Cardiac valve calcification: an immutable pathologic finding in chronic kidney disease?

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Although less frequent than vascular calcification, cardiac valve calcification (CVC) is a relevant clinical problem affecting about 2%-10% of adults from the general population aged 75 years and older, and is 5- to 10-fold more prevalent in individuals with impaired kidney function. An expanding body of evidence suggests that mineral metabolism abnormalities aside from traditional cardiovascular risk factors are involved in CVC pathogenesis. Nonetheless, very few studies have investigated whether mineral metabolism manipulation impacts CVC. In this issue of theJournal of Nephrology,it is reported that a combination of low-phosphate diet and sevelamer may reduce CVC. Though the observational nature of that study and the lack of a control group significantly limit the generalizability of these results, they fit in with the ongoing debate on the role of chronic kidney disease mineral bone metabolism (CKD-MBD) in the pathogenesis of vascular disease and suggest the importance of mineral metabolism control in patients with CKD.

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