Vascular imaging in chronic kidney disease


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Abstract

Purpose of reviewThe chronic kidney disease (CKD) mineral bone disorder syndrome encompasses a number of metabolic, bone as well as vascular abnormalities of which vascular calcification is a prominent feature. Several noninvasive imaging techniques provide physicians with useful prognostic information beyond traditional cardiovascular and CKD-specific risk factors. We review the most recent evidence on vascular calcification screening as a tool for risk stratification in CKD patients.Recent findingsCardiovascular aging is accelerated and is associated with a poor prognosis in CKD patients. Numerous traditional and nontraditional risk factors have been associated with this outcome. Imaging markers and serological risk factors do not carry the same prognostic information. In fact, whereas serum biomarkers reflect the risk to which the individual is exposed at the time of measurement, imaging markers represent the cumulative result of prolonged exposure to one or multiple risk factors. As such, they have often been demonstrated to be better outcome predictors than serological markers. In some cases, imaging markers have been suggested as desirable targets of therapy or to guide treatment individualization.SummaryRecent evidence suggests that cardiovascular imaging allows for cardiovascular risk stratification and treatment individualization in CKD patients.

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