Blood pressure test reveals heart disease risk in patients with early stages of CKD

Jan 28, 2009

Pulse pressure, an inexpensive and noninvasive measurement derived from blood pressure readings, can effectively indicate which patients with kidney disease are at increased risk of developing potentially fatal heart complications, according to a study appearing in the February 2009 issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology (CJASN).

Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) frequently die from cardiovascular complications. Therefore, it is important to identify early signs of heart trouble in these individuals. Clinicians use pulse pressure (an indicator of arterial stiffness and aging) to measure coronary artery calcification in patients on dialysis. However, this test has not been used in patients with earlier stages of disease who are not yet on dialysis.

To investigate its utility in these patients, Domenico Russo, MD, of the University of Naples Federico II, in Naples, Italy, and his colleagues assessed the accuracy of pulse pressure for predicting coronary artery calcification in 388 CKD patients not on dialysis. Coronary calcium scores and abdominal x-rays were used to measure calcification, which was compared with measurements made by pulse pressure.

The researchers found that pulse pressure (above 60 mmHg) correlated significantly with coronary calcium scores in all patients with various stages of CKD. The findings indicate that pulse pressure may be used to identify CKD patients with sub-clinical heart conditions who need further evaluation.

The investigators also noted a high prevalence of coronary artery calcification (42.3%) in this population of patients with chronic renal failure not yet on dialysis. Because coronary artery calcification rapidly progresses and can lead to cardiovascular disease if left untreated, widespread screening of vascular calcification may be warranted in pre-dialysis patients.

Source: American Society of Nephrology

Explore further: Experimental Ebola drug heals all monkeys in study (Update)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Heading circulatory disease off at the pass

Jul 17, 2008

Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University have devised an ultrasound imaging technique that picks up subtle early evidence of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) that current conventional tests miss.

Recommended for you

Ebola in mind, US colleges screen some students

Aug 29, 2014

University students from West Africa may be subject to extra health checks when they arrive to study in the United States as administrators try to insulate their campuses from the worst Ebola outbreak in ...

User comments : 0