Predictors of publication of randomized controlled trials in nephrology

Ranjani N. Moorthi, Anna Lam, Navdeep Tangri, Manish M. Sood, Martin Wagner, Ahsan Alam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background and aims: Changes in clinical practice based on research findings are dependent on the dissemination of information, which is a goal at national meetings. Given that evidence for many interventions in nephrology is lacking, it is important to determine predictors of publication of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) presented as abstracts at national conferences. Materials and methods: All abstracts submitted to the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) meeting 2005 were reviewed to identify completed RCTs. Univariate logistic regression was used to compare characteristics between published RCTs until June 2010 and those not published. Time to publication was calculated. Results: 73 completed RCTs were presented out of 4,280 abstracts. 53% of these were published; median time to publication was 24 months (13.36 IQR). Oral presentations were published more frequently (OR 3.66, p = 0.01) as well as those with stated industry funding (OR 2.92, p = 0.03) and larger sample sizes (OR 2.1, p = 0.01). Blinded RCTs had ~ 4 times the odds of being published. Only ten RCTs used clinical endpoints such as death, hospitalizations etc.; however, all reached publication. Conclusions: Almost 50% of RCTs presented at the ASN 2005 meeting were not published within the studied time-frame. Well-conducted RCTs enhance the body of evidence needed to care for patients, if published. It is important to identify characteristics associated with non-publication, as above, to help us perform and report our studies better. Introduction Randomized controlled clinical trials (RCTs) are the gold standard for studying interventions in medicine and when performed well, they provide high quality evidence that guides clinical decision-making. Unfortunately, there are fewer published RCTs in nephrology compared to any other subspecialty within internal medicine [1]. As such, there continues to be a lack of published evidence for clinical decision-making for nephrologists. For clinicians, scientific meetings often serve as the first point of access to new and ongoing research. The American Society of Nephrology yearly meeting called "Kidney Week" is the largest gathering of nephrologists worldwide. Its yearly attendance varied from 10,000 to 13,000 in the last 10 years. It also is the forum where cutting edge research is available to the nephrology community. The program for the meeting includes poster sessions; however many excellent lectures, talks and debates run synchronously with the poster sessions. As published journal articles are the ideal method to disseminate new findings in the field, the publication rates of posters to papers is of importance. Given the low publication rates of RCTs in nephrology, we sought to determine the publication rates of RCTs presented as abstracts at an international nephrology meeting. Previous investigators found that abstracts presented at either the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) or the European Renal Association meetings were most likely to be subsequently published [2]. In light of this and the fact that the ASN is the largest international meeting of nephrologists, we focused our study on abstracts presented at the ASN in the year 2005 and their fate after 5 years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)280-285
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Nephrology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 8 2013


  • Nephrology
  • Publication
  • RCTs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology

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