The landscape of clinical trials in nephrology: a systematic review of

Journal Article (Journal Article;Review;Systematic Review)

BACKGROUND: Well-designed trials are of paramount importance in improving the delivery of care to patients with kidney disease. However, it remains unknown whether contemporary clinical trials within nephrology are of sufficient quality and quantity to meet this need. STUDY DESIGN: Systematic review. SETTING & POPULATION: Studies registered with SELECTION CRITERIA FOR STUDIES: Interventional (ie, nonobservational) studies (both randomized and nonrandomized) registered between October 2007 and September 2010 were included for analysis. Studies were reviewed independently by physicians and classified by clinical specialty. PREDICTOR: Nephrology versus cardiology versus other trials. OUTCOMES: Select clinical trial characteristics. RESULTS: Of 40,970 trials overall, 1,054 (2.6%) were classified as nephrology. Most nephrology trials were for treatment (75.4%) or prevention (15.7%), with very few diagnostic, screening, or health services research studies. Most nephrology trials were randomized (72.3%). Study designs included 24.9% with a single study group, 64.0% that included parallel groups, and 9.4% that were crossover trials. Nephrology trials, compared with 2,264 cardiology trials (5.5% overall), were more likely to be smaller (64.5% vs 48.0% enrolling≤100 patients), phases 1-2 (29.0% vs 19.7%), and unblinded (66.2% vs 53.3%; P<0.05 for all). Nephrology trials also were more likely than cardiology trials to include a drug intervention (72.4% vs 41.9%) and less likely to report having a data monitoring committee (40.3% vs 48.5%; P<0.05 for all). Finally, there were few trials funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH; 3.3%, nephrology; 4.2%, cardiology). LIMITATIONS: Does not include all trials performed worldwide, and frequent categorization of funding source as university may underestimate NIH support. CONCLUSIONS: Critical differences remain between clinical trials in nephrology and other specialties. Improving care for patients with kidney disease will require a concerted effort to increase the scope, quality, and quantity of clinical trials within nephrology.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Inrig, JK; Califf, RM; Tasneem, A; Vegunta, RK; Molina, C; Stanifer, JW; Chiswell, K; Patel, UD

Published Date

  • May 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 63 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 771 - 780

PubMed ID

  • 24315119

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC3988265

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1523-6838

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1053/j.ajkd.2013.10.043


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States