Elaine Ku, MD

The global context of my research program focuses on understanding differences in the epidemiology, clinical management, and outcomes of children versus adults with kidney disease and the conduct of clinical trials to test interventions (such as blood pressure control) that will improve survival of patients with kidney disease. I am especially interested in transitions of care, such as that between adolescence and young adulthood, as well as that between advanced chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease (including dialysis and transplant).

My specific areas of focus currently include 1) cardiovascular risk in patients with kidney disease; 2) disparities in access to kidney transplantation and transplant outcomes; and 3) risk factors for progression of chronic kidney disease.

I am currently co-Director of the Training in Clinical Research Program in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
2020 - Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Champion Training, University of California
MAS, 06/2015 - Clinical Research, University of California
06/2015 - Nephrology and Pediatric Nephrology Fellowship, University of California
06/2011 - Medicine and Pediatrics Residency, LAC-USC Medical Center
MD, 06/2007 - Medicine, University of California
BA/BS, 06/2003 - English/Biology, University of California
Honors and Awards
  • Inquiry Mentor Award for Outstanding Mentorship, UCSF School of Medicine, 2019
  • National Kidney Foundation, Young Investigator Award/Satellite Clinical Investigator, 2016-2018
  • American Kidney Fund, Clinical Scientist in Nephrology Award, 2013-2014
  1. Kidney Transplantation in the Setting of Prolonged Dialysis Vintage: It's About Time.
  2. Cardiovascular disease risk factors and lifestyle modification strategies after pediatric kidney transplantation: what are we dealing with, and what can we target?
  3. US Renal Data System 2021 Annual Data Report: Epidemiology of Kidney Disease in the United States.
  4. Kidney transplant candidacy evaluation and waitlisting practices in the US and their association with access to transplantation.
  5. Perioperative Delta Sodium and Post-Liver Transplant Neurological Complications in Liver Transplant Recipients.
  6. Racial Differences in Medication Utilization for Secondary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in Kidney Transplant Recipients: A Post Hoc Analysis of the FAVORIT Trial Cohort.
  7. KDOQI US Commentary on the 2021 KDIGO Clinical Practice Guideline for the Management of Blood Pressure in CKD.
  8. Expedited Evaluation for Liver Transplantation: A Critical Look at Processes and Outcomes.
  9. Religious Service Attendance and Mortality among Adults in the United States with Chronic Kidney Disease.
  10. An Analysis of Free-Text Refusals as an Indicator of Readiness to Accept Organ Offers in Liver Transplantation.
  11. Bariatric surgery prior to transplantation and risk of early hospital re-admission, graft failure, or death following kidney transplantation.
  12. Intensive Blood Pressure Control, APOL1 Genotype, and Kidney Outcomes in Individuals With Type 2 Diabetes: A Post Hoc Analysis of the Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes-Blood Pressure (ACCORD-BP) Trial.
  13. Discordances between pediatric and adult thresholds in the diagnosis of hypertension in adolescents with CKD.
  14. US Renal Data System 2020 Annual Data Report: Epidemiology of Kidney Disease in the United States.
  15. Association between Longer Travel Distance for Transplant Care and Access to Kidney Transplantation and Graft Survival in the United States.
  16. Renal Recovery and Mortality Risk among Patients with Hepatorenal Syndrome Receiving Chronic Maintenance Dialysis.
  17. Racial Disparities in Eligibility for Preemptive Waitlisting for Kidney Transplantation and Modification of eGFR Thresholds to Equalize Waitlist Time.
  18. Recovery of kidney function after dialysis initiation in children and adults in the US: A retrospective study of United States Renal Data System data.
  19. Acute eGFR declines after intensive BP lowering with RAS blockade and risk of kidney failure.
  20. Sex Disparity in Deceased-Donor Kidney Transplant Access by Cause of Kidney Disease.
  21. Predicting long-term kidney allograft outcomes: pitfalls and progress.
  22. Factors Associated with Dialysis Discontinuation Outside of the Acute Care Setting.
  23. Weighing the waitlist: Weight changes and access to kidney transplantation among obese candidates.
  24. The Kidney Failure Risk Equation for Prediction of Allograft Loss in Kidney Transplant Recipients.
  25. Longer Distance From Dialysis Facility to Transplant Center Is Associated With Lower Access to Kidney Transplantation.
  26. Estimation of Albumin-Creatinine Ratio From Protein-Creatinine Ratio in Urine of Children and Adolescents With CKD.
  27. Trends in Cardiovascular Mortality Among a Cohort of Children and Young Adults Starting Dialysis in 1995 to 2015.
  28. Community-Based Epidemiology of Hospitalized Acute Kidney Injury.
  29. Intensive BP Control and eGFR Declines: Are These Events Due to Hemodynamic Effects and Are Changes Reversible?
  30. Recovery of Kidney Function Among Patients With Glomerular Disease Starting Maintenance Dialysis.
  31. Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Kidney Transplant Access Within a Theoretical Context of Medical Eligibility.
  32. eHealth in kidney care.
  33. Trends in Living Donation by Race and Ethnicity Among Children With End-stage Renal Disease in the United States, 1995-2015.
