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Houston, Texas

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Department of Medicine - Section of Nephrology
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Venkat Ramanathan, M.D.

Venkat Ramanathan, M.D.Associate Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology
Houston Veteran Affiars Medical Center
2002 Holcomb Blvd, 111J, Houston, TX 77030

Office: 713-794-7244, Fax: 713-794-7415, Email:

Patient Clinic Appointments: 713-798-2500


MBBS Kilpauk Medical College, India; Residency, Internal Medicine, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit Mich.; Fellowship, Nephrology, Henry Ford Hospital, Renal Transplant, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn.

Research Interest

My major research interests lie in clinical investigations of infections in patients being treated with hemodialysis catheters. To approach this problem, I have been working on two areas, epidemiologic analyses and detailed investigations of the microbiologic characteristics of hemodialysis catheters. We have demonstrated that significant costs in terms of morbidity, mortality and healthcare are associated with catheter sepsis in hemodialysis patients. In addition, we have reported on the morbidity and mortality that is associated with infective endocarditis occurring in patients who develop infections of the hemodialysis catheters. Our research into the microbiologic environment present in hemodialysis catheters is based on study and characterization of biofilms that develop in hemodialysis catheters. Specifically, biofilms form on the surface of the catheters and we can detect them by electron microscopy and characterize the infections with bacterial culture techniques. Currently, we are working to identify the location and formation of biofilms in tunneled hemodialysis catheters so that we can test the feasibility of using anti-biofilm agents available as a catheter-lock solution that could reduce the incidence of catheter related bacteremia. In addition to this strategy for preventing the formation of the biofilm, the group is involved in therapeutic strategies that incorporate: 1) anti-biofilm agents; and 2) antibiotics that could lead to improved salvage of catheters that are so frequently necessary in patients with difficult vascular access problems.

My other research is in the area of organ transplantation. Specifically, I am exploring the influence of health-care changes and drug utilization in patients with chronic kidney disease and the nephropathy from the BK virus in patients with a kidney transplant.

Selected Publications

  • Aslam S, Trautner BW, Ramanathan V and Darouiche RO. Pilot trial of N-acetylcysteine and Tigecycline as a Catheter-Lock solution for treatment of Hemodialysis catheter-associated Bacteremia. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2008 Sep; 29(9): 894-7.

  • Ramanathan V, Chiu EJ, Thomas JT, Khan A, Dolson GM, Darouiche RO. Healthcare Costs Associated with Hemodialysis Catheter-related Infections: A single center experience. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2007 May; 28: 606-609

  • Aslam S, Trautner BW, Ramanathan V and Darouiche RO. Combination of Tigecycline and N-acetylcysteine reduces Biofilm-embedded Bacteria on Vascular Catheters. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2007 Apr; 51(4): 1556-8

  • Trachtenberg B, Bush RL, Ramanathan V. Massive Infrarenal Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Presenting as Epigastric Mass. Lancet 2006 Nov 4;368(9547):1622

  • Adrogue HE, Soltero L, Land GA, Ramanathan V, Truong LD, Suki WN.

  • Immunoglobulin therapy for Plasma cell-rich rejection in the Renal Allograft. Transplantation 2006 Aug 27;82(4):567-9

  • Nori US, Manoharan A, Thornby JI, Yee J, Parasuraman R, Ramanathan V. Mortality Risk Factors in Chronic Hemodialysis Patients with Infective Endocarditis. Nephrology Dialysis and Transplantation 2006 Aug; 21(8): 2184-90.

  • Gonlusen G, Shen S, Adrogue HE, Ramanathan V, Truong LD. Granulomatous Pyelitis Associated with Urinary Obstruction: A Comprehensive Clinicopathologic Study. Modern Pathology 2006 Aug; 19(8): 1130-38.

  • Ramanathan V, Nguyen PT, Nguyen PV, Khan A, Musher DM. Successful Medical Management of Recurrent Emphysematous Pyelonephritis. Urology 2006 Mar; 67(3): 623.e11-3.

  • Leggington R, Olivero JJ, Adrogue HE, Ramanathan V. Recovery of Allograft function after complete withdrawal of Immunosuppression. Transplant.Proc. 2005 Dec; 37(10):4380-82.

  • Ramanathan V, Suki WN, Rosen D, Truong LD. Chronic Allograft Nephropathy and Nephrotic range proteinuria. Clin Transplantation 2005 Jun; 19(3): 413-417.

  • Ramanathan V, Goral S, Tanriover B,Feurer I.B, Kazancioglu R, Shaffer D, Helderman JH. Screening Asymptomatic Diabetic Patients for Coronary Artery Disease Prior To Renal Transplantation. Transplantation 2005 May 27; 79(10):1453-1458.

  • Kazancioglu R, Goral S, Shockley SL, Feurer ID, Ramanathan V, Helderman JH, VanBuren D. A systematic examination of estimates of cyclosporine area under the curve in renal transplant recipients. Transplantation. 2002 Jan 27; 73(2): 301-302

  • Ramanathan V, Goral S, Helderman JH. “Renal transplantation”: Seminars in Nephrology 2001; (21): 213-219

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