Increased Aortic Arch Calcification and Cardiomegaly is Associated with Rapid Renal Progression and Increased Cardiovascular Mortality in Chronic Kidney Disease

Sci Rep. 2019 Mar 29;9(1):5354. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-41841-7.


Vascular calcification and cardiomegaly are highly prevalent in chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients. However, the association of the combination of aortic arch calcification (AoAC) and cardio-thoracic ratio (CTR) with clinical outcomes in patients with CKD is not well investigated. This study investigated whether the combination of AoAC and CTR is associated with poor clinical outcomes in CKD stages 3-5 patients. We enrolled 568 CKD patients, and AoAC and CTR were determined by chest radiography at enrollment. Rapid renal progression was defined as estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) decline over 3 ml/min/1.73 m2 per year. Both AoAC score and CTR were significantly associated with rapid renal progression. High CTR was correlated with increased risk for cardiovascular mortality. We stratified the patients into four groups according to the median AoAC score of 4 and CTR of 50%. Those with AoAC ≥ 4 and CTR ≥ 50% (vs. AoAC score < 4 and CTR < 50%) were associated with eGFR decline over 3 ml/min/1.73 m2/year and cardiovascular mortality. AoAC and CTR were independently associated with eGFR slope. In conclusion, the combination of increased AoAC and cardiomegaly was associated with rapid renal progression and increased cardiovascular mortality in patients with CKD stage 3-5 patients. We suggest that evaluating AoAC and CTR on chest plain radiography may be a simple and inexpensive method for detecting CKD patients at high risk for adverse clinical outcomes.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aorta, Thoracic / pathology*
  • Biomarkers
  • Cardiomegaly / diagnosis
  • Cardiomegaly / etiology*
  • Cardiomegaly / mortality*
  • Cause of Death
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Heart Function Tests
  • Humans
  • Kidney Function Tests
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / complications*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / diagnosis
  • Vascular Calcification / diagnosis
  • Vascular Calcification / etiology*
  • Vascular Calcification / mortality*


  • Biomarkers