Purpose: Deficiency of Fetuin A, as a calcification inhibitor, is assumed to be involved in vascular calcification in patients on maintenance hemodialysis (MHD). This study examined the relationship between serum Fetuin-A and vascular and valvular calcification in a cohort of MHD patients.
Methods: The study was conducted on 122 MHD patients. Serum levels of calcium, phosphorus, parathormone, and Fetuin-A were tested. Intima-media thickness (IMT) ≥0.8 mm and the presence of stenosis>50% or plaques in carotid doppler sonography were considered as vascular calcification. Calcification of cardiac valves or mitral annular calcification in two-dimensional echocardiography, were considered as cardiac valvular calcification. The presence of any or both of the two conditions was defined as cardiovascular calcification (CVC).
Results: Fetuin-A was lower than normal in 37% of 122. Totally 106 patients (87%) had CVC, who were older (61±14 vs. 38±14 years, P<0.001), more affected by diabetes (54% vs. 13%, P=0.007), had a longer dialysis vintage (median 5 vs. 2 years, P=0.006), lower levels of creatinine (8.9±2.8 vs. 11.9±3.1 mg/dL, P<0.001) and higher levels of calcium (8.7±0.7 vs. 8.4±0.5 mg/dL, P=0.026). There was no significant difference in mean Fetuin-A level between the two groups (P=0.101). In logistic regression increased age (OR=1.1, CI 95%=1.1 - 1.2) and serum calcium (OR=2.8, CI 95%=1.1- 7.6), and diabetes mellitus (OR=7.4, CI 95%=1.1 - 47.4) were risk factors.
Conclusion: This study showed that 87% of our patients had vascular and/or valvular calcification. Increased age and calcium level and diabetes were the predictors of CVC, whereas Fetuin-A was not.
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