Renal Failure: A Modern Semiology for an Old Disease

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Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a complex systemic disease that induces mineral metabolic dysfunction leading to bone fragility and tissue calcifications. Bone abnormalities in CKD can include increased bone turnover and resorption due to secondary hyperparathyroidism, decreased bone turnover and bone formation, defective bone mineralization, or a mixed pattern of these abnormalities. Other features of musculoskeletal involvement include synovial, tendon, and ligament thickening due to β2-microglobulin amyloidosis, soft tissue masses, or axial and peripheral arthropathies. The accurate assessment of bone involvement in early-stage CKD is crucial for the success of therapeutic interventions. We summarize the key semiologic features of bone abnormalities in CKD and review musculoskeletal complications as depicted by conventional radiography, computed tomography, magnetic resonance, and ultrasound imaging. We also discuss different experimental diagnostic approaches developed for the purpose of identifying changes in bone quality and structure in early-stage CKD.

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