Background and objectives: Abnormal arterial stiffness (AS) is a major complication in end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) patients treated by dialysis. Our study aimed to determine the significance of AS for survival of prevalent dialysis patients, as well as its association with cardiovascular parameters or vascular calcification promoters/inhibitors or both and AS.
Materials and methods: The study involved 80 adult hemodialysis patients. Besides standard laboratory analyses, we also determined promoters and inhibitors of vascular calcification (bone biomarkers): serum levels of fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23), soluble Klotho, intact parathormone (iPTH), 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3, osteoprotegerin, sclerostin, AS measured as ankle carotid pulse wave velocity (acPWV), Ankle Brachial Index (ABI), and vascular calcification (VC) score. Patients were monitored for up to 28 months. According to the median acPWV value, we divided patients into a group with acPWV ≤ 8.8 m/s, and a group with acPWV > 8.8 m/s, and the two groups were compared.
Results: Values for bone biomarkers were similar in both groups. Mean arterial blood pressure (MAP), central systolic and diastolic brachial blood pressure, heart rate, and pulse pressure were higher in the group with acPWV > 8.8 m/s than in the group with acPWV ≤ 8.8 m/s. The mortality was higher for patients with acPWV > 8.8 m/s at any given time over 28 months of follow-up. In multivariable analysis, predictors of higher acPWV were age >60.5, higher pulse rate, and higher central systolic or brachial diastolic blood pressure.
Conclusions: According to our results, we advise the measurement of acPWV preferentially in younger dialysis patients for prognosis, as well as intervention planning before the development of irreversible changes in blood vessels. In addition, measuring central systolic blood pressure seems to be useful for monitoring AS in prevalent hemodialysis patients.
Keywords: arterial stiffness; biomarkers; cardiovascular assessment; outcome; prevalent hemodialysis patients.