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Intimal and medial arterial changes defined by ultra-high-frequency ultrasound: Response to changing risk factors in children with chronic kidney disease

Frida Dangardt, Marietta Charakida, Scott Chiesa, Devina Bhowruth, Alicja Rapala, Daniela Thurn, Franz Schaefer, John Deanfield, Rukshana Shroff
Background Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) are exposed to both traditional ‘Framingham’ and uremia related cardiovascular risk factors that drive atherosclerotic and arteriosclerotic disease, but these cannot be differentiated using conventional ultrasound. Weused ultra- high-frequency ultrasound (UHFUS) to differentiate medial thickness (MT) from intimal thickness (IT) in CKD patients, identify their determinants and monitor their progression. Methods Fifty-four children and adolescents with CKD and 12 healthy controls underwent UHFUS measurements using 55-70MHz transducers in common carotid and dorsal pedal arteries. Annual follow-up imaging was performed in 31 patients. Results CKD patients had higher carotid MTand dorsal pedal IT andMT compared to controls. The carotid MT in CKD correlated with serum phosphate (p<0.001, r = 0.42), PTH (p = 0.03, r = 0.36) and mean arterial pressure (p = 0.03, r = 0.34). Following multivariable analysis, being on dialysis, serum phosphate levels and mean arterial pressure remained the only indepen- dent predictors of carotid MT(R2 64%). Transplanted children had lower carotid and dorsal pedal MT compared to CKD and dial- ysis patients (p = 0.02 and p = 0.01 respectively). At 1-year follow-up, transplanted children had a decrease in carotid MT (p = 0.01), but an increase in dorsal pedal IT (p = 0.04) that independently correlated with annualized change in BMI. Conclusions Using UHFUS, we have shown that CKD is associated with exclusively medial arterial changes that attenuate when the uremic milieu is ameliorated after transplantation. In con- trast, after transplantation intimal disease develops as hypertension and obesity become prevalent, representing rapid vascular remodeling in response to a changing cardiovascular risk factor profile.

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