Accelerated and premature cardiovascular calcification is a hallmark of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) or end-stage renal disease (ESRD). The presence and the amount of cardiovascular calcification are among the driving forces of increased morbidity and mortality in renal patients. Cardiovascular calcification occurs at different sites, including the cardiac valves—a location that is of particular importance for both the patient and the treating physician. The correlation between degree of calcification and functional impairment is particularly close at the aortic valve, that is, the amount of calcification predicts the degree of stenosis. Calcific aortic stenosis (CAS) is the most prevalent valvular heart disease in Western societies. CAS is particularly prevalent in patients with underlying CKD or ESRD. CAS increases afterload and hence contributes to the widespread finding of left ventricular hypertrophy in CKD/ESRD patients. Medical treatment options to prevent the development and progression of CAS are limited. Hence, close surveillance and timely referral of patients for heart valve replacement therapy is a mainstay of current therapy. Novel treatment approaches, such as transcatheter aortic valve implantation, offer promising yet challenging options for elderly, comorbid, and often frail patients with CAS in combination with advanced CKD/ESRD.

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Advances in Chronic Kidney Disease
Department of Internal Medicine

Brandenburg, V., Schuh, A. (Alexander), & Kramann, R. (2019). Valvular Calcification in Chronic Kidney Disease. Advances in Chronic Kidney Disease (Vol. 26, pp. 464–471). doi:10.1053/j.ackd.2019.10.004