Lower Serum Irisin Levels Are Associated with Increased Vascular Calcification in Hemodialysis Patients

Kidney Blood Press Res. 2018;43(1):287-295. doi: 10.1159/000487689. Epub 2018 Feb 22.


Background/aims: Vascular calcification, which involves an active cellular transformation of vascular smooth muscle cells into bone forming cells, is prevalent and predicts mortality in dialysis patients. Its mechanisms are complex and unclear. We presume that irisin, a newly identified myokine also may play roles in vascular calcification in hemodialysis patients. This study aims to evaluate serum irisin levels and establish their relation to vascular calcification and other parameters in hemodialysis patients.

Methods: A total of 150 patients on maintenance hemodialysis treatment and 38 age- and sex-matched healthy controls were enrolled in this cross-sectional study. Serum irisin concentrations were measured by ELISA. Vascular calcification was evaluated by abdominal aortic calcification scores.

Results: Serum irisin concentrations were significantly lower in hemodialysis patients than in controls [52.8 (22.0, 100.0) vs. 460.8 (434.8, 483.4) ng/ml, P<0.01]. In addition, irisin was negatively correlated with the parathyroid hormone level (P=0.01). The HD patients with vascular calcification showed significantly lower serum irisin concentrations [39.0 (21.7, 86.2) vs.79.0 (39.5, 130.2) ng/mL, P<0.01]. Compared with the group without vascular calcification multivariate logistic regression analyses revealed that serum irisin, HD vintage and age were significant independent determinant factors for vascular calcification in HD patients.

Conclusion: Our results are the first to provide a clinical evidence of the association between serum irisin and vascular calcification in HD patients. Lower irisin levels, long-term hemodialysis and old ages are independent risk factors in HD patients.

Keywords: Cardiovascular; Chronic kidney disease; Hemodialysis; Irisin; Vascular calcification.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Fibronectins / blood*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Renal Dialysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Vascular Calcification / blood*


  • FNDC5 protein, human
  • Fibronectins