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Keywords:

  • coronary calcification;
  • end-stage renal disease;
  • haemodialysis;
  • inflammation;
  • multidetector computed tomography;
  • parathyroid hormone

SUMMARY

Aim:  Coronary artery calcification (CAC) has been associated with higher mortality in chronic renal disease. The purpose of this study was to assess coronary artery calcium score (CaCs) in haemodialysis patients and to correlate calcium scores with clinical parameters and mortality.

Methods:  A cross-sectional study was conducted in 59 haemodialysis patients. CaCs was assessed by multidetector-row computed tomography and stratified as: CaCs of less than 10 Agatston units (U), no calcification; CaCs of 10–400 U, mild-to-moderate; and CaCs of more than 400 U, severe calcification. The effects of age, haemodialysis duration and biochemical and inflammatory markers on CaCs logarithm were evaluated by multiple linear regression analysis. Cox regression analysis was used to measure the impact of CaCs of more than 400 on 2-year mortality.

Results:  Coronary calcifications were detected in 64.5% of patients, and the median of CaCs was 31.7 U (0–589.7) with a range of 0–5790.0 U. Twenty-one (35.5%) patients had mild-to-moderate and 17 (29%) severe CaCs. Patients with severe CaCs were older and showed a higher prevalence of ischaemic heart disease and a higher body mass index (P = 0.04). A trend towards higher C-reactive protein levels was found in patients with severe CaCs. Advanced age was the only variable that influenced CaCs logarithm independently. The effect of severe CaCs on 2-year mortality did not persist after adjustment for other covariates.

Conclusion:  Coronary calcification was highly prevalent in these uraemic patients on chronic haemodialysis. A correlation was evidenced between CaCs and advanced age, but severity of the CAC score did not have an impact on 2-year mortality of this cohort.