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Curr Opin Nephrol Hypertens. 2006 Mar;15(2):105-10.

Cardiovascular disease in the dialysis population: prognostic significance of arterial disorders.

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Department of Haemodialysis, F.H. Manhès Hospital, Fleury-Mérogis, France.



Cardiovascular disease is a major factor in the high mortality of patients with end-stage renal disease, and this population is particularly appropriate to analyse the impact of cardiovascular risk markers on outcome.


Cardiovascular risk markers in end-stage renal disease include age, left ventricular mass, carotid intima-media thickness, blood pressure and aortic stiffness (pulse wave velocity). Aortic pulse wave velocity has been shown to be an independent predictor of cardiovascular mortality in patients with end-stage renal disease and the general population. Aortic pulse wave velocity has the highest sensitivity and specificity as a predictor of cardiovascular death in end-stage renal disease patients. Pulse wave velocity is an integrated index of vascular function and structure, and is a major determinant of systolic hypertension, thereby increasing left ventricular afterload, left ventricular hypertrophy and left ventricular oxygen consumption. Decreased diastolic blood pressure, another consequence of arterial stiffening, is associated with decreased coronary perfusion contributing to ischaemic heart disease and evolution of adaptive into maladaptive left ventricular hypertrophy.


Aortic stiffness measurements could serve as an important tool in identifying end-stage renal disease patients at higher risk of cardiovascular disease. The ability to identify these patients would lead to better risk stratification and earlier and more cost-effective preventive therapy.

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