Blog / Nephrology and Urology

Dr. Constantino Fernández: “We are winning the battle against Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome”

We spoke with Dr. Constantino Fernández, from the Nephrology Service of Hospital Universitario de A Coruña (CHUAC), about a rare and chronic kidney disease that is under constant investigation by nephrologists.

Sora Moreno
Sora Moreno
Le estamos ganando la batalla al Síndrome Hemolítico Urémico
Le estamos ganando la batalla al Síndrome Hemolítico Urémico
El Dr. Constantino Fernández, del Servicio de Nefrología del Hospital Universitario de A Coruña (CHUAC)
El Dr. Constantino Fernández, del Servicio de Nefrología del Hospital Universitario de A Coruña (CHUAC).

In Europe 3’3 people per million of habitants under the age of 18 suffer with Hemolytic-Uremic Syndrome (HUS). 

This rare and chronic disease progressively damages the blood vessels from the kidneys. Research is still being a priority for the nephrologists. 

Dr. Constantino Fernandez is a member of the Nephrology Service at Hospital de A Coruña and he’s been dedicated to HUS for several years. 

“Patients came to us with a 4 years life-expectancy”, explains the doctor after we recorded some videos for a new course he is going to coordinate (we will tell you more at the end). 

Nevertheless, it seems that things have changed and now specialists are hopeful regarding the future of this disease. 

2015, a year of changes

As we said, patients with HUS suffer a serious illness that mostly affects kidneys. 

Although the diffuse nature of this disease makes extrarenal manifestations to the 20% of the patients: neurological, digestives and cardiac. 

But something changed in 2015. Dr. Fernandez is now more positive talking about it: 

“That year was approved the administration of eculizumab for that type of patients”. 

This treatment was the first one approved for the HUS and it preserves the renal function of affected patients. 

“From the very first moment we started to study it on patients with kidney transplant”, Dr. Fernandez explains. 

Results have been very positive at Hospital de A Coruña: the prognostic of 18 patients completely changed. 

“During the pre-eculizumab era our recurrence was very important. Average kidney’s lives was less than four years. This changed completely during the eculizumab era. We’ve seen that after five years; recurrence rate is 0”.

This is a very important fact, and it’s important to consider. Because of this Dr. Fernandez explains that “we lost very few kidneys and not because of the disease recurrence, but for the consequences”. 

He mentions two main consequences: rejection and the presence of vascular thrombosis.

“We are very satisfied, but patients are even more satisfied because they can have a transplant thanks to this treatment”.
Dr. Constantino Fernández

A new phase, more hope

This is not all. There’s even better news.

Dr. Fernandez reveals that now they are in a new phase, the ravulizumab.

The Spanish National Health System authorized ravulizumab in 2022 for the Hemolytic-Uremic Syndrome treatment. 

Childs and adults are having a very positive answer to this treatment because “it allows a notable prolongation in the dose administration interval”, Dr. Tino Fernandez explains. 

“This improves even more the patient’s life quality and there is no detriment regarding the efficiency of it”. 

The truth is that the results of the clinical trials prove that ravulizumab is improving the renal function and even allows the suspension of the dialysis in most of the treated patients. 

A new program of rare renal diseases

“Health professionals must be constantly updated” concludes Dr. Fernandez. 

Also, nephrology is a specialty that still has a lot of questions that need to be answered. 

One of them is glomerulopathies. Those diseases affect the glomerulus, the functional unit of the nephron, and they are responsible for the filtration of renal blood flow and regulator of renal hemodynamics.

Having that in mind, we prepared some clinical updates in glomerulopathies, where you can see how the knowledge is getting wider and the horizon is clearer.

Dr. Constantino Fernandez supervises and coordinates this course together with Dr. Mario Espinosa, Nephrologist from the Hospital Universitario Reina Sofía and Associate Professor at Facultad de Medicina de Córdoba.

This program offers five modules, each one of them divided in two sections: Clinical and Transplant

Dr. Espinosa oversees the clinical side while Dr. Fernandez coordinates transplant. 

Each module is prepared in e-learning with educational objectives at the beginning of each number and key points at the end of each section. 

This program is accredited by NHS with 3,0 credits (21 hours) and it contains expert commentaries in video from each lesson. 

If you are a Nephrologist or your specialty is Internal Medicine, this program is perfect for you. 

Send us a message and join in!