Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology

Journal Logo


CJASN Recognitions

The success of CJASN depends on the contributions of authors, reviewers, editors, and readers. Each year, CJASN is pleased to recognize highly dedicated reviewers and impactful articles.

The CJASN Editorial Team wishes to express a sincere thank you to the Editors, Editorial Board Members, and Reviewers, including the Mentor and Mentee participants of the CJASN Trainee Peer Review Program, who contributed to CJASN in 2022.


Peer review is integral to publishing high-quality, valid research. CJASN is grateful for the contributions of its many reviewers and would like to recognize the top five reviewers of 2022 for their time, insights, and dedication. They share their thoughts on the importance of peer review.

​Khaled Abdel-Kader, MD, MS

"Peer review is an important step for ensuring transparency and accountability in the scientific process. These assurances are critical to safeguarding trus​t in scientific outcomes and the eventual discovery of truth."

Mirela A. Dobre, MD, MPH

"Peer review is a partnership between the reviewers and the writing group members. Through constructive comments, they help elevate the value of the submitted work."

​Matthew J. Oliver, MD, MS

"To me, peer review is the foundation of science. It differentiates scientific work from opinion. It provides important insights that allow researchers to clarify and improve the quality of their work. As a peer reviewer, I enjoy “digging into the details” and always appreciate the effort researchers have spent on their studies. I try my best to clarify and improve the quality of their work while often learning a great deal myself in the process."

Paul M. Palevsky, MD, FASN

“As a past deputy editor of both CJASN and JASN, I understand how critically important peer review is to the academic enterprise. Objective and insightful peer reviews are absolutely essential to adequately assess both original research and review articles. It is an obligation of those who hope to publish our own work to support the process by eagerly providing reviews when invited. To be recognized for excellence as a reviewer is an honor.”

Cassianne Robinson-Cohen, PhD

“As an epidemiologist, I bring unique perspective and expertise to the peer-review process, and I am grateful to know that the editorial team at CJASN values my point of view.”

return to top


The editors of CJASN, JASN, and Kidney360 proudly present the high-impact articles that were discussed by the journal editorial teams during the “Best of ASN Journals: CJASN, JASN & Kidney360” session at Kidney Week 2022. These articles highlight innovative clinical, translational, and basic research in the topics of Advances in Glomerular Disease, Caring for Patients with Kidney Failure, and New Insights into Hypertension and CVD. These articles appeared online in 2022.​

return to top


The following five articles, which published in 2021, were chosen because the Editors believe they exemplify the highest potential to inform future research, change clinical practice, or influence public policy, particularly in the United States.

Antibody Response to the Pfizer BNT162b2 COVID-19 Vaccine in Patients Undergoing Maintenance Hemodialysis

Ayelet Grupper, Nechama Sharon, Talya Finn, et al.
In a study that included 56 patients on maintenance hemodialysis and a control group of 95 health care workers who had received two doses of the BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) COVID-19 vaccine, all controls developed an antibody response compared with 96% (54 of 56) in the dialysis group. The IgG levels in the dialysis group were significantly lower than in the control group, and there was an inverse correlation of age and IgG levels in both groups. An accompanying editorial notes that additional studies are needed to provide information about the adequacy of response and its duration in patients on dialysis.

Combining Blood Gene Expression and Cellfree DNA to Diagnose Subclinical Rejection in Kidney Transplant Recipients

Sookhyeon Park, Kexin Guo, Raymond L. Heilman, et al.
Researchers recently investigated the diagnostic performance of a blood gene expression profile biomarker and plasma donor-derived cellfree DNA assay in stable patients with kidney transplants and either normal surveillance biopsies or subclinical rejection. In the study, which involved 428 samples paired with surveillance biopsies from 208 patients in an observational trial, donor-derived cellfree DNA was better at detecting subclinical antibody-mediated rejection, and conversely, the gene expression profile was better at detecting subclinical acute cellular rejection. Combining the assays was superior to using either assay alone. An accompanying editorial notes that prospective trials are needed to determine whether these assays could replace transplant biopsies for clinical decision-making.

Association between Postmortem Kidney Biopsy Findings and Acute Kidney Injury from Patients with COVID-19

Jesús Rivero, Maribel Merino-López, Rossana Olmedo, et al.
In a multicenter, observational study from Mexico City of 85 deceased patients with COVID-19 with postmortem kidney biopsies, severe acute kidney injury (AKI) was present in 54% of patients. Pathology descriptions included 29% with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, 27% with diabetic nephropathy, and 81% with arteriosclerosis. Additionally, 13% had interstitial fibrosis/tubular atrophy grades 2–3, and 6% showed amyloid deposits. On light microscopy, 49% displayed evidence of acute tubular injury grades 2–3. Histopathologic characteristics were not associated with severe AKI; however, nonrecovery from severe AKI was associated with the presence of pigmented casts. In the study, certain inflammatory markers and medications were associated with specific histopathologic findings.

