Clinicians involved in a world first for medical research

Thursday April 18, 2019

Doctors and biomedical scientists from Western Sussex Hospitals carried out the world’s first medical research looking for kidney injury biomarkers in runners at an endurance event.

The research team took urine and blood samples from 90 competitors before and after the Brighton Marathon (13-14 April) to test in the trust’s biochemistry laboratory.

Intensive Care Consultant Dr Luke Hodgson said: “The aim of this study was to examine, for the first time worldwide in this setting, if runners show increased levels of novel biomarkers which kidneys produce when they are injured or under ‘stress’.

“The results are now being analysed and the findings will be of significant international interest to sports and exercise medicine, as well as acute medicine where it is often difficult to promptly highlight those with significant evolving acute kidney injury (AKI).”

for the first time worldwide in this setting

AKI is a significant issue in hospitals, affecting nearly 1 in 5 patients. It has many causes and can affect the function of other organs, including the brain, heart and lungs. The condition is life-threatening and, if not treated quickly, a fifth of patients with AKI are not expected to survive.

Clinicians at Western Sussex Hospitals have been conducting innovative research into the detection of AKI for many years. On this occasion, the trust’s clinical team, including anaesthetist Dr Todd Leckie, worked alongside colleagues from Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals (BSUH), the University of Brighton, University College London (UCL) and the Brighton Marathon team, with support from the Western Sussex Hospitals biochemistry lab. They also assisted with an Armed Forces research project during the race.

Dr Hodgson said: “Research is crucial to look at ways of improving the care we deliver to our local population. Previous work in the field of sports and exercise has had direct impact on subsequent medical care and we are proud our Trust is active in this area.

“Performing research in the Marathon also provides an excellent opportunity to showcase ourselves as an exceptional organisation, adding to new knowledge.

research is crucial to look at ways of improving the care we deliver

“While collaboration with the Armed Forces, universities and neighbouring trusts is also a fantastic experience that we hope to continue at next year’s event with more innovative research.”

The ReFRun Study (Renal Function in Marathon Running) was a Brighton Marathon Research Group Project.

To find out more about research at Western Sussex Hospitals please visit www.westernsussexhospitals.nhs.uk/Research

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