Carotid intima-media thickness and ACE-gene polymorphism in hemodialysis patients

J Nephrol. 1999 Jul-Aug;12(4):261-5.


Background: Carotid artery intima-media thickness (CIMT) has been used as a marker of atherosclerosis. An insertion/deletion (I/D) polymorphism of the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) gene is associated with various cardiovascular diseases. This study is aimed at evaluating early atherosclerotic involvement of carotid vessels and the relation to known risk factors and ACE gene I/D in hemodialysis (HD) patients.

Methods: We measured CIMT using high-resolution B-mode ultrasonography in 51 non-diabetic HD patients and in 70 age- and sex-matched healthy controls, and evaluated the factors influencing CIMT. An I/D polymorphism in intron 16 of the gene coding for ACE was analysed by polymerase chain reaction.

Results: The mean CIMT was significantly higher in HD patients than in healthy subjects (p<0.0001). In multiple regression analysis, independent risk factors for increased CIMT in HD patients were predialysis systolic blood pressure (p<0.001) and ACE D allele (p<0.01).

Conclusions: The present data suggest that CIMT is enlarged in HD patients. The ACE gene seems to be a candidate for influencing the CIMT and might therefore be involved in an HD patient's predisposition to the development of atherosclerosis.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alleles
  • Arteriosclerosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Arteriosclerosis / genetics*
  • Arteriosclerosis / pathology
  • Blood Pressure
  • Carotid Artery, Common / diagnostic imaging
  • Carotid Artery, Common / pathology*
  • Echocardiography
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Introns / genetics
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A / genetics*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Risk Factors
  • Tunica Intima / diagnostic imaging
  • Tunica Intima / pathology*
  • Tunica Media / diagnostic imaging
  • Tunica Media / pathology*


  • Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A