Warfarin and aortic valve calcification in hemodialysis patients

J Nephrol. 2007 Jul-Aug;20(4):417-22.


Background: This retrospective cohort study was designed to determine the association between long-term exposure to warfarin and severity of aortic valve (AV) calcification in hemodialysis (HD) patients.

Methods: One hundred and eight HD patients underwent a study-specific echocardiogram. A grading scheme was used to classify AV calcification as none, mild, moderate and severe. Demographic, biochemical and medication data were abstracted by chart review.

Results: One hundred and eight subjects were enrolled. A minority had no calcification (n=17, 15.7%), the majority had mild calcification (n=62, 57.4%), and fewer had calcification rated as moderate (n=16, 14.8%) or severe (n=13, 12%). Dialysis vintage was associated with severity of AV calcification (p=0.04). The 18 subjects with long-term warfarin exposure (36.7 +/- 19.7 months) were more likely to have severe AV calcification (p=0.04). The odds ratio of falling into a higher category of AV calcification following 18 months of warfarin was 3.77 (95% confidence ratio, 0.97-14.70; p=0.055). There was an association between lifetime months of warfarin exposure and severity of AV calcification (p=0.004) that was independent of dialysis vintage, calcium and calcitriol intake.

Conclusions: The data suggest that warfarin may be associated with severity of AV calcification in HD patients and support the need for prospective studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anticoagulants / administration & dosage*
  • Aortic Valve Stenosis / chemically induced
  • Aortic Valve Stenosis / epidemiology*
  • Calcinosis / chemically induced
  • Calcinosis / epidemiology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Warfarin / administration & dosage*


  • Anticoagulants
  • Warfarin