16 May 2007
Background: Coronary artery calcifications independently predict cardiovascular events (CVE) in the general population. We assessed the prevalence and determinants of coronary (CAC) and thoracic aorta (AoC) calcifications in renal transplant recipients (RTR). Methods: Consecutive RTR living in Belgium, with an isolated kidney graft functioning for more than 1 year, were asked to participate. They underwent a 16-slice spiral computerized tomography in order to measure calcium mass. Demographic, clinical, biochemical and urinary parameters were recorded. Results: We included 281 patients. CAC and AoC were detected in 81 and 85%, with geometric means (SD) of 52.2 (4.9) and 99.3 (8.2) mg, respectively. By multiple linear regression, independent predictors of both types of calcifications included older age, longer time on dialysis, a history of CVE, of multiple transplantations and of smoking. Other determinants of CAC were male gender, current statin use and history of parathyroidectomy, and other determinants of AoC included higher pulse pressure, shorter time under mycophenolate mofetil and current use of anti-vitamin-K. Conclusion: The prevalence of both CAC and AoC is substantial in RTR. We delineate independent determinants either common to both CAC and AoC or specific to one, and known as classic or chronic kidney disease related risk factors.