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      The Effects of Sevelamer and Calcium Acetate on Proxies of Atherosclerotic and Arteriosclerotic Vascular Disease in Hemodialysis Patients


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          Background: We recently determined that in hemodialysis patients, the use of calcium salts to correct hyperphosphatemia led to progressive coronary artery and aortic calcification as determined by sequential electron beam tomography (EBT) while the use of the non-calcium-containing binder sevelamer did not. Whether the specific calcium preparation (acetate vs. carbonate) might influence the likelihood of progressive calcification was debated. Methods: To determine whether treatment with calcium acetate was specifically associated with hypercalcemia and progressive vascular calcification, we conducted an analysis restricted to 108 hemodialysis patients randomized to calcium acetate or sevelamer and followed for one year. Results: The reduction in serum phosphorus was roughly equivalent with both agents (calcium acetate –2.5 ± 1.8 mg/dl vs. sevelamer –2.8 ± 2.0 mg/dl, p = 0.53). Subjects given calcium acetate were more likely to develop hypercalcemia (defined as an albumin-corrected serum calcium ≧10.5 mg/dl) (36 vs. 13%, p = 0.015). Treatment with calcium acetate (mean 4.6 ± 2.1 g/day – equivalent to 1.2 ± 0.5 g of elemental calcium) led to a significant increase in EBT-determined calcification of the coronary arteries (mean change 182 ± 350, median change +20, p = 0.002) and aorta (mean change 181 ± 855, median change +73, p < 0.0001). These changes were similar in magnitude to those seen with calcium carbonate. There were no significant changes in calcification among sevelamer-treated subjects. Conclusion: Despite purported differences in safety and efficacy relative to calcium carbonate, calcium acetate led to hypercalcemia and progressive vascular calcification in hemodialysis patients.

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          Effect of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors on coronary artery disease as assessed by electron-beam computed tomography.

          Angiographic studies of the regression of coronary artery disease are invasive and costly, and they permit only limited assessment of changes in the extent of atherosclerotic disease. Electron-beam computed tomography (CT) is noninvasive and inexpensive. The entire coronary-artery tree can be studied during a single imaging session, and the volume of coronary calcification as quantified with this technique correlates closely with the total burden of atherosclerotic plaque. We conducted a retrospective study of 149 patients (61 percent men and 39 percent women; age range, 32 to 75 years) with no history of coronary artery disease who were referred by their primary care physicians for screening electron-beam CT. All patients underwent base-line scanning and follow-up assessment after a minimum of 12 months (range, 12 to 15), and a volumetric calcium score was calculated as an estimate of the total burden of plaque. Treatment with 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors was begun at the discretion of the referring physician. Serial measurements of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol were obtained, and the change in the calcium-volume score was correlated with average LDL cholesterol levels. One hundred five patients (70 percent) received treatment with HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, and 44 patients (30 percent) did not. At follow-up, a net reduction in the calcium-volume score was observed only in the 65 treated patients whose final LDL cholesterol levels were less than 120 mg per deciliter (3.10 mmol per liter) (mean [+/-SD] change in the score, -7+/-23 percent; P=0.01). Untreated patients had an average LDL cholesterol level of at least 120 mg per deciliter and at the time of follow-up had a significant net increase in mean calcium-volume score (mean change, +52+/-36 percent; P<0.001). The 40 treated patients who had average LDL cholesterol levels of at least 120 mg per deciliter had a measurable increase in mean calcium-volume score (25+/-22 percent, P<0.001), although it was smaller than the increase in the untreated patients. The extent to which the volume of atherosclerotic plaque decreased, stabilized, or increased was directly related to treatment with HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors and the resulting serum LDL cholesterol levels. These changes can be determined noninvasively by electron-beam CT and quantified with use of a calcium-volume score.
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            Musculoskeletal manifestations of chronic renal failure.

