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      Aortic Arch Calcification Predicts Cardiovascular and All-Cause Mortality in Maintenance Hemodialysis Patients

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          Background/Aim: Vascular calcification is associated with cardiovascular risk in maintenance hemodialysis (MHD) patients. Previous reports have shown that simple assessment of aortic arch calcification (AoAC) using plain radiography is associated with cardiovascular mortality in the general population. We conducted a prospective study to investigate factors associated with the presence at baseline and progression of AoAC in MHD patients and examined its prognostic value in a short-term outcome. Methods: We prospectively evaluated chest X-rays in 301 asymptomatic MHD patients. The extent of AoAC was divided into three Grades (0, 1, 2+3). Demographic data including age, gender, dialysis vintage, co-morbidity and biochemical data were assessed and the patients were then followed for 3 years. Results: AoAC was observed in 126 patients (41.9%) as Grade 0, in 112 patients (37.2%) as Grade 1, and in 63 patients (20.9%) as Grade 2 and 3 at baseline. An increase in the severity of calcification was associated with older male patients who had lower serum albumin levels. During the follow-up period of 3 years, multivariate Cox proportional hazards analysis revealed that high-grade calcification was associated with cardiovascular and all-cause mortality. Patients with AoAC were associated with a worse outcome in survival analysis and the grade of AAC also influenced their survival. Moreover, all-cause death rates were significantly higher in the progression groups than in the non-progression groups. Conclusions: The presence and progression of AoAC assessed by chest X-ray were independently associated with mortality in MHD patients. Regular follow-up by chest X-ray could be a simple and useful method to stratify mortality risk in MHD patients.

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          Most cited references 23

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          Presence of abdominal aortic calcification is significantly associated with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality in maintenance hemodialysis patients.

          Although abdominal aortic calcification (AAC) is reported as a predictor for cardiovascular mortality in the general population, it is unknown whether this is also true in hemodialysis patients in whom vascular calcification and cardiovascular diseases are highly prevalent. Cohort study. 515 patients on maintenance hemodialysis therapy at a single center. AAC evaluated in a plain roentgenograph of the lateral abdomen at baseline. All-cause and cardiovascular death. Mean age was 60 +/- 12 (SD) years. AAC was present in 291 patients (56.5%). During a mean follow-up period of 51 +/- 17 months, there were 103 all-cause deaths, of which 41 were from cardiovascular diseases. Of patients with and without AAC, 27.8% and 9.8% died, respectively (11.6% and 3.1% of cardiovascular diseases, respectively). Kaplan-Meier analysis showed that all-cause mortality was significantly greater in patients with AAC compared to those without (P < 0.0001, log-rank test). Similarly, cardiovascular mortality was significantly greater in the former than in the latter group (P = 0.0001, log-rank test). Multivariate Cox proportional hazards analysis found that the presence of AAC was significantly associated with increased all-cause mortality (hazard ratio, 2.07; 95% confidence interval, 1.21 to 3.56; P < 0.01) and increased cardiovascular mortality (hazard ratio, 2.39; 95% confidence interval, 1.01 to 5.66; P < 0.05) after adjustment for age, hemodialysis duration, presence of diabetes, serum albumin level, and C-reactive protein level. Nonquantitative assessment of AAC and the lack of information for medication and history of cardiovascular diseases. The presence of AAC is significantly associated with both all-cause and cardiovascular mortality in hemodialysis patients, suggesting that careful attention should be given to the presence of AAC in a simple radiograph of the lateral abdomen as a prognostic indicator.
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            Progression of aortic calcification is associated with disorders of mineral metabolism and mortality in chronic dialysis patients.

            Previous studies have shown that simple imaging methods may be useful for detection of vascular calcifications in dialysis patients. Based on annual, plain chest X-rays during follow-up on dialysis, we studied the associations of mineral metabolism with the presence and progression of aortic calcification. In addition, we assessed the impact of aortic calcification on mortality. Three hundred and eighty-four patients who started haemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis between 1997 and 2007 were included (age 61 ± 15 years, 64% male, 61% haemodialysis). Annual chest X-rays were screened for calcification in the aortic arch, and patients were categorized as having no, moderate or severe calcification. Progression was defined as an increase in calcification category during follow-up on dialysis. At baseline, 96 (25%) patients had severe, 205 (53%) patients had moderate and 83 (22%) patients had no aortic calcification. For 237 of the 288 patients with no or moderate calcifications at baseline, X-rays were available for follow-up. During follow-up (mean 2.3 years), aortic calcification progressed in 71 patients (30%). We found that baseline plasma calcium > 9.5 mg/dL and iPTH > 300 pg/mL were associated with progression [odds ratios of 3.1, 95% confidence interval (1.2-8.2) and 4.4 (1.4-14.1), respectively]. Progression of aortic calcification was significantly associated with increased risk of all-cause mortality (hazard ratio: 1.9; 95% CI: 1.2-3.1) and cardiovascular mortality (hazard ratio: 2.7; 95% CI: 1.3-5.6). Aortic calcification progressed in almost a third of the patients during dialysis. Hypercalcaemia and hyperparathyroidism were associated with an increased risk of progression. Progression of aortic calcification was significantly related to an increased mortality risk.
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              Oral active vitamin D is associated with improved survival in hemodialysis patients.

              Injection of active vitamin D is associated with better survival of patients receiving chronic hemodialysis. Since in many countries oral active vitamin D administration is the most common form of treatment for secondary hyperparathyroidism we determined the survival benefit of oral active vitamin D in hemodialysis patients from six Latin America countries (FME Register as part of the CORES study) followed for a median of 16 months. Time-dependent Cox regression models, after adjustment for potential confounders, showed that the 7,203 patients who received oral active vitamin D had significant reductions in overall, cardiovascular, infectious and neoplastic mortality compared to the 8,801 patients that had not received vitamin D. Stratified analyses found a survival advantage in the group that had received oral active vitamin D in 36 of the 37 strata studied including that with the highest levels of serum calcium, phosphorus and parathyroid hormone. The survival benefit of oral active vitamin D was seen in those patients receiving mean daily doses of less than 1 microg with the highest reduction associated with the lowest dose. Our study shows that hemodialysis patients receiving oral active vitamin D had a survival advantage inversely related to the vitamin dose.

                Author and article information

                Kidney Blood Press Res
                Kidney and Blood Pressure Research
                S. Karger AG
                December 2014
                19 December 2014
                : 39
                : 6
                : 658-667
                aDepartment of Nephrology, Jyoban Hospital, Iwaki-city, Fukushima; bDepartment of Medicine, Kidney Center, Tokyo Women's Medical University, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan
                Author notes
                *Kosaku Nitta, MD, PhD, Department of Medicine, Kidney Center, Tokyo Women's Medical University, 8-1, Kawada-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-8666 (Japan), Tel. +81-3-3353-8111, Fax +81-3-5379-4360, E-Mail
                368476 Kidney Blood Press Res 2014;39:658-667
                © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel

                Open Access License: This is an Open Access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC) (, applicable to the online version of the article only. Distribution permitted for non-commercial purposes only. 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: 4, Tables: 3, References: 30, Pages: 10
                Original Paper


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