Dr Ibrahim M Salman (left) and Dr Omar Al-adhami (right) - 2015 Highly Commended for Excellence in Higher Degree Research (Engineering, Medicine and Science)
Dr Ibrahim M Salman (left) and Dr Omar Al-adhami (right) - 2015 Highly Commended for Excellence in Higher Degree Research (Engineering, Medicine and Science)

Chronic Kidney Disease and High Blood Pressure

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) effects approximately 7% of the world population with the number of cases reaching end-stage renal disease growing at 3% annually. Dr Omar Al-adhami and Dr Ibrahim Salman investigate the role hypertension plays in cases of chronic kidney disease.

Hypertension is still one of the major cardiovascular complications in CKD that contributes to increased risks of morbidity and mortality in affected individuals. This process appears to be governed by a complex interaction between neuronal, hormonal and vascular mechanisms, leading to a progressive elevation of blood pressure, accelerated loss of renal function, and in most cases, eventuating in organ damage. Dr Al-adhami and Dr Salman’s research identified key neuronal, vascular and hormonal mechanisms that drive hypertension and the consequent loss of vascular function in CKD.

A development in Dr Al-adhami’s research was finding that each and every segment of the aorta could modulate blood pressure and flow. Traditionally the aorta has been viewed as a simple conduit artery but this research show’s that is not the case. These findings will help inform advanced diagnostic technologies that will be able to provide segmental measurement of arterial stiffness along the aorta.

A development of Dr Salman’s research was successfully implementing a cutting edge research methodology to determine ongoing changes in sympathetic nerve activity in CKD. Dr Salman has also investigated experimental evidence that suggests the neural pathways driving cardiovascular autonomic dysfunction in CKD are not identical in males and females. This has important ramifications for designing studies of hypertension and CKD further down the line.