  34. Pretransplant dialysis exposure and outcomes after kidney transplantation - Where quantity and quality intersect?
  35. Should Renin-Angiotensin System Blockade Be Avoided in Patients With Declining Kidney Function?
  36. Tubular secretion of creatinine and kidney function: an observational study.
  37. Prognostic Value of Ambulatory Blood Pressure Load in Pediatric CKD.
  38. Association Between APOL1 Genotype and Need for Kidney Replacement Therapy in Patients Without Diabetes: Does Age Matter?
  39. Race and Mortality in CKD and Dialysis: Findings From the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC) Study.
  40. Authors' Reply.
  41. Use of ambulatory blood pressure monitoring in kidney transplant recipients.
  42. Effect of Blood Pressure Control on Long-Term Risk of End-Stage Renal Disease and Death Among Subgroups of Patients With Chronic Kidney Disease.
  43. Higher eGFR at Dialysis Initiation Is Not Associated with a Survival Benefit in Children.
  44. Trends in Kidney Function Outcomes Following RAAS Inhibition in Patients With Heart Failure With Reduced Ejection Fraction.
  45. Starting Renal Replacement Therapy: Is It About Time?
  46. Cardiovascular disease in young adults with incident ESRD.
  47. More Evidence to Suggest a Relation of Blood Pressure to Long-term Progression of Kidney Disease: Is It Causal?
  48. Acute declines in estimated glomerular filtration rate on enalapril and mortality and cardiovascular outcomes in patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction.
  49. Magnitude of the Difference Between Clinic and Ambulatory Blood Pressures and Risk of Adverse Outcomes in Patients With Chronic Kidney Disease.
  50. Association between BMI changes and mortality risk in children with end-stage renal disease.
  51. Hypertension in CKD: Core Curriculum 2019.
  52. Complications of Chronic Kidney Disease in Adolescents.
  53. Sex Disparities in Risk of Mortality Among Children With ESRD.
  54. Depressive Symptoms Associate With Race and All-Cause Mortality in Patients With CKD.
  55. Use of Antihypertensive Agents and Association With Risk of Adverse Outcomes in Chronic Kidney Disease: Focus on Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors and Angiotensin Receptor Blockers.
  56. Use of Renin-Angiotensin System Blockade in Advanced CKD: An NKF-KDOQI Controversies Report.
  57. Acute Declines in Renal Function during Intensive BP Lowering and Long-Term Risk of Death.
  58. Time-Centered Approach to Understanding Risk Factors for the Progression of CKD.
  59. Changes in Blood Pressure During Young Adulthood and Subsequent Kidney Function Decline: Findings From the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adulthood (CARDIA) Study.
  60. Twenty-Four-Hour Ambulatory Blood Pressure versus Clinic Blood Pressure Measurements and Risk of Adverse Outcomes in Children with CKD.
  61. Use of the Kidney Failure Risk Equation to Determine the Risk of Progression to End-stage Renal Disease in Children With Chronic Kidney Disease.
  62. Longitudinal Weight Change During CKD Progression and Its Association With Subsequent Mortality.
  63. Associations Between Weight Loss, Kidney Function Decline, and Risk of ESRD in the Chronic Kidney Disease in Children (CKiD) Cohort Study.
  64. Patterns of blood pressure response during intensive BP lowering and clinical events: results from the secondary prevention of small subcortical strokes trial.
  65. Acute Declines in Renal Function during Intensive BP Lowering: Implications for Future ESRD Risk.
  66. Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Survival of Children with ESRD.
  67. Strict blood pressure control associates with decreased mortality risk by APOL1 genotype.
  68. Association Between Blood Pressure and Adverse Renal Events in Type 1 Diabetes.
  69. BP Control and Long-Term Risk of ESRD and Mortality.
  70. Height at First RRT and Mortality in Children.
  71. Change in Measured GFR Versus eGFR and CKD Outcomes.
  72. Association of Body Mass Index with Patient-Centered Outcomes in Children with ESRD.
  73. State level variations in nephrology workforce and timing and incidence of dialysis in the United States among children and adults: a retrospective cohort study.
  74. Association between strict blood pressure control during chronic kidney disease and lower mortality after onset of end-stage renal disease.
  75. Index of suspicion. Case 1: fever, diarrhea, jaundice, and confusion in an 18-year-old male. Case 2: severe anemia in a 6-month-old girl. Case 3: red urine in a 4-month-old boy.
  76. Regional variation in the incidence of dialysis-requiring AKI in the United States.
  77. Is lipid management effective for all stages of CKD?.
  78. IgA nephropathy in a patient with ulcerative colitis, Graves' disease and positive myeloperoxidase ANCA.
  79. Do HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors improve kidney function? The saga continues.
  80. Metabolic and Dietary Influences on Sympathetic Nervous System Activity.
  81. Sympathetic renal innervation and resistant hypertension.
  82. Aldosterone in the pathogenesis of chronic kidney disease and proteinuria.
  83. Visual Diagnosis.
  84. Visual diagnosis: vaginal mass in a 16-month-old child.
  85. Aldosterone and hypertension in African Americans.
  86. The Case for Dual Renin-Angiotensin System Inhibition—Reply.
  87. Anion and osmolal gaps after alcohol intoxication.
  88. The hazards of dual renin-angiotensin blockade in chronic kidney disease.
  89. Lixivaptan: a novel vasopressin receptor antagonist.
  90. Role of aldosterone in the progression of chronic kidney disease and potential use of aldosterone blockade in children.