Impact of aortic stiffness attenuation on survival of patients in end-stage renal failure

Circulation. 2001 Feb 20;103(7):987-92. doi: 10.1161/01.cir.103.7.987.


Background: Aortic pulse wave velocity (PWV) is a predictor of mortality in patients with end-stage renal failure (ESRF). The PWV is partly dependent on blood pressure (BP), and a decrease in BP can attenuate the stiffness. Whether the changes in PWV in response to decreases in BP can predict mortality in ESRF patients has never been investigated.

Methods and results: One hundred fifty ESRF patients (aged 52+/-16 years) were monitored for 51+/-38 months. From entry until the end of follow-up, the changes of PWV in response to decreased BP were measured ultrasonographically. BP was controlled by adjustment of "dry weight" and, when necessary, with ACE inhibitors, calcium antagonists, and/or beta-blockers, in combination if necessary. Fifty-nine deaths occurred, including 40 cardiovascular and 19 noncardiovascular events. Cox analyses demonstrated that independent of BP changes, the predictors of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality were as follows: absence of PWV decrease in response to BP decrease, increased left ventricular mass, age, and preexisting cardiovascular disease. Survival was positively associated with ACE inhibitor use. After adjustment for all confounding factors, the risk ratio for the absence of PWV decrease was 2.59 (95% CI 1.51 to 4.43) for all-cause mortality and 2.35 (95% CI 1.23 to 4.41) for cardiovascular mortality. The risk ratio for ACE inhibitor use was 0.19 (95% CI 0.14 to 0.43) for all-cause mortality and 0.18 (95% CI 0.06 to 0.55) for cardiovascular mortality.

Conclusions: These results indicate that in ESRF patients, the insensitivity of PWV to decreased BP is an independent predictor of mortality and that use of ACE inhibitors has a favorable effect on survival that is independent of BP changes.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Aorta / diagnostic imaging
  • Aorta / drug effects
  • Aorta / physiopathology
  • Aortic Diseases / complications
  • Aortic Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Aortic Diseases / physiopathology
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects*
  • Calcium Channel Blockers / therapeutic use
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / complications
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / drug therapy*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pulsatile Flow / drug effects*
  • ROC Curve
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ultrasonography


  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Calcium Channel Blockers