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Risk factors for progression of aortic arch calcification in patients on maintenance hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis


Correspondence to: S. W. Song, MD, Department of Radiology, College of Medicine, Uijeongbu St. Mary's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, 65-1 Geumoh-dong, Uijeongbu City, Gyeonggi-do 480-821, Korea. E-mail:


Vascular calcification is accelerated during dialysis and is known to be an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Progression of aortic arch calcification (AoAC) can be simply estimated with an AoAC score (AoACS) using plain chest radiography. The objective of this study was to evaluate risk factors for AoAC progression. The enrolled subjects were 125 newly treated hemodialysis patients and 59 peritoneal dialysis patients. In the patients who had undergone chest radiography before initial dialysis therapy and every year, we estimated AoACS and then divided the patients into two groups based on the presence or absence of AoAC progression. We also compared the baseline clinical and biochemical profiles in the two groups. Eighty-five (46.2%) were men (mean age, 58.6 ± 12.7 years). Seventy-six patients (41.3%) had AoAC before initial dialysis, with a mean AoACS of 13.0 ± 20.4%. The mean duration of follow-up was 2.7 ± 1.0 years. Half of the patients (50%) had progressive AoAC. Age >65 years (p = 0.003), dialysis duration (p = 0.004), diabetes (p = 0.015), and the presence of AoAC at baseline (p = 0.001) were related to AoAC progression. No significant association was found between AoAC progression and the baseline clinical parameters, including gender, obesity, hypertension, and dialysis modality. In a multivariate analysis, dialysis duration (p = 0.003) and the presence of AoAC at baseline (p < 0.001) were independent risk factors for AoAC progression in patients undergoing dialysis. The duration of dialysis and the presence of AoAC before initial dialysis were significantly related to the progression of AoAC in these patients. The results suggest that patients should be carefully managed from the predialysis stage to prevent AoAC progression and to reduce cardiovascular morbidity.