Background: Vascular calcification is seen in most patients on dialysis and is strongly associated with cardiovascular mortality. Vascular calcification is promoted by phosphate, which generally reaches higher levels in hemodialysis than in peritoneal dialysis. However, whether vascular calcification develops less in peritoneal dialysis than in hemodialysis is currently unknown. Therefore, we compared coronary artery calcification (CAC), its progression, and calcification biomarkers between patients on hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.
Methods: We measured CAC in 134 patients who had been treated exclusively with hemodialysis (n = 94) or peritoneal dialysis (n = 40) and were transplantation candidates. In 57 of them (34 on hemodialysis and 23 on peritoneal dialysis), we also measured CAC progression annually up to 3 years and the inactive species of desphospho-uncarboxylated matrix Gla protein (dp-ucMGP), fetuin-A, osteoprotegerin. We compared CAC cross-sectionally with Tobit regression. CAC progression was compared in 2 ways: with linear mixed models as the difference in square root transformed volume score per year (ΔCAC SQRV) and with Tobit mixed models. We adjusted for potential confounders.
Results: In the cross-sectional cohort, CAC volume scores were 92 mm3 in hemodialysis and 492 mm3 in peritoneal dialysis (adjusted difference 436 mm3; 95% CI -47 to 919; p = 0.08). In the longitudinal cohort, peritoneal dialysis was associated with significantly more CAC progression defined as ΔCAC SQRV (adjusted difference 1.20; 95% CI 0.09 to 2.31; p = 0.03), but not with Tobit mixed models (adjusted difference in CAC score increase per year 106 mm3; 95% CI -140 to 352; p = 0.40). Peritoneal dialysis was associated with higher osteoprotegerin (adjusted p = 0.02) but not with dp-ucMGP or fetuin-A.
Conclusions: Peritoneal dialysis is not associated with less CAC or CAC progression than hemodialysis, and perhaps with even more progression. This indicates that vascular calcification does not develop less in peritoneal dialysis than in hemodialysis.
Full Access Link: American Journal of Nephrology