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Scand J Clin Lab Invest. 2010 Dec;70(8):575-82. doi: 10.3109/00365513.2010.528445. Epub 2010 Oct 21.

Association of fetuin-A and cardiac calcification and inflammation levels in hemodialysis patients.

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Department of Medical Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.



Vascular calcification is commonly found in chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients and it is one of the predictors of cardiovascular death. Recently, several studies have demonstrated that low fetuin-A levels are associated with mortality in uremic patients. Objectives. To investigate the importance of non-traditional risk factors of calcification including fetuin-A, IL-6 and high sensitivity CRP (hsCRP) in hemodialysis patients and their relationship to the extent of cardiac calcification by means of multislice computed tomography (MSCT), and echocardiography.


The study was conducted on 70 hemodialysis patients as well as 20 healthy control subjects. All patients were subjected to MSCT for evaluation of calcium score in the coronary arteries as well as echocardiography for detecting valvular calcification. In addition, the patients were sampled for evaluation of inflammatory markers such as hsCRP and IL-6 and also fetuin-A.


Mean serum fetuin-A was significantly lower in hemodialysis patients than controls subjects. By dividing the patients into tertiles of serum fetuin-A, a significant association between low levels of fetuin-A and high calcium score and valvular calcification were found. Multiple regression analysis showed that calcium scoring and IL-6 were the most independent risk factors for serum fetuin-A levels.


Serum fetuin-A showed important association with coronary, valvular calcification and inflammation in hemodialysis patients. Assessment of both cardiac calcification and serum levels of fetuin-A may be of value to identify those subjects at higher risk of development and progression of vascular lesion and may be a novel therapeutic approach.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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