5 years ago

Impact of post-dialysis calcium level on <i>ex vivo</i> rat aortic wall calcification

Ricardo Villa-Bellosta, Alberto Ortiz, Daniel Azpiazu, Jesús Egido, Emilio González-Parra

by Daniel Azpiazu, Emilio González-Parra, Alberto Ortiz, Jesús Egido, Ricardo Villa-Bellosta


Vascular calcification is a frequent complication in chronic haemodialysis patients and is associated with adverse outcomes. Serum calcium and phosphate levels and imbalances in calcification regulators are thought to contribute to the process. In this regard, the dialysate calcium concentration is a modifiable tool for modulating the risk of vascular calcification. We explored pre- and post-dialysis phosphate and calcium concentrations in stable chronic haemodialysis patients treated by dialysis with the KDIGO-suggested 1.5 mmol/L calcium dialysate to investigate the effects on ex vivo calcification of rat aortic rings.

Approach and results

At the end of haemodialysis, mean serum calcium levels were increased in 88% of paired pre-/post-dialysis samples, while mean serum phosphate and parathyroid hormone levels were decreased. Rat aortic ring cultures grown at the same calcium and phosphate concentrations revealed that pre- and post-dialysis resulted in a similar degree of calcification. By contrast, haemodialysis with unchanged serum calcium resulted in a 5-fold reduction in calcium deposition.


Dialysis with the widely prescribed 1.5 mmol/L calcium dose results in persistent high serum calcification potential in a sizable proportion of patients, driven by increased post-dialysis calcium concentration. This could potentially be mitigated by individualising dialysate calcium dosage based on pre-dialysis serum calcium levels.

Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0183730

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