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Q J Med. 1977 Apr;46(182):197-214.

Occlusive arterial disease in uraemic and haemodialysis patients and renal transplant recipients. A study of the incidence of arterial disease and of the prevalence of risk factors implicated in the pathogenesis of arteriosclerosis.


The prevalence of clinical and sub-clinical occlusive arterial disease and of risk factors implicated in the pathogenesis of arteriosclerosis was assessed in 21 patients with chronic renal failure, 27 on maintenance haemodialysis and 51 renal allograft recipients. Clinical occlusive arterial disease was present in 27 patients, and sub-clinical arterial disease in 34. Myocardial infarction, cerebral thrombosis and lower limb arterial thrombosis had occurred only in the transplant recipients; these patients had, however, been followed for a longer period of time than the other two groups. In the allograft recipients, the cumulative incidence of any occlusive arterial disease was 416 per 1000, and that of coronary heart disease was 267 per 1000 at six years. Hypertension was present in 76 per cent of patients prior to renal replacement therapy. Following institution of definitive therapy, hypertension was of shorter duration and less common in haemodialysis patients than in renal transplant recipients. Uraemic and haemodialysis patients with occlusive arterial disease had required antihypertensive medication for significantly longer than those free of arterial disease. Transplant recipients with hypertension had a greater mean serum creatinine, were receiving a larger maintenance dosage of corticosteroids and less frequently had undergone prior bilateral nephrectomy than those transplant patients without hypertension. Serum lipid levels were elevated in 62 per cent of patients. In the uraemic and haemodialysis patients hypertriglyceridaemia was the predominant abnormality while in the transplant recipients combined hypertriglyceridaemia/hypercholesterolaemia was more frequent. Despite regular aluminium hydroxide therapy 81 per cent of uraemic and haemodialysis patients had a calcium X phosphate product higher than normal. Arterial and/or soft tissue calcification as demonstrable in 20-38 per cent of patients within each group, but could not be related to the calcium X phosphate product of radiographic evidence of hyperparathyroidism. Glucose intolerance was present in 71 per cent of the uraemic and haemodialysis patients and 33 per cent of the transplant recipients. Hyperuricaemia, cigarette smoking, obesity and a sedentary existence were also prevalent. The majority of patients had several risk factors implicated in the pathogenesis of arteriosclerosis. Occlusive arterial disease is a major problem in patients with end stage renal disease, being no less common after transplantation than with long-term maintenance dialysis. The aetiology is multifactorial.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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