The mechanisms of hyperphosphatemia-induced vascular calcification

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Extensive calcification of the arterial wall and soft tissues is a frequent feature of patients with end-stage chronic kidney disease (CKD stage 5). Hyperphosphatemia and secondary hyperparathyroidism have been extensively investigated as inducing factors in cardiovascular calcification. In fact, cardiovascular disease in renal failure is associated with bone metabolism alterations. Together with passive deposition of calcium-phosphate in extraskeletal tissues, it has recently been demonstrated that inorganic phosphate induces arterial calcification directly through a real “ossification” of the tunica media in the vasculature of CKD patients. Therefore, control of serum phosphate in CKD patients becomes crucial in preventing increases in calcium × phosphate product, secondary hyperparathyroidism, and ultimately vascular calcification. (Int J Artif Organs 2008; 31: 1002–3)

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