Do higher dialysate calcium concentrations increase vascular stiffness in haemodialysis patients as measured by aortic pulse wave velocity?
UCL Centre for Nephrology, Royal Free hospital, University College London Medical School, Rowland Hill Street, London NW3 2PF, UK
BMC Nephrology 2013, 14:189 doi:10.1186/1471-2369-14-189Published: 8 September 2013
Haemodialysis patients have an increased prevalence of hypertension and risk of cardiovascular mortality and stroke. Higher dialysate calcium concentrations have been reported to cause both an acute and chronic increase in arterial stiffness. We therefore looked at changes in arterial stiffness in established haemodialysis patients to determine whether there was a threshold effect of dialysate calcium concentration linked to change in arterial stiffness.
We performed pulse wave velocity measurements six months apart in patients dialysing with calcium concentrations of 1.0, 1.25, 1.35 and ≥1.5 mmol/l.
289 patients, 62.2% male, mean age 65.5 ± 15.7 years, weight body mass index 25.8 ± 5.4 kg/m2 ,47.9% diabetic were studied. Systolic blood pressure (SBP) was 148.4 ± 28.6 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) 80.2 ± 15.5 mmHg. Mean pulse wave velocity increased over time (9.66 ± 2.0 vs 10.13 ± 2.16 m/s; p < 0.001), but there was no change in aortic augmentation index (38.7 ± 16.3 vs 39.8 ± 15.6%) or central aortic pressure (149.6 ± 33.3 vs 150.4 ± 31.9 mmHg).
Pulse wave velocity did not differ between the four groups either at start or end of the study, but increased both in the groups dialysing with a calcium concentration of 1.0 mmol/l (9.64 ± 1.94 vs 10.45 ± 1.98 m/s, p = 0.0028) and also with 1.35 mmol/l (9.75 ± 1.96 vs 10.21 ± 2.18 m/s, p = 0.02).
Pulse wave velocity increased over the six months study. As pulse wave velocity increased in the group dialysing using the lowest dialysate calcium, it is likely that factors, other than simple net calcium influx and efflux during dialysis according to dialysate calcium concentration are involved with vascular stiffening.