Digital Public Defence: Hjørdis Thorsteinsdottir

MD Hjørdis Thorsteinsdottir at Institute of Clinical Medicine will be defending the thesis Lipids, biomarkers and cardiorespiratory fitness after kidney transplantation in childhood – Experiences from the HENT study for the degree of PhD (Philosophiae Doctor).

Image may contain: Person, Nose, Cheek, Head, Lip.

Photo: Ine Eriksen, UiO

The public defence will be held as a video conference over Zoom.

The defence will follow regular procedure as far as possible, hence it will be open to the public and the audience can ask ex auditorio questions when invited to do so.

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Download Zoom here

Due to copyright reasons, an electronic copy of the thesis must be ordered from the faculty. In order for the faculty to have time to process the order, it must be received by the faculty no later than 2 days prior to the public defence. Orders received later than 2 days before the defence will not be processed. Inquiries regarding the thesis after the public defence must be addressed to the candidate.

Digital Trial Lecture – time and place

See Digital Trial Lecture.

Adjudication committee

  • First opponent: Professor Jaap Groothoff, Amsterdam UMC, The Netherlands
  • Second opponent: Professor Bente Jespersen, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark
  • Third member and chair of the evaluation committee: Associate Professor Torild Skrivarhaug, University of Oslo

Chair of the Defence

Professor Henrik Holmstrøm, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo

Principal Supervisor

Senior Consultant Anna K. Bjerre, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo


Each year 5-10 children and adolescents receive a renal transplant in Norway. Children with end stage renal disease have increased risk for future cardiovascular disease. After a successful renal transplantation the risk is reduced but due to immunosuppressive treatment and other factors the risk is still increased compared with the general population. Prevention and early detection of cardiovascular disease is therefore of importance in these patients.

In this cross-sectional study on pediatric renal transplant recipients the PhD candidate and co-workers have shown that simple measures such as early physiotherapy after transplantation and focus on physical activity in the follow-up have positive effects on cardiorespiratory fitness, measured as VO2peak. The patients in the cohort also reported on better quality of life and mental health.

Plasma levels of growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF-15) were elevated in the children with a history of renal transplantation compared with both healthy children and children with chronic kidney disease. In contrary to our hypothesis we found no association between GDF-15 and cardiovascular risk factors but found GDF-15 to be strongly correlated with renal function.

There are considerable differences in the plasma fatty acid profile in children with a renal transplant and healthy children. In addition we found that higher levels of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids were associated with lower triglycerides and that high levels of eicosapentaenoic acid were also associated with lower blood pressure.

In conclusion, measures such as early implementation of early physiotherapy after renal transplantation, focus on physical activity in the follow-up and supplementation of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid might contribute to better cardiovascular health after pediatric renal transplantation. GDF-15 is not a suitable biomarker of cardiovascular risk in this population.

Additional information

Contact the research support staff.

Published Mar. 5, 2021 12:17 PM - Last modified Mar. 22, 2021 9:10 AM