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Keywords:

  • Coronary artery calcification;
  • hsCRP;
  • inflammation;
  • hemodialysis;
  • cardiovascular events

Abstract

The risk factors of coronary artery calcification (CAC) and the impact of CAC on cardiovascular events, cardiovascular deaths, and all-cause deaths in hemodialysis (HD) patients have not been fully elucidated. We examined the CAC score (CACS) in 74 HD patients using electron-beam computed tomography. Fifty-six patients underwent a second electron-beam computed tomography after a 15-month interval to evaluate CAC progression. We evaluated (1) the risk factors for CAC and its progression and (2) the impact of CAC on the prognosis. In the cross-sectional study, HD vintage and high-sensitive C-reactive protein (hsCRP) were the independent risk factors for CAC. In the prospective cohort study, delta CACS (progression of CAC) was significantly correlated with hsCRP, fibrinogen, and serum calcium level in the univariate analysis. Stepwise multiple regression analysis revealed that only hsCRP was the independent risk factor for CAC progression in HD patients. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis revealed that cardiovascular events (P<0.0001), cardiovascular deaths (P=0.039), and all-cause deaths (P=0.026) were significantly associated with CACS. In conclusion, CAC had significantly progressed in HD patients during the 15-month observation period. Microinflammation was the only independent risk factor for CAC progression in HD patients. The advanced CAC was a significant prognostic factor in HD patients, i.e., which was strongly associated with future cardiovascular events, cardiovascular deaths, and all-cause deaths.