Depressive Symptoms Linked to Rapid Kidney Function Decline in Adults with Normal Kidney Function

Zhuxian Zhang, Panpan He, Mengyi Liu, et al.
In an analysis of 4,763 individuals with healthy kidney function when enrolled in the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study, 39% of participants had high depressive symptoms at baseline, and during a median follow-up of 4 years, 260 (6%) participants experienced rapid kidney function decline. There was a significant association between depressive symptoms at the start of the study and rapid decline in kidney function during follow-up. After adjustments, participants with frequent depressive symptoms were 1.4-times more likely to experience rapid kidney function decline than participants with infrequent depressive symptoms. An accompanying Patient Voice provides the perspective of a two-time kidney transplant recipient.

Noninvasive Diagnosis of Membranous Nephropathy: A Validation Study

Shane A. Bobart, Heedeok Han, Shahrzad Tehranian, et al.
In a multicenter, observational study, investigators found that in patients with preserved kidney function and absence of associated conditions or diabetes, a positive anti-phospholipase A2 receptor test by either ELISA or immunofluorescence assay confirms the diagnosis of membranous nephropathy, precluding the requirement for a kidney biopsy. The study included 79 patients, adding to the 60 patients with these characteristics that the team described previously. In none of the patients did kidney biopsy reveal management-changing information other than the diagnosis of membranous nephropathy. An editorial accompanies the study.


The following five articles were selected as the 2020 Editors' Choice Articles for their potential impact.

Patient and Caregiver Perspectives on Terms Used to Describe Kidney Health

Allison Tong, Andrew S. Levey, Kai-Uwe Eckardt, et al.
Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) may find common terms physicians use to describe kidney health distressing or too difficult to understand, according to a new study. The CJASN study included 54 patients with CKD and 13 caregivers from the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia who participated in 10 focus groups to discuss terms for kidney health (including “kidney,” “renal,” “CKD,” “end-stage kidney disease,” “kidney failure,” and descriptors for kidney function). The researchers identified four themes: provoking and exacerbating undue trauma, frustrated by ambiguity, making sense of the prognostic enigma, and mobilizing self-management. An editorial and Patient Voice accompany the study. 

Acute Kidney Injury in a National Cohort of Hospitalized US Veterans with COVID-19

Benjamin Bowe, Miao Cai, Yan Xie, et al.
In a national cohort of 5,216 US veterans hospitalized for COVID-19, 1,655 (32%) had acute kidney injury (AKI), 201 (12%) of whom received kidney replacement therapy. Most (80%) experienced AKI within one day of hospitalization, and 47% did not recover to their baseline serum creatinine value at discharge. Older age, male gender, Black race, obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and lower kidney function were predictors of AKI during hospitalization with COVID-19. In the CJASN study, AKI was associated with higher mechanical ventilation use, longer hospital stay, and a higher risk of death. Substantial geographical differences were observed across hospital systems. A podcast accompanies the article. 

Benzodiazepines, Codispensed Opioids, and Mortality among Patients Initiating Long-Term In-Center Hemodialysis

Abimereki D. Muzaale, Matthew Daubresse, Sunjae Bae, et al.
In an analysis of information about US adults initiating hemodialysis, 16% of patients were dispensed a short-acting benzodiazepine. Approximately one-quarter of these patients were also dispensed opioids. Among patients with an opioid prescription, those who were dispensed a short-acting benzodiazepine had a 1.9-fold higher risk of dying over a median follow-up of 16 months compared with patients without a short-acting benzodiazepine. The study included 69,368 adults with kidney failure who initiated hemodialysis in 2013 or 2014. During follow-up, 15,175 patients (30%) died. The study is accompanied by a Patient Voice editorial. 

Recurrence of FSGS after Kidney Transplantation in Adults

Audrey Uffing, Maria José Pérez-Sáez, Marilda Mazzali, et al.
In an international, multicenter study of 176 individuals with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) who underwent kidney transplantation, recurrence of FSGS was 32%, with a median time to recurrence of 1.5 months. Older age at native kidney disease onset, white race, lower body mass index at transplant, and native kidney nephrectomies were linked with higher risks of recurrence. Plasmapheresis and rituximab were the most frequent treatments (81%). Partial or complete remission occurred in 57% of patients and was associated with better graft survival. An editorial that accompanies the CJASN study notes that additional research is needed to better understand the disease process of FSGS and to establish more effective strategies for prevention and therapy. 

