Chronic kidney disease (CKD) contributes to a significant burden on the healthcare system and economy worldwide. In the last two decades, a new form of CKD: chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology (CKDu) in which the disease is not attributed to known causes has emerged as a major health issue in different geographical areas over the world mainly from farming community and has become a global concern today. Despite intense and numerous research works dedicated to CKDu, very little is known with certainty regarding its etiology and the pathophysiology behind its development. Recent evidences are emerging in favor of possible role of agrochemicals and pesticides in the pathogenesis of CKDu. Organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) due to their longer half-life and lipophilic nature persist long in the environment and are known to be biomagnified through food chain. Some study reports by the authors and a few others constitute the important body of evidences depicting the association between chronic exposures to OCPs and occurrence of CKDu through environmental contamination in farming as well as non-farming communities in different geographical areas around the globe.
Part of the book: Chronic Kidney Disease
Diabetic nephropathy (DN) and diabetic retinopathy (DR) are two serious and long-standing microvascular complications of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) whose burden is increasing worldwide due to increasing burden of T2DM. Several factors which may predispose to the development of DN and DR are persistent hyperglycemia and its consequences such as formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), activation of hexosamine pathway, polyol pathway, uncontrolled blood pressure, increased oxidative stress, age, family history of kidney disease or hypertension, ethnic background etc. However, the pathophysiological mechanisms of these complications are complicated and not completely understood yet. Hence it is the demand to discover newer approaches to treat these devastating complications completely. Recently, various epigenetic modifications, which are the transmissible alterations in the expressions of a gene, are being studied to understand the pathophysiology of diabetic vascular complications. Metabolic and environmental factors may lead to dysregulated epigenetic mechanisms which might further affect the chromatin structure and related expressions of a gene, which may lead to diabetes-associated complications. Therefore, it is the need to explore its role in vascular complications in the current scenario. In this chapter, various epigenetic studies with regard to DN and DR, epigenome-wide association studies (EWAS) approach, and starting clinical material for such studies have been discussed. We have also summarized the better understanding of epigenetic alterations and their role in microvascular complications of diabetes through this chapter. The better understanding of epigenetic mechanisms and their role in diabetic microvascular complications could be used in clinical management of DN as well as DR or could be helpful to improve the available therapies for these complications.
Part of the book: Type 2 Diabetes
Several ethical issues exist within the diagnostic medical laboratory. The major ethical challenges such as; consent, confidentiality, codes of conduct, conflict of interest, lab utilisation, proficiency, and direct access testing are some times more prevalent in resource-limited settings. Presently, decisions regarding diagnosis and patient’s treatment are commonly taken on the basis of outcomes and interpretations of laboratory test results. Therefore, ethics plays a significant role in laboratory medicine. Apart from the lab results, laboratory staff is another important aspect of the laboratory. Hence, it is highly recommended that knowledge of ethics helps to protect confidence; operational integrity, capability, impartiality, and safety of the staff. Many countries and their professional societies have developed policies and guidance material with regard to ethical issues in the area of laboratory medicine. The organizations specially; International of federation of clinical chemistry (IFCC), American Association of Clinical Chemistry (AACC) and International Organization for Standardization (ISO) have defined ethical recommendations for clinical laboratories. They are, in general, outlined the responsibilities of laboratory professionals towards their profession, the patient, and the society. However, implication of ethical standards and guidelines are vary between different cultures, geographies, and according to available resources. In this chapter, we have mentioned the ethical consideration of IFCC, AACC and ISO 15189:2012 with regard to laboratory medicine and also addressed the various ethical issues that arises day to day in laboratory medicine in the current scenario.
Part of the book: Bioethics in Medicine and Society