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WSU researcher receives more than $1.7 million from the National Institutes of Health to continue study of congenital abnormality in children

August 13, 2010
 
Tej K. Mattoo, M.D.

DETROIT—Tej K. Mattoo, M.D., professor and chief of Pediatric Nephrology at Wayne State University’s School of Medicine and Children’s Hospital of Michigan, recently received more than $1.7 million from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to continue the project “Primary Vesicoureteral Reflux in Children.” To date, NIH has funded more than $4.7 million toward this research project and a separate study on Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis, a disease that attacks the kidneys’ filtering system.

These new funds will allow Mattoo to continue a study started in 2005 that is examining whether long-term antibiotics are necessary in children with vesicoureteral reflux (VUR). Mattoo is leading the study in Detroit with six additional institutions participating at research sites across the country.

VUR is a common congenital abnormality that is associated with recurrent urinary tract infections in children. With normal urination, the bladder contracts and deposits urine through the urethra. In children with VUR, there is an abnormal flow of urine that goes back up into the ureters and sometimes up to the kidneys. This reflux exposes the kidneys to infection, which can cause serious kidney damage. The injury to the kidneys may result in renal scarring, which may cause high blood pressure later in life, or even kidney failure.

“To prevent such damage and long-term effects, patients are currently treated with daily antibiotics for many years depending on the severity of their abnormality,” said Mattoo, of Troy, Mich. “This collaborative study will look at the prolonged use of antibiotic prophylaxis and whether or not it reduces the frequency of urinary tract infections, as well as the impact its use makes on preventing renal scarring in children with VUR.”

Current treatment for VUR may not be necessary and may cause some harm, including resistance to antibiotics, requiring children to have expensive and painful radiology tests and surgical procedures, as well as gastrointestinal symptoms, skin rashes and other complications.

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Wayne State University is one of the nation’s pre-eminent public research universities in an urban setting. Through its multidisciplinary approach to research and education, and its ongoing collaboration with government, industry and other institutions, the university seeks to enhance economic growth and improve the quality of life in the city of Detroit, state of Michigan and throughout the world. For more information about research at Wayne State University, visit http://www.research.wayne.edu.