Bone Mineral Density and Aortic Calcification: Evidence for a Bone-Vascular Axis After Kidney Transplantation

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Chronic kidney disease mineral and bone disorders (CKD-MBD) and vascular calcification are often seen in kidney transplantation recipients (KTR). This study focused on the bone-vascular axis hypothesis, the pathophysiological mechanisms driving both bone loss and vascular calcification, supported by an association between lower bone mineral density (BMD) and higher risk of vascular calcification. METHODS: KTR referred for a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry procedure within 6 mo after transplantation were included in a cross-sectional study (2004-2014). Areal BMD was measured at the proximal femur, and abdominal aortic calcification (AAC) was quantified (8-points score) from lateral single-energy images of the lumbar spine. Patients were divided into 3 AAC categories (negative-AAC: AAC 0; low-AAC: AAC 1-3; and high-AAC: AAC 4-8). Multivariable-adjusted multinomial logistic regression models were performed to study the association between BMD and AAC. RESULTS: We included 678 KTR (51 ± 13 y old, 58% males), 366 (54%) had BMD disorders, and 266 (39%) had detectable calcification. High-AAC was observed in 9%, 11%, and 25% of KTR with normal BMD, osteopenia, and osteoporosis, respectively (P < 0.001). Higher BMD (T-score, continuous) was associated with a lower risk of high-AAC (odds ratio 0.61, 95% confidence interval 0.42-0.88; P = 0.008), independent of age, sex, body mass index, estimated glomerular filtration rate, and immunosuppressive therapy. KTR with normal BMD were less likely to have high-AAC (odds ratio 0.24, 95% confidence interval 0.08-0.72; P = 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: BMD disorders are highly prevalent in KTR. The independent inverse association between BMD and AAC may provide evidence to point toward the existence, while highlighting the clinical and epidemiological relevance, of a bone-vascular axis after kidney transplantation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-239
Number of pages9
JournalTransplantation
Volume105
Issue number1
Early online date2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1-Jan-2021

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