Chronic kidney disease (CKD), defined as dysfunction of the glomerular filtration apparatus, is an independent risk factor for the development of coronary artery disease (CAD). Patients with CKD are at a substantially higher risk of cardiovascular mortality compared with the age- and sex-adjusted general population with normal kidney function. The risk of CAD and mortality in patients with CKD is correlated with the degree of renal dysfunction including presence of microalbuminuria. A greater cardiovascular risk, albeit lower than for patients receiving dialysis, persists even after kidney transplantation. Congestive heart failure, commonly caused by CAD, also accounts for a significant portion of the cardiovascular-related events observed in CKD. The optimal strategy for the evaluation of CAD in patients with CKD, particularly before renal transplantation, remains a topic of contention spanning over several decades. Although the evaluation of coexisting cardiac disease in patients with CKD is desirable, severe renal dysfunction limits the use of radiographic and magnetic resonance contrast agents due to concerns regarding contrast-induced nephropathy and nephrogenic systemic sclerosis, respectively. In addition, many patients with CKD have extensive and premature (often medial) calcification disproportionate to the severity of obstructive CAD, thereby limiting the diagnostic value of computed tomography angiography. As such, echocardiography, non-contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance, nuclear myocardial perfusion, and metabolic imaging offer a variety of approaches to assess obstructive CAD and cardiomyopathy of advanced CKD without the need for nephrotoxic contrast agents.
Keywords: cardiac magnetic resonance; chronic kidney disease; coronary artery calcium; coronary artery disease; echocardiography; myocardial perfusion imaging; positron emission tomography.
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