Coronary artery calcification (CAC) progresses after a kidney transplant, but slows between six and 12 months later, researchers reported in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases (2006;48:307-313).


Martin Haas, MD, associate professor of medicine at the University Hospital Vienna in Austria, and his colleagues used multidetector CT to measure the extent of CAC in 31 patients following renal transplantation. Of these, 29% had CAD and 33% smoked.

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Mean total Agatston score rose significantly from 716 at baseline to 916 at six months. At 12 months, the patients’ CAC score (890) had not changed significantly. CAC progression occurred only in patients with a baseline total Agatston score higher than 10. In these patients, the score rose from 964 to 1,234 at six months. At 12 months, the score (1,199) was not significantly different. Dr. Haas’s team identified duration of pretransplantation dialysis and smoking as independent predictors of posttransplantation CAC progression.