Journal Article

Cardiovascular disease determinants in chronic renal failure: clinical approach and treatment

Francesco Locatelli, Jürgen Bommer, Gérard Michel London, Alejandro Martín‐Malo, Christoph Wanner, Mohammed Yaqoob and Carmine Zoccali

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

Published on behalf of European Renal Association - European Dialysis and Transplant Assoc

Volume 16, issue 3, pages 459-468
Published in print March 2001 | ISSN: 0931-0509
Published online March 2001 | e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI:
Cardiovascular disease determinants in chronic renal failure: clinical approach and treatment

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Introduction. Cardiovascular disease (CVD), as the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in patients on renal replacement therapy (RRT), has a central role in everyday nephrological practice.

Methods. Consensus was reached on key points relating to the clinical approach and treatment of the main cardiovascular risk factors in RRT patients (hypertension, anaemia, hyperparathyroidism, dyslipidaemia, new emerging risk factors). In addition, the role of convective treatments on cardiovascular outcomes was examined.

Results. Hypertension should be managed by aiming at blood pressure values of ⩽140/90 mmHg (⩽160/90 mmHg in the elderly), firstly by ensuring target dry body weight is achieved. No single class of drug has proved superior to others in RRT patients, provided that the blood pressure target is achieved, although ACE inhibitors have shown specific organ protection in high‐risk patients (HOPE study) and are well tolerated. Anaemia should be managed by using erythropoietin and iron supplements, aiming at haemoglobin levels of 12 g/dl and keeping serum ferritin levels <500 ng/ml. The management of hyperparathyroidism is currently unsatisfactory, as calcium supplements have the potential to increase cardiovascular calcification. While awaiting new calcium‐ and aluminium‐free phosphate binders, it is essential to ensure dialysis adequacy. Clinical studies are in progress to assess the real impact of lipid‐lowering drugs in RRT. In the meantime, serum LDL‐cholesterol <160 mg/dl and triglycerides <500 mg/dl may be desirable targets. The impact of new emerging risk factors (inflammation and chronic infection, hyperhomocysteinaemia, metabolic waste‐product accumulation) and their proper management are still under research. Convective dialysis treatments may confer some degree of protection from dialysis‐related amyloidosis and mortality, but clinical data on this important issue are still controversial and no definitive conclusions can be drawn at present.

Conclusion. CVD prevention and treatment is a great challenge for the nephrologist. Achieving evidence‐based consensus can help in encouraging the implementation of best clinical practice in line with the progress of current knowledge.

Keywords: anaemia; cardiovascular disease; convective treatments; dyslipidaemia; hyperparathyroidism; hypertension

Journal Article.  7136 words. 

Subjects: Nephrology

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