Microvascular disease--the Cinderella of uraemic heart disease

Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2000 Oct;15(10):1493-503. doi: 10.1093/ndt/15.10.1493.


It has been known for a long time that atherosclerosis, particularly plaques in the epicardiac coronary conduit arteries, are more frequent in patients with chronic renal failure than in non-uraemic patients. It has been only recently, however, that modification of post-stenotic remodelling of cardiac arteries as well as abnormalities of the arterioles and the capillaries in the myocardium of uraemic animals and uraemic patients have been recognized and analysed. These lesions can be dissociated from changes in blood pressure and may be an important cause contributing to reduced ischaemia tolerance and cardiac malfunction (pump failure, arrhythmia) thus predisposing to cardiac death. Recent insights into angiogenesis, particularly adaptive angiogenesis in response to hypoxia, may potentially provide novel approaches to the understanding and management of cardiac microangiopathy in renal failure.

Publication types

  • Lecture
  • Portrait

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arterioles / pathology
  • Capillaries / pathology
  • Coronary Artery Disease / etiology
  • Coronary Disease / epidemiology
  • Coronary Disease / etiology*
  • Coronary Disease / pathology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Microcirculation
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / etiology
  • Uremia / complications*