Background: Cardiovascular risk stratification is important in the clinical management of patients with end-stage renal diseases (ESRD) and biomarkers are increasingly used in these patients.
Methods: In a cohort of 246 dialysis patients without heart failure at baseline we tested the combined prognostic power of three well-established biomarkers: brain natriuretic peptide (BNP), C-reactive protein (CRP), and asymmetric dimethyl arginine (ADMA). The independent prognostic value of individual and combined biomarkers was estimated in separate Cox models, including standard risk factors in dialysis patients and comorbidities.
Results: When the prediction power of the three biomarkers was evaluated individually, BNP, ADMA, and CRP added significant predictive value (P< or = 0.01) to all-cause and cardiovascular mortality models and the explanatory gain attributable to these biomarkers were of similar degree (ranging from 3.3% to 5.7%). When the biomarkers were evaluated jointly, a score based on the BNP-CRP combination, increased by 9.9% (all-cause) and by 10.5% (cardiovascular) the explained mortality variance of standard Cox models and such gain in power was similar to that achieved by the CRP-ADMA combination (all-cause death 9.0% and cardiovascular death 8.4%). Of note, the explanatory gain derived by the simultaneous use of the three biomarkers was very similar (all-cause death 11.6% and cardiovascular death 10.5%) to that achieved by the use of two biomarkers.
Conclusion: These findings indicate a potential role for CRP, BNP, and ADMA to be incorporated into diagnostic and therapeutic strategies aimed at detection and treatment of atherosclerotic complications and at preventing heart failure in the dialysis population.