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Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2009 Dec;4 Suppl 1:S102-5. doi: 10.2215/CJN.04800709.

Vascular calcification and ESRD: a hard target.

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Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Bullfinch 127, Boston, MA 02114, USA.


End-stage renal disease (ESRD) is associated with both accelerated cardiovascular disease and alterations in vitamin D and mineral metabolism. Calcification of both coronary and extra-cardiac vessels is common in ESRD. Several studies suggest that vascular calcification is associated with coronary atherosclerosis, vascular wall stiffness, left ventricular hypertrophy, and subsequent increased mortality, but it is not yet clear if vascular calcification is a direct cause of these changes or merely a marker of disease. Reviewed here is the current state of research on the biology and the significance of vascular calcification in ESRD, the role of vitamin D therapy in its development, and options for management.

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