Background: Elevated fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF-23) concentrations associate with left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) and adverse outcomes in adult patients with chronic kidney disease. We hypothesized that similar associations are present in pediatric patients on maintenance hemodialysis.
Methods: In this retrospective study of 26 young patients on chronic hemodialysis, aged 6-21 years, cardiac structure and geometry were measured by echocardiography, and circulating levels of FGF-23 and calciotropic hormones were obtained.
Results: FGF-23 levels were uniformly elevated in all patients from three- to 835-fold above the upper limit of normal. The average LV mass index (LVMI) was 43 ± 13 g/m(2.7) and reflected LVH in 55 % of patients. Log-transformed FGF-23 concentrations correlated with LVMI (p = 0.03) and were independently associated with the interventricular septal thickness Z-score (p < 0.001). Concentric LVH was associated with the highest FGF-23 concentrations and the highest LVMI measurements (p < 0.001). Each 1 standard deviation increase in log-transformed FGF-23 levels was associated with a 17 % increase in LVMI.
Conclusions: FGF-23 levels are strongly associated with increased LVMI and with prevalent LVH in pediatric hemodialysis patients. Our cross-sectional findings provide observational evidence supporting the hypothesis linking FGF-23 to cardiac hypertrophy in patients with chronic kidney disease.