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Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2012 Jun;27(6):2571-5. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfr694. Epub 2011 Dec 15.

Osteoprotegerin as a predictor of renal and cardiovascular outcomes in renal transplant recipients: follow-up data from the ALERT study.

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  • 1Department of Nephrology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark.



In patients with chronic kidney disease, vascular calcification contributes to increased cardiovascular (CV) morbidity and mortality. CV risk remains high after successful renal transplantation. Osteoprotegerin (OPG) is a glycoprotein, involved in the regulation of the vascular calcification process. Previous studies have shown that elevated OPG is predictive of mortality in high-risk populations. The aim of this study was to investigate the prognostic value of OPG for graft function, CV events and all-cause death, in a large transplant cohort.


OPG was measured at baseline in renal transplant recipients enrolled in the Assessment of Lescol in Renal Transplantation (ALERT) study, a randomized placebo-controlled intervention study comparing fluvastatin and placebo. Patients were followed for 6.7 years with evaluation of pre-specified end points, graft loss, graft function, CV events and death.


OPG was analysed in 1889 renal transplant recipients, with a mean value of 4.69 ± 1.85 pg/L. The number of renal and CV events increased by quartiles of OPG. In the multivariate analysis, OPG in the fourth as compared to first quartile was an independent predictor of graft failure or doubling of serum creatinine [hazard ratio (HR) 2.20 (1.56-3.11), P < 0.001], major CV events [HR 2.40 (1.58-3.64), P < 0.001], cardiac mortality [HR 2.80 (1.32-5.94), P = 0.007] and all-cause mortality [HR 2.31 (1.53-3.49), P < 0.001].


In a large cohort of kidney transplant patients with long-term follow-up, OPG was independently associated with renal events, CV events and mortality.

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