Transplant Center

The Molecular Analysis of the Hepato-Renal Axis in End-stage Liver Disease

Study Description:

The purpose of this proposal is to add tissue to an established tissue bank (IRB 00016343) in order to molecularly analyze the tissues relevant to the pathogenesis of the hepatorenal syndrome. We postulate that common pathways exist across organs in the hepato-renal axis that are important for prognosis and treatment. By performing comprehensive genomic analyses on many organ and tissue types, urine specimens, and peripheral as well as portal venous blood samples we aim to identify:

  • RNA markers common across organs that predict poor outcome (death on the transplant waiting list
  • RNA markers common across organs that predict therapy response
  • DNA mutations and variations that correspond to changes in gene expression and/or have potential as clinical markers of response.
  • Circulating biomarkers (protein/nucleic acid) that can be used for early detection and/or monitoring therapeutic response.

Finally, we aim to develop real-time PCR techniques and protein assays to score for biomarkers in the clinical laboratory. These new molecular tests will provide a more accurate prognosis and predict therapy response.

Participant Eligibility:

  • Men and women over the age of 18 undergoing liver transplant operations will be selected as participants in this study.
  • Patients without documented hepatorenal syndrome will be used as baseline controls. In regard to tissue collection from organ donors, at the present time, consent of potential donor families for research is performed as part of standard operating procedures by trained representatives from Intermountain Donor Services as part of the organ donation consent process. Tissues collected from external hospitals will be done in the context of the normal deceased donor organ procurement as a standard part of the organ procurement operation.

Guidelines for Ineligibility:

  • Mentally handicapped patients
  • Incarcerated patients
  • Individuals under 18 years of age

How long does it run?

100 Participants over the next three years

Location(s) of clinical trial

University of Utah Hospital
Salt Lake City, Utah, United States, 84105

Principal Investigator: Jason Schwartz, M.D.

Contact Info:

Status: Open Enrollment

Name, Phone, Email

Contact: Jason Schwartz, M.D, 801-585-2708

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