Background: Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular events such as stroke. However, it is still unclear if decreased kidney function is associated with a vulnerable atherosclerotic plaque phenotype. To explore if renal function was associated with carotid plaque vulnerability we analyzed carotid plaques obtained at surgery from the Carotid Plaque Imaging Project (CPIP). Methods: Patients were enrolled through the CPIP cohort. The indication for surgery was plaques with stenosis >70%, associated with ipsilateral symptoms or plaques with stenosis >80% not associated with symptoms. Transversal sections from the most stenotic plaque region were analyzed for connective tissue, calcium, lipids, macrophages, intraplaque hemorrhage, and smooth muscle cells. Homogenates were analyzed for collagen and elastin. Results: Carotid endarterectomy specimens from 379 patients were obtained. The median GFR was 73 ml/min/1.73 m2. Plaque characteristics showed no significant association with eGFR, neither when eGFR was divided in CKD groups nor when eGFR was handled as a continuous variable and adjusting for other known risk factors (ie, age, diabetes, hypertension, and smoking). Conclusions: The higher risk of cardiovascular disease such as stroke in CKD is not associated with increased plaque vulnerability and other factors have to be sought.
Subject classification (UKÄ)
- Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems
- cardiovascular disease
- chronic kidney disease