Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the major cause of death in patients with advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD). Recent studies have suggested that novel risk factors, uremia- or dialysis-related, are of great importance, as they act synergistically with the highly prevalent traditional risk factors for CVD in CKD patients. Whereas an ideal single biomarker, i.e., one that adds relevant prognostic information in clinical practice over and above that provided by conventional (Framingham) risk factors, has yet to be identified, combinations of several biomarkers or repeated measurements of biomarkers may increase the explanatory power of prognostic information provided by traditional risk factors to predict cardiovascular outcomes. However, because the increase of predictive power is modest, clinical assessment of patient status still remains the cornerstone tool for predicting risk for CVD. On the other hand, the search for better biomarkers may reveal novel pathways linked to CVD that need to be explored in CKD patients. This brief review summarizes some emerging and potentially clinically applicable CVD biomarkers in CKD patients, especially focusing on inflammation and vascular calcification that may provide additional information to conventional risk factors.
Copyright © 2012 National Kidney Foundation, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.