Adults with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) exhibit vascular dysfunction, as evidenced by impaired endothelium-dependent dilation (EDD) and stiffening of the large elastic arteries. However, it is unknown whether vascular dysfunction begins earlier in the course of ADPKD. The aim of the study was to assess EDD and arterial stiffness in children and young adults with ADPKD.Methods:
Fifteen children and young adults 6-22 years of age with ADPKD and normal renal function were prospectively recruited for participation in a cross-sectional study. Fifteen healthy controls were enrolled to match cases for age and sex. The primary outcomes were EDD, measured as brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMDBA), and arterial stiffness, measured as carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (CFPWV).Results:
ADPKD cases were more likely to be taking an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor, but otherwise did not differ from controls in clinical characteristics, including blood pressure. FMDBA was 25% lower in children and young adults with ADPKD (7.7 ± 0.9%, mean ± SE) when compared with matched controls (10.2 ± 0.8%) (P < 0.05). CFPWV was 14% higher in children and young adults with ADPKD (544 ± 23 cm/s) when compared with matched controls (478 ± 17 cm/s) (P < 0.05). Secondary measures of arterial stiffness, carotid augmentation index and carotid systolic blood pressure were also increased in cases when compared with controls (P < 0.05).Conclusions:
Impaired EDD and increased arterial stiffness, important independent predictors of future cardiovascular events and mortality, are evident very early in the course of ADPKD in the presence of normal kidney function. Novel interventions to reduce vascular dysfunction in children and young adults with ADPKD should be evaluated, as childhood and young adulthood may represent a critical therapeutic window to reduce future cardiovascular risk in patients with ADPKD.