Background: End-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients receiving chronic hemodialysis (HD) via an arteriovenous (A-V) access often develop unexplained pulmonary hypertension (PHT). This study evaluated the role of pulmonary calcification (PC) in this phenomenon.
Methods: The clinical manifestations, systolic pulmonary artery pressure (PAP) values measured by Doppler echocardiography and the presence and the extent of PC expressed by lung uptake of 99mTc-MDP bone scintigraphy, were studied in 49 patients with ESRD receiving chronic HD therapy via A-V access. The correlation between PC and PHT was investigated.
Results: There were 36 men and 13 women with a mean age of 61.7 +/- 13.2 years receiving HD therapy for 38.2 +/- 43.7 months. Twenty (40.8%) patients had PC expressed by increased lung uptake of 99mTc- MDP and 28 (57.1%) patients had PHT with a mean systolic PAP of 46 +/- 11 mm Hg. No correlation was found between PC and PHT.
Conclusion: The data suggest that PC expressed by lung uptake of 99mTc-MDP has no role in the pathogenesis of PHT among ESRD patients undergoing HD therapy via A-V access.