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      Vascular Calcification in Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease

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          Abstract

          Chronic kidney disease (CKD) represents an extremely common condition, and cardiovascular diseases are frequently reported in this patient population. Traditional risk factors are not accurate prognostic predictors in CKD patients, and new potential markers to predict the cardiovascular involvement in uremic patients need to be identified. Vascular calcification (VC) represents a hallmark of the atherosclerotic process in CKD. This review summarizes the processes responsible for VC (particularly focusing on the mechanisms operative in the presence of renal dysfunction), discusses the utility of computer tomography modalities in the detection of VC in patients with CKD, and reports the potential role of VC as pathophysiological link between kidney disease and cardiovascular events.

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          Most cited references 41

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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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            Association of low fetuin-A (AHSG) concentrations in serum with cardiovascular mortality in patients on dialysis: a cross-sectional study.

            Vascular calcification is the most prominent underlying pathological finding in patients with uraemia, and is a predictor of mortality in this population. Fetuin-A (alpha2-Heremans Schmid glycoprotein; AHSG) is an important circulating inhibitor of calcification in vivo, and is downregulated during the acute-phase response. We aimed to investigate the hypothesis that AHSG deficiency is directly related to uraemic vascular calcification. We did a cross-sectional study in 312 stable patients on haemodialysis to analyse the inter-relation of AHSG and C-reactive protein (CRP) and their predictive effect on all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, over a period of 32 months. Subsequently, we tested the capacity of serum to inhibit CaxPO4 precipitation in patients on long-term dialysis (n=17) with apparent soft-tissue calcifications, and in those on short-term dialysis (n=8) without evidence of calcifications and cardiovascular disease. AHSG concentrations in serum were significantly lower in patients on haemodialysis (mean 0.66 g/L [SD 0.28]) than in healthy controls (0.72 [0.19]). Low concentrations of the glycoprotein were associated with raised amounts of CRP and with enhanced cardiovascular (p=0.031) and all-cause mortality (p=0.0013). Sera from patients on long-term dialysis with low AHSG concentrations showed impaired ex-vivo capacity to inhibit CaxPO4 precipitation (mean IC50: 9.0 microL serum [SD 3.1] vs 7.5 [0.8] in short-term patients and 6.4 [2.6] in controls). Reconstitution of sera with purified AHSG returned this impairment to normal. Interpretation AHSG deficiency is associated with inflammation and links vascular calcification to mortality in patients on dialysis. Activated acute-phase response and AHSG deficiency might account for accelerated atherosclerosis in uraemia.
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              Electron beam computed tomography in the evaluation of cardiac calcification in chronic dialysis patients.

              The purpose of this study was to assess the value of electron beam computed tomography in the detection of cardiac calcifications in coronaries and valves of dialysis patients and to determine the rate at which calcification progresses. Forty-nine chronic hemodialysis patients aged 28 to 74 years were compared with 102 non-dialysis patients aged 32 to 73 years with documented or suspected coronary artery disease, all of whom underwent coronary angiography. We used high-resolution electron beam computed tomography scanning to make 30 axial slices with a distance of 3 mm between each slice. The number of calcifications, the surface area, and the average and highest density values were measured. We calculated a quantitative coronary artery calcium score and assessed calcification of mitral and aortic valves. In dialysis patients, the measurements were repeated after 12 months. The coronary artery calcium score was from 2.5-fold to fivefold higher in the dialysis patients than in the non-dialysis patients. Hypertensive dialysis patients had higher calcium scores than non-hypertensive dialysis patients (P < 0.05). A stepwise, multiple regression analysis confirmed the importance of age and hypertension. No correlation between calcium, phosphate, or parathyroid hormone values and the coronary calcium score was identified; however, the calcium score was inversely correlated with bone mass in the dialysis patients (r = 0.47, P < 0.05). The mitral valve was calcified in 59% of dialysis patients, while the aortic valve was calcified in 55%. The coronary artery calcium score was correlated with aortic valvular, but not mitral valvular calcification. A repeat examination of the dialysis patients at an interval of 1 year showed a disturbing tendency for progression. Our data under-score the frequency and severity of coronary and valvular calcifications in dialysis patients, and illustrate the rapid progression of this calcification. Finally, they draw attention to hypertension as an important risk factor in this process.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                BPU
                Blood Purif
                10.1159/issn.0253-5068
                Blood Purification
                S. Karger AG
                978-3-8055-8052-6
                978-3-318-01301-6
                0253-5068
                1421-9735
                2006
                December 2005
                23 December 2005
                : 24
                : 1
                : 56-62
                Affiliations
                Zena and Michael A. Wiener Cardiovascular Institute and Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Center for Cardiovascular Health, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, N.Y., USA
                Article
                89438 Blood Purif 2006;24:56–62
                10.1159/000089438
                16361842
                © 2006 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.

                Page count
                Tables: 2, References: 78, Pages: 7
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                Self URI (application/pdf): https://www.karger.com/Article/Pdf/89438
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