            Musculoskeletal problems remain among the main limitations of the quality of life of renal failure patients, in particular of those treated with long-term maintenance dialysis. Renal osteodystrophy continues to receive great attention. The mechanisms of uremic skeletal resistance to parathormone (PTH) are further investigated. The assay used for the dosage of "intact PTH" has been found to detect 7-84 fragments with an inhibitory effect on the action of the whole hormone. A decrease in the density of PTH receptor on osteoblasts is another recently evidenced factor. Investigations of the recently described RANK-RANKL system have demonstrated an increase in serum osteprotegerin levels, which, together with the two above-mentioned abnormalities, may explain bone resistance to PTH. These are important advances in the understanding of renal osteodystrophy as skeletal resistance to PTH appears to play an important part in the pathophysiology of secondary hyperparathyroidism and of adynamic bone disease. Because of this skeletal resistance, it has been recommended for several years that serum PTH level be monitored and kept twofold to threefold above the upper value of the normal level to maintain normal bone turnover in dialysis patients. Relative hypoparathyroidism has recently been found to be associated with increased spontaneous fracture rate and mortality, so this recommendation appears to hold adequate, despite the demonstration that serum PTH levels in this range are a poor predictor of bone turnover and that chronic parathyroid gland hyperplasia is likely to favor parathyroid gland autonomization. Recent publications have insisted on the role that hyperphosphatemia plays not only in the development of secondary hyperparathyroidism, but also of vascular, especially coronary, calcification and as a predictor of mortality. This "silent killer" of uremic patients is one of the main targets for therapeutic intervention. Extensive use of calcium-containing phosphate binders has been recently criticized as calcium overload appears to favor vascular calcification. Sevelaner (RenaGel) is a calcium- and aluminum-free phosphate binder that is an important advance in the management of renal osteodystrophy, especially in patients with extraskeletal calcification and hypercalcemia. The use of vitamin D derivatives has also raised concern because they enhance calcium and phosphorus absorption and reduce bone turnover. New metabolites with fewer hypercalcemic effects have been developed. Calcium-sensing receptor agonists are stimulating interest and are likely to take an important place in the future management of renal osteodystrophy. Uremic myopathy has received recent attention. Impaired muscle capillary oxygen transfer has been identified as a pathophysiologic factor, and progressive resistance training has been shown to improve the condition. Finally, a new entity, nephrogenic fibrosing dermopathy, has been described, which must be distinguished from calciphylaxis and scleromyxedema.
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              hsCRP and HDL effects of statins trial (CHEST): rapid effect of statin therapy on C-reactive protein and high-density lipoprotein levels A clinical investigation.

              Inflammation contributes to the pathogenesis of coronary heart disease and elevated serum levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) are independently associated with increased coronary risk. This study assessed whether there were differences in the effects on CRP and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels among patients treated with three common statins. In a prospective, observational study, 80 dyslipidemic adults without evidence of cardiovascular disease were treated with 10 mg atorvastatin (A), 20 mg simvastatin (S), or 40 mg pravastatin (P) daily. CRP and lipid profiles were assayed before and after 12 weeks of therapy; in 21 patients, CRP levels were also measured after 1 and 4 weeks. The three treatment groups experienced comparable reductions in CRP (A: 33%, S: 42%, and P: 30%) and statistically insignificant changes in HDL cholesterol levels. CRP began to decrease after 1 week of treatment, and decreased further at 4 and 12 weeks of therapy. The change in the log-transformed CRP concentration correlated with the change in the log-transformed LDL cholesterol concentration. Subjects had similar baseline CRP levels, lipid profiles, and coronary risk factors. The authors conclude that at doses achieving similar reductions in LDL cholesterol, the three statins were associated with comparable decreases in CRP without significant changes in HDL cholesterol levels. The correlation between the reductions in CRP and LDL cholesterol differs from the findings of other published studies, and should prompt further investigation of the mechanism by which statins reduce CRP.

                Author and article information

                Am J Nephrol
                American Journal of Nephrology
                S. Karger AG
                October 2003
                08 September 2003
                : 23
                : 5
                : 307-314
                aDivisions of Nephrology, Moffitt-Long Hospitals and UCSF-Mt. Zion Medical Center, Department of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, Calif., bDivision of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Tulane University, New Orleans, La., cDivision of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., dDivision of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn., eThe Rogosin Institute and Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, Cornell University, New York, N.Y., fDivision of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Mass., gDivision of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, Calif., hGelTex Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Waltham, Mass., and iDivision of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, Dallas, Tex., USA
                72822 Am J Nephrol 2003;23:307–314
                © 2003 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.

                : 27 June 2003
                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 3, References: 40, Pages: 8
                Self URI (application/pdf): https://www.karger.com/Article/Pdf/72822
                Self URI (text/html): https://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/72822
                Self URI (journal page): https://www.karger.com/SubjectArea/Nephrology
                Original Article: Patient-Oriented, Translational Research

                Cardiovascular Medicine,Nephrology
                Sevelamer,Calcium,Calcification,Arteriosclerosis,Clinical trial
                Cardiovascular Medicine, Nephrology
                Sevelamer, Calcium, Calcification, Arteriosclerosis, Clinical trial


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