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      Importance of Vascular Calcification in Kidney Transplant Recipients

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          Abstract

          Background: Kidney transplantation is the treatment of choice for chronic kidney disease (CKD), but in kidney transplant recipients (KTRs) cardiovascular events are the first cause of death with a functioning graft, ranging from 36 to 55%. The impact of vascular calcification (VC) on morbidity and mortality of KTRs is not appreciated enough nowadays. Summary: This review summarizes 13 important studies on VC in KTRs, comparing the results with CKD and dialysis populations. We focused on VC evaluation and use of coronary artery calcification (CAC) and aorta calcification (AoC) scores. We also evaluated the influence of traditional and non-traditional progression risk factors. Key Messages: VC strongly predicts cardiovascular events and all-cause mortality in KTRs. VC assessment is important in KTRs and based essentially on multislice computed tomography or electron beam computed tomography recognition of lesions. Quantitative measurement of CAC and AoC scores is essential for a correct definition of the calcium burden before and after kidney transplant. Progression of CAC slows down but does not halt after kidney transplant. A variable association of both traditional and non-traditional risk factors is shown. There is a strong association between baseline CAC score and CAC progression. A significant improvement in secondary hyperparathyroidism after transplantation favorably affects the progression of CAC. Low 25(OH)D<sub>3</sub> levels are an independent determinant of CAC progression. Diabetes is a risk factor for the presence of CAC in KTRs, but has not been independently associated with CAC progression. The data published on the use of immunosuppressive drugs as progression factors are few and inconclusive.

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          Most cited references 59

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          Coronary calcium as a predictor of coronary events in four racial or ethnic groups.

          In white populations, computed tomographic measurements of coronary-artery calcium predict coronary heart disease independently of traditional coronary risk factors. However, it is not known whether coronary-artery calcium predicts coronary heart disease in other racial or ethnic groups. We collected data on risk factors and performed scanning for coronary calcium in a population-based sample of 6722 men and women, of whom 38.6% were white, 27.6% were black, 21.9% were Hispanic, and 11.9% were Chinese. The study subjects had no clinical cardiovascular disease at entry and were followed for a median of 3.8 years. There were 162 coronary events, of which 89 were major events (myocardial infarction or death from coronary heart disease). In comparison with participants with no coronary calcium, the adjusted risk of a coronary event was increased by a factor of 7.73 among participants with coronary calcium scores between 101 and 300 and by a factor of 9.67 among participants with scores above 300 (P<0.001 for both comparisons). Among the four racial and ethnic groups, a doubling of the calcium score increased the risk of a major coronary event by 15 to 35% and the risk of any coronary event by 18 to 39%. The areas under the receiver-operating-characteristic curves for the prediction of both major coronary events and any coronary event were higher when the calcium score was added to the standard risk factors. The coronary calcium score is a strong predictor of incident coronary heart disease and provides predictive information beyond that provided by standard risk factors in four major racial and ethnic groups in the United States. No major differences among racial and ethnic groups in the predictive value of calcium scores were detected. Copyright 2008 Massachusetts Medical Society.
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            Coronary artery calcium score combined with Framingham score for risk prediction in asymptomatic individuals.

