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Am J Kidney Dis. 2006 May;47(5):888-97.

Carotid plaques and their predictive value for cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality in hemodialysis patients considering renal transplantation: a decade follow-up.

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Division of Genetic Epidemiology, Department of Medical Genetics, Molecular and Clinical Pharmacology, Innsbruck Medical University, Innsbruck, Austria.



Carotid plaque formation is very common in dialysis patients. The prognostic value of plaques, both calcified and noncalcified, rarely was investigated prospectively in these patients. By using a carotid plaque score, this study aims to determine the risk for combined cardiovascular disease (CVD) events and all-cause mortality in 165 hemodialysis patients in a long-term follow-up considering phases of renal transplantation.


Baseline carotid ultrasonography was performed in 165 hemodialysis patients to screen for carotid plaques. Patients subsequently were followed up for a period up to 13 years (average, 86 months). Because of biases associated with renal transplantation, 3 methods of multivariate analysis were compared by using Cox proportional hazards regression models.


Plaques were present in 107 of 165 patients (65%). During the observation period, 50 patients (30%) experienced a combined CVD event, 95 patients (58%) died, and 79 patients (48%) underwent at least 1 renal transplantation. Mean plaque score differed significantly between patients who reached an end point and those who did not (CVD events, 3.1 +/- 2.7 versus 2.0 +/- 2.4; P = 0.01; all-cause mortality, 3.5 +/- 2.6 versus 0.9 +/- 1.3; P < 0.001). Plaque score entered all 3 tested Cox regression models for CVD events and all-cause mortality. The lowest statistical power was associated with censoring at the time of renal transplantation. Not considering transplantation at all neglected a major change in risk.


We identified carotid plaque score and treatment modality as highly significant predictors for CVD events and all-cause mortality.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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