Background: Patients with kidney failure treated with hemodialysis have a high incidence of cardiovascular diseases caused by accelerated arteriosclerosis. However, accurate evaluation of the extent of arteriosclerosis is difficult. This study sought to compare the strength of predictions of arterial fibrosis by using a new parameter, the cardio-ankle vascular index (CAVI), versus pulse wave velocity (PWV) in patients with kidney failure treated with hemodialysis. Study Design: Diagnostic test study. Setting & Participants: 103 patients with kidney failure undergoing surgical construction of an arteriovenous access for hemodialysis therapy. Index Test: CAVI and PWV. Reference Test: Arterial fibrosis, evaluated by using Masson trichrome stain on part of the brachial artery obtained during surgery, expressed as percentage of fibrosis of the layer of vascular smooth muscle cells. Results: Median percentage of arterial stiffness was 52.85%. Mean PWV and CAVI were 18.3 ± 5.6 (SD) m/s and 9.9 ± 2.6, respectively. Multivariate regression analysis showed that arterial fibrosis was significantly associated with older age (0.247%/y; 95% confidence interval, 0.013 to 0.482) and CAVI (6.117%/unit; 95% confidence interval, 4.764 to 4.740), but not with systolic blood pressure (0.039%/mm Hg; 95% confidence interval, -0.076 to 0.153) or PWV (-0.044%/m/s; 95% confidence interval, -0.646 to 0.558). The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve to predict greater than median percentage of arterial stiffness was 0.892 for CAVI and 0.779 for PWV (P = 0.006). Limitation: It is unclear whether arterial fibrosis of the brachial artery evaluated by using CAVI is applicable for arteriosclerosis of other arterial districts, and clinical outcomes were not evaluated in this study. Conclusion: CAVI reflects the histological arterial fibrosis of hemodialysis patients and is a useful clinical marker for evaluating arterial stiffness in these patients.
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