            Guidelines advise that all adults undergo coronary heart disease (CHD) risk assessment to guide preventive treatment intensity. Although the Framingham Risk Score (FRS) is often recommended for this, it has been suggested that risk assessment may be improved by additional tests such as coronary artery calcium scoring (CACS). To determine whether CACS assessment combined with FRS in asymptomatic adults provides prognostic information superior to either method alone and whether the combined approach can more accurately guide primary preventive strategies in patients with CHD risk factors. Prospective observational population-based study, of 1461 asymptomatic adults with coronary risk factors. Participants with at least 1 coronary risk factor (>45 years) underwent computed tomography (CT) examination, were screened between 1990-1992, were contacted yearly for up to 8.5 years after CT scan, and were assessed for CHD. This analysis included 1312 participants with CACS results; excluded were 269 participants with diabetes and 14 participants with either missing data or had a coronary event before CACS was performed. Nonfatal myocardial infarction (MI) or CHD death. During a median of 7.0 years of follow-up, 84 patients experienced MI or CHD death; 70 patients died of any cause. There were 291 (28%) participants with an FRS of more than 20% and 221 (21%) with a CACS of more than 300. Compared with an FRS of less than 10%, an FRS of more than 20% predicted the risk of MI or CHD death (hazard ratio [HR], 14.3; 95% confidence interval [CI]; 2.0-104; P =.009). Compared with a CACS of zero, a CACS of more than 300 was predictive (HR, 3.9; 95% CI, 2.1-7.3; P<.001). Across categories of FRS, CACS was predictive of risk among patients with an FRS higher than 10% (P<.001) but not with an FRS less than 10%. These data support the hypothesis that high CACS can modify predicted risk obtained from FRS alone, especially among patients in the intermediate-risk category in whom clinical decision making is most uncertain.
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              Fibroblast growth factor 23 and risks of mortality and end-stage renal disease in patients with chronic kidney disease.

              A high level of the phosphate-regulating hormone fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF-23) is associated with mortality in patients with end-stage renal disease, but little is known about its relationship with adverse outcomes in the much larger population of patients with earlier stages of chronic kidney disease. To evaluate FGF-23 as a risk factor for adverse outcomes in patients with chronic kidney disease. A prospective study of 3879 participants with chronic kidney disease stages 2 through 4 who enrolled in the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort between June 2003 and September 2008. All-cause mortality and end-stage renal disease. At study enrollment, the mean (SD) estimated glomerular filtration rate (GFR) was 42.8 (13.5) mL/min/1.73 m(2), and the median FGF-23 level was 145.5 RU/mL (interquartile range [IQR], 96-239 reference unit [RU]/mL). During a median follow-up of 3.5 years (IQR, 2.5-4.4 years), 266 participants died (20.3/1000 person-years) and 410 reached end-stage renal disease (33.0/1000 person-years). In adjusted analyses, higher levels of FGF-23 were independently associated with a greater risk of death (hazard ratio [HR], per SD of natural log-transformed FGF-23, 1.5; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.3-1.7). Mortality risk increased by quartile of FGF-23: the HR was 1.3 (95% CI, 0.8-2.2) for the second quartile, 2.0 (95% CI, 1.2-3.3) for the third quartile, and 3.0 (95% CI, 1.8-5.1) for the fourth quartile. Elevated fibroblast growth factor 23 was independently associated with significantly higher risk of end-stage renal disease among participants with an estimated GFR between 30 and 44 mL/min/1.73 m(2) (HR, 1.3 per SD of FGF-23 natural log-transformed FGF-23; 95% CI, 1.04-1.6) and 45 mL/min/1.73 m(2) or higher (HR, 1.7; 95% CI, 1.1-2.4), but not less than 30 mL/min/1.73 m(2). Elevated FGF-23 is an independent risk factor for end-stage renal disease in patients with relatively preserved kidney function and for mortality across the spectrum of chronic kidney disease.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                AJN
                Am J Nephrol
                10.1159/issn.0250-8095
                American Journal of Nephrology
                S. Karger AG
                0250-8095
                1421-9670
                2014
                June 2014
                07 May 2014
                : 39
                : 5
                : 418-426
                Affiliations
                Nephrology, Dialysis and Transplantation Unit, Department of Experimental, Diagnostic and Specialty Medicine, S. Orsola University Hospital, Bologna, Italy
                Author notes
                *Prof. Sergio Stefoni, Dialysis, Nephrology and Transplantation Unit, S. Orsola University Hospital, via Massarenti 9, IT-40138 Bologna (Italy), E-Mail sergio.stefoni@unibo.it
                Article
                362492 Am J Nephrol 2014;39:418-426
                10.1159/000362492
                24819032
                © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel

                Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

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                Figures: 2, Tables: 1, Pages: 9
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