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Am J Kidney Dis. 2006 Sep;48(3):341-60.

Cardiovascular biomarkers in CKD: pathophysiology and implications for clinical management of cardiac disease.

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Department of Nephrology, Division of Laboratory Medicine, Austin Health, University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with all forms of chronic kidney disease (CKD). The underlying pathological state is caused by a complex interplay of traditional and nontraditional risk factors that results in atherosclerosis, arteriosclerosis, and altered cardiac morphological characteristics. This multifactorial disease introduces new challenges in predicting and treating patients with CVD sufficiently early in the course of CKD to positively alter patient outcome. Asymptomatic individuals with progressive CVD are a group of patients that deserve focused attention because early detection and intervention may provide the best opportunity for improved outcome. However, identifying CVD in asymptomatic patients with CKD or end-stage renal disease remains a significant hurdle in the management of these patients. Recently, a number of cardiovascular biomarkers were identified as predictors of patient outcome in individuals with CVD and, with additional research, may be used to guide the early diagnosis of and therapy for CVD in patients with CKD. This review examines the pathophysiological characteristics and potential clinical role of these novel cardiovascular biomarkers in risk stratification, risk monitoring, and selection of preventive therapies for patients with CKD.

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