Background: Increased arterial stiffness is associated with mortality in patients with chronic kidney disease. Cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) permits assessment of the central arteries to measure aortic function.
Methods: We studied the relationship between central haemodynamics and outcome using CMR in 144 chronic kidney disease patients with estimated glomerular filtration rate <15 ml/min (110 on dialysis). Aortic distensibilty and volumetric arterial strain were calculated from cross sectional aortic volume and pulse pressure measured during the scan.
Results: Median follow up after the scan was 24 months. There were no significant differences in aortic distensibilty or aortic volumetric arterial strain between pre-dialysis and dialysis patients. Aortic distensibilty and volumetric arterial strain negatively correlated with age. Aortic distensibilty and volumetric arterial strain were lower in diabetics, patients with ischaemic heart disease and peripheral vascular disease. During follow up there were 20 deaths. Patients who died had lower aortic distensibilty than survivors. In a survival analysis, diabetes, systolic blood pressure and aortic distensibilty were independent predictors of mortality. There were 12 non-fatal cardiovascular events during follow up. Analysing the combined end point of death or a vascular event, diabetes, aortic distensibilty and volumetric arterial strain were predictors of events.
Conclusion: Deranged vascular function measured with CMR correlates with cardiovascular risk factors and predicts outcome. CMR measures of vascular function are potential targets for interventions to reduce cardiovascular risk.