrix Gla protein prevents calcification in the body but it depends on vitamin K to work properly. This multi-center clinical trial is designed to answer whether vitamin K supplementation prevents the progression of coronary artery calcification in hemodialysis patients. If we determine that vitamin K is beneficial, this could change treatment strategies for hemodialysis patients. Our primary research question is: Does vitamin K supplementation (10 mg of phylloquinone three times per week) reduce the progression of coronary artery calcification over 12 months in hemodialysis patients compared to placebo? There are no national guidelines that address an optimal intake of vitamin K in patients with kidney failure. A simple nutrient strategy that modifies arterial calcification, such as we propose, could reduce morbidity and save lives. The results of this study will serve to answer some fundamental questions and will inform current clinical practice. 

    Congratulations to Drs. Holden and Heyland!