Data from a Moroccan study implicate calcium and phosphate metabolism abnormalities in the pathogenesis of heart valve calcifications in patients on hemodialysis.
Faissal Tarrass, MD, and his colleagues at Ibn Rochd University Hospital Center in Casablanca, studied 90 patients on maintenance hemodialysis for more than 12 months. Valve calcifications were diagnosed in 36 (40%). These pa-tients were older than those without the calcifications (49.69 vs. 42.94 years), and had higher levels of serum calcium (92.0 vs. 89.27 mg/L), phosphorus (69.70 vs. 44.90 mg/L), and calcium x phosphorus product (6164.97 vs. 4024.70 mg2/L2). Patients with valve calcifications also required higher doses of alfacalcidol for secondary hyperparathyroidism (0.43 vs. 0.11 µg/day). Patients in both groups had similar mean times on dialysis: 142.40 and 137.05 months for patients with and without valve calcifications, respectively.
In contrast to previous studies, Dr. Tarrass’ group found no statistically significant association between valve calcifications and traditional atherogenic risk factors such as sex, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, dyslipidemia, smoking, and chronic inflammation.