Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) have increased risk for cardiovascular events. However, the association between these pathophysiological processes is unclear. Therefore, this study was designed to determine the association between early CKD and coronary microvascular disease in patients with normal or mildly diseased coronary arteries. A total of 605 patients with normal or mildly diseased coronary arteries based on angiography underwent coronary flow reserve (CFR) evaluation using intracoronary adenosine. Patients were divided based on glomerular filtration rate (GFR). CKD was defined as calculated GFR<60 ml/min/1.73 m(2). Patients with normal GFR (> or =60 ml/min/1.73 m(2), n=481) had higher CFR compared to those with CKD (n=124, CFR=3.0+/-0.8 vs 2.6+/-0.6, P<0.001, respectively). Patients with abnormal GFR were more likely to be older and of female gender, with greater prevalence of hypertension. Multiple logistic regression analysis adjusted for the aforementioned risk factors further supported the observed relationship. The current study shows that reduced renal function is associated with attenuated coronary vasodilator capacity in patients without obstructive coronary artery disease. The correlation between low GFR and reduced CFR may suggest parallel alterations in the renal and coronary microcirculation at the early stage of disease. Impairment in both microcirculatory beds may reflect an unmeasured risk factor induced by blunted renal function and add a burden to the increased propensity for cardiovascular events in CKD.