(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- An inexpensive and non-invasive test can
effectively indicate which kidney disease patients are at an increased risk of
developing potentially fatal heart complications, according to a new study.
Doctors use pulse pressure, an indicator of arterial stiffness and aging that is
derived from blood pressure readings, to measure coronary artery calcification
in chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients on dialysis. These patients frequently
die from cardiovascular complications.
The test is typically not done on patients with earlier stages of the disease
who are not yet on dialysis. Italian researchers wanted to test if pulse
pressure could predict coronary artery calcification on these patients.
Domenico Russo, M.D., and his colleagues at the University of Naples Federico II
in Naples, Italy, measured the pulse pressure of 388 CKD patients not on
dialysis and compared those findings to the patients' coronary calcium scores
and abdominal X-rays used to measure calcification.
They found that pulse pressure above 60 mmHg correlated significantly with
coronary calcium scores in all patients with various stages of CKD.
They said their findings indicate that pulse pressure may be used to identify
CKD patients with sub-clinical heart conditions who need further evaluation.
SOURCE: Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology, February 2009