Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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Vascular calcification on plain radiographs is related with the severity of lesions detected by coronary angiography in dialysis patients.

Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a primary cause of mortality and morbidity in dialysis patients. However, it is difficult to select the proper point for coronary angiographic procedure, because dialysis patients frequently do not display typical symptoms. Vascular calcification (VC) scores of artery or aorta on plain radiographs are associated with CAD events and may be predictive of CAD in dialysis patients. Therefore, we evaluated whether high or meaningful VC scores on plain radiographs are related with the severity of lesions detected by coronary angiography (CAG) in dialysis patients. We retrospectively enrolled dialysis patients who underwent CAG and checked several plain radiographs within one year before or after CAG. Significant VC is defined as high or meaningful VC scores, such as long abdominal aortic calcification and medial artery calcification on feet. Of all 55 patients, 41 patients (74.5%) exhibited significant VC on plain radiographs and 23 patients (41.8%) underwent stent insertion. Among the 23 patients, longer stents were used in 18 patients with significant VC (34.1 ± 19.5 mm vs. 16.6 ± 15.2 mm, P = 0.029). Patients with significant VC showed higher prevalence rate of severe coronary artery calcification (P = 0.007) and diffuse/tubular stenosis (P = 0.012), detected by CAG, than those without significant VC. Thus, high or meaningful VC scores on plain radiographs were associated with the degree of calcification or stenosis detected by CAG. In conclusion, VC scores on plain radiographs may be predictive of calcification or stenosis of coronary artery before CAG in dialysis patients.

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