The research of Andrew D. Rule, M.D., is focused on the epidemiology of chronic kidney disease. This involves the development and validation of novel methods to assess kidney function and morphology across the spectrum of health and disease.
He also has an interest in the epidemiology of kidney stones, including characterization of their risk factors and adverse outcomes.
- Understanding and interpreting endogenous filtration markers (particularly serum creatinine and cystatin C) that are commonly used to estimate glomerular filtration rate, identify kidney disease risk factors and predict adverse outcomes
- Characterizing the risk of chronic kidney disease in kidney stone formers using prospective and historical cohort studies in the general community
- Assessing the relationship of age, kidney function and chronic kidney disease risk factors to kidney macroanatomy (CT angiogram and CT urogram) and microanatomy (kidney biopsy) among potential and actual living kidney donors at three different transplant centers (Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, Mayo Clinic in Arizona and Cleveland Clinic)
- Identifying novel genetic determinants of chronic kidney disease with genome-wide association studies and linkage analyses
- Providing general epidemiological support (study design and analysis) for the Division of Nephrology & Hypertension at Mayo Clinic
Significance to patient care
By studying age-related changes in kidney donors, Dr. Rule's research is gaining insight into structural and functional changes in the kidney with aging. This will help physicians better identify kidney disease in patients at an early stage in order to prevent progression to more advanced stages where dialysis is needed.
The number of people with kidney stones has substantially increased in recent decades. Research is needed to find out why this has occurred and determine how kidney stones lead to other medical diseases, such as chronic kidney disease.