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Am J Transplant. 2007 Sep;7(9):2158-64. Epub 2007 Jul 19.

Determinants of coronary artery calcification progression in renal transplant recipients.

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Renal, Electrolyte and Hypertension Division, Department of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.


Coronary artery calcification (CAC) is associated with increased atherosclerotic burden and cardiovascular events. The objective of this study was to determine the natural history and risk factors associated with CAC progression in a cohort of incident asymptomatic renal transplant recipients with no history of coronary revascularization. Electron-beam computed tomography was performed in 82 subjects at time of transplantation and at least 1 year later. Mean (SD) and median CAC score increased for all subjects from 392.4 (747.9) and 75.8 at time of transplant to 475.3 (873.5), (p = 0.002[log]) and 98.9 (p < 0.001), respectively. Most subjects (89%) with no calcifications remained without calcification. Mean annualized rate (SD) of CAC score change was 52.5 (150) with a median of 0.5. Average yearly percent change was 67.3 (409.6) with a median of 1.4. In multivariate analysis, diastolic blood pressure at 3 months post-transplant, Caucasian race, glomerular filtration rate at 3.0, months post-transplant, body mass index and baseline CAC score were independent predictors of annualized rate of CAC change. There is significant progression of CAC post-renal transplantation in most subjects. Progression is most likely to occur in white patients and is associated with clinical factors such as blood pressure, body mass index, renal function and baseline CAC score.

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