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PLoS One. 2013 Jul 10;8(7):e67936. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0067936. Print 2013.

CT coronary angiography is feasible for the assessment of coronary artery disease in chronic dialysis patients, despite high average calcium scores.

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Department of Cardiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.



Significant obstructive coronary artery disease (CAD) is common in asymptomatic dialysis patients. Identifying these high risk patients is warranted and may improve the prognosis of this vulnerable patient group. Routine catheterization of incident dialysis patients has been proposed, but is considered too invasive. CT-angiography may therefore be more appropriate. However, extensive coronary calcification, often present in this patient group, might hamper adequate lumen evaluation. The objective of this study was to assess the feasibility of CT-angiography in this patient group.


For this analysis all patients currently participating in the ICD2 trial (ISRCTN20479861), with no history of PCI or CABG were included. The major epicardial vessels were evaluated on a segment basis (segment 1-3, 5-8, 11 and 13) by a team consisting of an interventional and an imaging specialist. Segments were scored as not significant, significant and not interpretable.


A total of 70 dialysis patients, with a mean age of 66±8 yrs and predominantly male (70%) were included. The median calcium score was 623 [79, 1619]. Over 90% of the analyzed segments were considered interpretable. The incidence of significant CAD on CT was 43% and was associated with cardiovascular events during follow-up. The incidence of cardiovascular events after 2-years follow-up: 36% vs. 0% in patients with no significant CAD (p<0.01).


Despite the high calcium scores CT-angiography is feasible for the evaluation of the extent of CAD in dialysis patients. Moreover the presence of significant CAD on CT was associated with events during follow-up.

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