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Clin Exp Nephrol. 2013 Apr;17(2):294-303. doi: 10.1007/s10157-012-0705-4. Epub 2012 Oct 26.

Prognostic significance of left ventricular hypertrophy observed at dialysis initiation depends on the pre-dialysis use of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents.

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  • 1Department of Kidney Disease and Hypertension, Osaka General Medical Center, 3-1-56 Bandaihigashi, Sumiyoshi-ku, Osaka, 558-8558, Japan.



Recent experimental studies suggest that erythropoietin promotes beneficial myocardial remodeling during left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH); however, such compensatory capacity may be limited due to insufficient erythropoietin production in chronic kidney disease patients. Thus, this study aimed to explore the effect of pre-dialysis erythropoiesis-stimulating agent (ESA) use on the prognostic significance of LVH in dialyzed patients.


This retrospective study included 404 consecutive patients who started dialysis between 2001 and 2009. The interaction of ESA with the association between left ventricular mass index (LVMI) observed at dialysis initiation and all-cause and cardiovascular mortality was analyzed at the end of 2010 using the Cox model.


During a median follow-up of 36.5 months, 164 patients died, 31 of them from heart failure. The frequency of pre-dialysis ESA use was 58.7 % and median LVMI was 160.3 g/m(2). Of interest, patients with the lowest tertile of LVMI had worse survival compared with those with each subsequent tertile. LVMI was inversely associated with all-cause mortality [hazard ratio (HR) 0.991, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 0.988-0.995, P = 0.000] after extensive adjustment including ejection fraction, whereas the prognostic value of LVMI for cardiovascular mortality was dependent on pre-dialysis ESA use [adjusted HR 1.010, 95 % CI 0.999-1.020, P = 0.065 for pre-dialysis ESA(+) and 0.978, 95 % CI 0.967-0.989, P = 0.000 for pre-dialysis ESA(-), respectively].


Our results suggest that reverse epidemiology may exist between LVH and mortality and that pre-dialysis ESA use may modify the prognostic significance of LVH observed at dialysis initiation for cardiovascular mortality in dialyzed patients.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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