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      Serum Fetuin-A Levels Link Inflammation and Cardiovascular Calcification in Hemodialysis Patients

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          Abstract

          Background: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of mortality in hemodialysis (HD). An elevated incidence of cardiovascular calcifications (CVC) is observed in HD. Fetuin-A is an important inhibitor of CVC. Reduced fetuin-A levels associate with inflammation and increased cardiovascular (CV) mortality in HD. In this study we investigated the association of fetuin-A levels and CVC. Method: We evaluated a cohort of 115 patients (67 males), aged 63 ± 16 years with a HD vintage ≧9 months. Presence of CVC was assessed by ultrasound imaging of the abdominal aorta, common carotid arteries, bilateral ilio-femoral axis, aortic and mitral cardiac valves. The presence of CVC was analyzed as a CVC score (CVCS) (0–7) according to the number of CVC sites. Patients were arbitrary stratified in three groups: group I (CVCS = 0), group II (0 < CVCS < 6) and group III (CVCS ≧ 6). Patients without CVC were younger, non-diabetic and with a negative history for CV events. Results: Patients with evidence of CVC in more than 5 sites had lower serum fetuin-A levels (0.41 ± 0.22 g/l) compared to patients with CVCS = 0 (0.51 ± 0.17 g/l, p = 0.048). In addition a worse CVCS was associated with higher serum levels of C-reactive protein (p = 0.002) and fibrinogen (p < 0.001). Serum fetuin-A levels lower than 0.290 g/l were associated with higher risk of a worse CVCS, independently from traditional risk factors. Conclusion: Chronic inflammation in HD patients leads to lower serum fetuin-A levels. The present study confirms the independent and significant association between reduced serum fetuin-A levels and multi-site CVC in HD.

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          Most cited references 15

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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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            Arterial stiffening and vascular calcifications in end-stage renal disease.

            Epidemiological studies have identified aortic stiffness as an independent predictor of cardiovascular mortality in end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients. In these patients, aortic pulse wave velocity (PWV) was associated with mediacalcosis, but the influence of arterial calcifications on the viscoelastic properties of large arteries was not well characterized. The purpose of the present study was to analyse the influence of arterial calcifications on arterial stiffness in stable haemodialysed patients. We studied 120 stable ESRD patients on haemodialysis. All patients underwent B-mode ultrasonography of common carotid artery (CCA), aorta, and femoral arteries to determine CCA distensibility, the elastic incremental modulus (Einc), and the presence of vascular calcifications. All patients underwent measurement of aortic PWV and echocardiogram. The presence of calcifications was analysed semiquantitatively as a score (0 to 4) according to the number of arterial sites with calcifications. Our observations indicate that arterial and aortic stiffness is significantly influenced by the presence and extent of arterial calcifications. The extent of arterial calcifications is in part responsible for increased left ventricular afterload, and is inversely correlated with stroke volume. The influence of calcifications is independent of the role of ageing and blood pressure. Arterial calcifications density increases with age, duration of haemodialysis, the fibrinogen level, and the prescribed dose of calcium-based phosphate binders. The results of this study showed that the presence of vascular calcifications in ESRD patients was associated with increased stiffness of large capacity, elastic-type arteries, like the aorta and CCA. The extent of arterial calcifications increased with the use of calcium-based phosphate-binders.
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              C-reactive protein and albumin as predictors of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality in chronic kidney disease.

              High C-reactive protein (CRP) and hypoalbuminemia are associated with increased risk of mortality in patients with kidney failure. There are limited data evaluating the relationships between CRP, albumin, and outcomes in chronic kidney disease (CKD) stages 3 and 4. The Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD) Study was a randomized controlled trial conducted between 1989 and 1993. CRP was measured in frozen samples taken at baseline. Survival status and cause of death, up to December 31, 2000, were obtained from the National Death Index. Multivariable Cox models were used to examine the relationship of CRP [stratified into high CRP > or =3.0 mg/L (N= 414) versus low CRP<3.0 mg/L (N= 283)], and serum albumin, with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. Median follow-up time was 125 months, all-cause mortality was 20% (N= 138) and cardiovascular mortality was 10% (N= 71). In multivariable analyses adjusting for demographic, cardiovascular and kidney disease factors, both high CRP (HR, 95% CI = 1.56, 1.07-2.29) and serum albumin (HR = 0.94 per 0.1 g/dL increase, 95% CI = 0.89-0.99) were independent predictors of all-cause mortality. High CRP (HR 1.94, 95% CI 1.13-3.31), but not serum albumin (HR 0.94, 95% CI 0.87-1.02), was an independent predictor of cardiovascular mortality. Both high CRP and low albumin, measured in CKD stages 3 and 4, are independent risk factors for all-cause mortality. High CRP, but not serum albumin, is a risk factor for cardiovascular mortality. These results suggest that high CRP and hypoalbuminemia provide prognostic information independent of each other in CKD.
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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
                2006
                December 2006
                19 December 2006
                : 26
                : 5
                : 423-429
                Affiliations
                aRenal Division and bClinical Chemistry and Microbiology, S. Paolo Hospital, University of Milan, Milan, and cDialysis Unit, CBH, Bisceglie, Italy
                Article
                95782 Am J Nephrol 2006;26:423–429
                10.1159/000095782
                16968979
                © 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
                Figures: 3, Tables: 1, References: 26, Pages: 7
                Product
                Self URI (application/pdf): https://www.karger.com/Article/Pdf/95782
                Categories
                Original Report: Laboratory Investigation

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