Hemodialysis (HD) patients commonly show abnormalities of the arterial system. Only a few studies have focused on arterial wall properties in patients with early stages of renal insufficiency and patients on peritoneal dialysis (PD) therapy. In this study, the distensibility coefficient (DC), a marker of arterial stiffening and intima media thickness (IMT) of the common carotid artery (CCA) and a surrogate marker of atherosclerosis, was assessed in four age-matched groups of patients: 18 HD patients, 36 PD patients, 30 patients with chronic renal failure (CRF) not yet on dialysis therapy with a creatinine clearance (CCl) between 10 and 70 mL/min, and 25 normotensive controls with normal renal function. Arterial wall properties were assessed by an automated vessel wall detection system. In patients with CRF and HD patients, but not PD patients, the DC of the CCA was significantly reduced (P < 0.05) compared with controls (CRF, 12.6 +/- 7.5 10(-3)/kPa; HD, 11.6 +/- 7.6 10(-3)/kPa; and PD, 14.7 +/- 6.2 10(-3)/kPa compared with controls, 16.7 +/- 4.6 10(-3)/kPa). In patients with CRF, a significant relationship was found between CCl and the DC (r = 0.41; P = 0.02). IMT was not different among patients with CRF (589 +/- 115 microm), HD (622 +/- 115 microm) and PD patients (585 +/- 121 microm), and controls (668 +/- 150 microm). In conclusion, compared with controls, the DC of the CCA was significantly reduced in HD patients and those with CRF, but not PD patients. In patients with CRF, the DC correlated significantly with CCl. IMT did not differ between groups of renal patients and controls.
Copyright 2002 by the National Kidney Foundation, Inc.