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Nephron Clin Pract. 2011;117(4):c297-304. doi: 10.1159/000321169. Epub 2010 Sep 22.

Serum osteoprotegerin is a predictor of progression of atherosclerosis and coronary calcification in hemodialysis patients.

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Department of Nephrology, Hypertension and Kidney Transplantation, Medical University of Łódź, Łódź, Poland.



The aim of this prospective cohort study was to evaluate the progression of coronary artery calcification (CAC), and atherosclerosis in hemodialysis (HD) patients and to relate them to novel biomarkers, i.e. serum osteoprotegerin (OPG) and fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF-23).


Forty-seven HD patients were followed up for 30 months or until death. Intima media thickness (CCA-IMT), atherosclerotic plaques and CAC were assessed at baseline and after 30 months. Serum mineral parameters, lipids, OPG and plasma FGF-23 were also measured.


At baseline, 70% HD patients presented detectable CAC. The patients without calcification at baseline remained calcification free at 30 months and presented lower serum OPG and FGF-23 than those with CAC. A 64.4% progression of CAC was observed in all patients with CAC at baseline. In parallel, a 13% increase in CCA-IMT was found. Both ΔCAC and ΔCCA-IMT correlated positively with baseline and follow-up serum OPG. The patients who died had significantly higher baseline CAC and serum OPG.


The plasma level of OPG could serve as a surrogate marker of progression of atherosclerosis and calcification in patients with end-stage renal disease. Therefore, the serum OPG may be a candidate biomarker of cardiovascular complications and poor outcome among dialysis patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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