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BMC Nephrol. 2013 Nov 1;14:241. doi: 10.1186/1471-2369-14-241.

FGF-23 associated with the progression of coronary artery calcification in hemodialysis patients.

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Department of Internal Medicine and Nephrology, Istanbul University, Istanbul Faculty of Medicine, Istanbul, Turkey.



Disordered mineral metabolism is implicated in the pathogenesis of vascular calcification in hemodialysis (HD) patients. Fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF-23) is the main regulator of phosphate metabolism. In this prospective study, we aimed to investigate the association of serum FGF-23 with progression of coronary artery calcification in HD patients.


Seventy-four HD patients (36 male/38 female, mean age: 52 ± 14 years) were included. Serum FGF-23 levels were measured by ELISA. Coronary artery calcification score (CACS) was measured twice with one year interval. Patients were grouped as progressive (PG) (36 patients-48%) and non-progressive (NPG).


Age, serum phosphorus, baseline and first year CACS were found to be significantly higher in the PG compared to NPG group. Serum FGF-23 levels were significantly higher in PG [155 (80-468) vs 147 (82-234), p = 0.04]. Patients were divided into two groups according to baseline CACS (low group, CACS ≤ 30; high group, CACS > 30). Serum FGF-23 levels were significantly correlated with the progression of CACS (ΔCACS) in the low baseline CACS group (r = 0.51, p = 0.006), but this association was not found in high baseline CACS group (r = 0.11, p = 0.44). In logistic regression analysis for predicting the PG patients; serum FGF-23, phosphorus levels and baseline CACS were retained as significant factors in the model.


Serum FGF-23 was found to be related to progression of CACS independent of serum phosphorus levels. FGF-23 may play a major role in the progression of vascular calcification especially at the early stages of calcification process in HD patients.

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