Effects of Canagliflozin in Patients with Baseline eGFR <30 ml/min per 1.73 m2

George Bakris, Megumi Oshima, Kenneth W. Mahaffey, et al.
In a post hoc analysis of CREDENCE data on 174 patients with advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD), or an estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) <30 mL/min/1.73 m² at the start of the trial, the sodium glucose co-transporter 2 inhibitor canagliflozin slowed CKD progression compared with placebo, with a 66% difference (average eGFR declines of –1.30 vs. –3.83 mL/min/1.73 m² per year). Also, canagliflozin’s effects on kidney, cardiovascular, and mortality outcomes were consistent with those seen for individuals with less advanced CKD. An editorial accompanying the CJASN analysis notes that two clinical trials that are examining the effects of other sodium glucose co-transporter 2 inhibitors include participants with eGFRs <30 mL/min/1.73 m². 


The following five articles were selected as the 2019 Editors' Choice Articles for their potential impact.

Fruit and Vegetable Intake and Mortality in Adults undergoing Maintenance Hemodialysis 

Valeria M. Saglimbene, Germaine Wong, Marinella Ruospo, et al. 
In this study of hemodialysis patients who completed food frequency questionnaires, only 4% of patients consumed ≥4 servings of fruits and vegetables per day as recommended in the general population. In the 8,078-patient study, there were 2082 deaths (954 from cardiovascular causes) over a median follow-up of 2.7 years. Compared with patients who had 0–5.5 servings of combined fruits and vegetables per week, those who had 5.6–10 servings and those who had >10 servings had 10% and 20% lower risks of dying from any cause, respectively, as well as 12% and 23% lower risks of dying from non-cardiovascular causes.  

Rate of Correction of Hypernatremia and Health Outcomes in Critically Ill Patients 

Kinsuk Chauhan, Pattharawin Pattharanitima, Niralee Patel, et al. 
Although there are no clear guidelines on sodium correction rate for hypernatremia, some studies suggest a reduction rate not to exceed 0.5 mmol/L per hour. However, the data supporting this recommendation and the optimal rate of hypernatremia correction in hospitalized adults are unclear. Researchers who assessed the association of hypernatremia correction rates with neurologic outcomes and mortality in critically ill patients with hypernatremia at admission and those who developed hypernatremia during hospitalization did not find any evidence that rapid correction of hypernatremia is associated with a higher risk for mortality, seizure, alteration of consciousness, and/or cerebral edema in critically ill adult patients with either admission or hospital-acquired hypernatremia. An editorial accompanies this study.  

Patients’ and Nephrologists’ Evaluation of Patient-Facing Smartphone Apps for CKD 

Karandeep Singh, Clarissa J. Diamantidis, Shreyas Ramani, et al. 
This study measured the quality, usability, and safety of 28 top-performing CKD apps on the iOS and Android app stores from the perspective of 2 CKD patients and 3 nephrologists. Both patients and nephrologists identified a handful of apps as high quality for a specific functionality, but only 1 app was identified as high quality overall by both groups. Patient evaluations of app quality also correlated poorly with consumer ratings from iOS and Android app stores. Even if an app is rated highly and deemed useful by nephrologists, it may not be viewed favorably by patients. An editorial and a Patient Voice editorial accompany the study.  

The Incidence, Causes, and Risk Factors of Acute Kidney Injury in Patients Receiving Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors 

Harish Seethapathy, Sophia Zhao, Donald F. Chute, et al. 
In an analysis of information on 1,016 patients taking immune checkpoint inhibitors as a treatment for cancer, 17% experienced acute kidney injury (AKI), 8% experienced sustained AKI, and 3% had potential immune checkpoint inhibitor–related AKI. Use of proton pump inhibitors, which are commonly used to treat stomach ulcers or acid reflux, was associated with a higher risk of experiencing sustained AKI. An accompanying editorial highlights the strengths and limitations of the analysis and stresses the need for additional studies. 

Secular Trends in the Cost of Immunosuppressants after Solid Organ Transplantation in the United States 

Margaret E. Helmuth, Qian Liu, Marc N. Turenne, et al. 
This study assessed the cost savings from substitution with generic immunosuppressive medications for organ transplant recipients and the Medicare Part D program. Investigators studied immunosuppressant medication costs for transplant recipients who received a kidney, liver, or heart transplant between 1987 and 2013 and filled prescriptions through Medicare Part D for tacrolimus or mycophenolate between 2008 and 2013. Overall, payments decreased for both patients (by 63%–79% for patients not receiving the Medicare Part D low-income subsidy and 24%–44% for those receiving the subsidy) and Medicare Part D plans (by 48%–67%) across the 3 organs and 2 drugs over the 5 years studied. An editorial and Patient Voice editorial accompany the study. 

return to top