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Measuring the blood pressure of a child

Grant to investigate blood pressure in children and young people with ADPKD

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The PKD Charity has awarded £10,000 to UCL Institute of Child Health/Great Ormond St Hospital for a study investigating the optimal bood pressure level in children and young people with ADPKD (Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease).

High blood pressure (BP) or hypertension is a common problem in adults with ADPKD. Some patients develop major complications of hypertension in the vessels, resulting in a heart attack and stroke, before they have significant kidney issues. There is increasing evidence that hypertension may start in childhood but there is very little research on BP in children and young people with ADPKD.

This is a pilot study to investigate the optimal BP level in children with ADPKD at two major UK children’s hospitals: Great Ormond Street and the Evelina London Children’s Hospital. The researchers will measure BP in 3 ways (i) in the normal way using a standard arm cuff in clinic, but also (ii) check it repeatedly over 24 hours at home using a portable device around the size of a smartphone and (iii) using a home BP monitor measured
by parent/ young person.

They will also assess the health of the heart and blood vessels using a new device similar to a small, unobtrusive ultrasound machine. Urine and blood samples will be collected at the same time as normal clinic tests, and stored as a children’s ADPKD biobank for later investigation.

The project will comprehensively document BP and its effects in children and young people with ADPKD. They are aiming for 50 patients which will already be the largest study in such detail, but hope to roll this out across the country in future studies if, as expected, they find evidence of early hypertension that needs treatment. Diagnosing BP problems early in the disease may be the key to long term health benefits.

Dr Matko Marlais (Academic Clinical Fellow in Paediatrics)
Dr Paul Winyard (Reader in Paediatric Nephrology), Dr Manish Sinha (Consultant Paediatric Nephrologist)

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