BACKGROUND. Recent investigations have focused on the pathogenetic role of disturbances of calcium phosphate metabolism in causing cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in haemodialysis patients. The aim of the present study was to assess left ventricular function and its relationship to phosphate and calcium plasma levels in stable uraemic patients on haemodialysis treatment.
Methods: Twenty uraemic patients (mean age 51+/-13 years) on maintenance haemodialysis and free from overt cardiac dysfunction, and 20 healthy volunteers underwent standard echocardiography, tissue Doppler-derived early (E(m)) and late (A(m)) diastolic velocities, tissue characterization with cyclic variations of integrated backscatter (CV-IBS), and serum biochemistry.
Results: With respect to tissue Doppler imaging (TDI), uraemic patients showed a lower E(m) peak, a higher A(m) peak, and a reduced E(m)/A(m) ratio of both interventricular septum and lateral wall (0.01>P<0.001) than controls. CV-IBS of both septum and posterior wall was significantly smaller in uraemic patients than in the control subjects (P<0.001). Moreover, the E(m)/A(m) ratio of septum and lateral wall were negatively related to serum phosphorus and to calcium phosphate product (P<0.001 for all). Accordingly, an inverse relationship was also found between CV-IBS of septum and lateral wall and calcium phosphate product and phosphorus (P<0.05 for all).
Conclusions: These results showed early cardiac impairment of diastolic myocardial function evaluated by TDI and IBS analysis, and a close relationship between these changes and the calcium-phosphate plasma levels. These findings are well in keeping with the important role of hyperphosphataemia as a risk factor for cardiovascular damage, and justify the effort for optimal control of calcium phosphate metabolism in uraemic patients.