Endothelial dysfunction and low-grade inflammation in the transition to renal replacement therapy

April C E van Gennip, Natascha J H Broers, Karlien J Ter Meulen, Bernard Canaud, Maarten H L Christiaans, Tom Cornelis, Mariëlle A C J Gelens, Marc M H Hermans, Constantijn J A M Konings, Jeroen B van der Net, Frank M van der Sande, Casper G Schalkwijk, Frank Stifft, Joris J J M Wirtz, Jeroen P Kooman*, Remy J H Martens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


INTRODUCTION: End-stage renal disease (ESRD) strongly associates with cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. This risk is not completely mitigated by renal replacement therapy. Endothelial dysfunction (ED) and low-grade inflammation (LGI) may contribute to the increased CVD risk. However, data on serum biomarkers of ED and LGI during the transition to renal replacement therapy (dialysis and kidney transplantation) are scarce.

METHODS: We compared serum biomarkers of ED and LGI between 36 controls, 43 participants with chronic kidney disease (CKD) stage 5 non-dialysis (CKD5-ND), 20 participants with CKD stage 5 hemodialysis (CKD5-HD) and 14 participants with CKD stage 5 peritoneal dialysis (CKD5-PD). Further, in 34 and 15 participants repeated measurements were available during the first six months following dialysis initiation and kidney transplantation, respectively. Serum biomarkers of ED (sVCAM-1, E-selectin, P-selectin, thrombomodulin, sICAM-1, sICAM-3) and LGI (hs-CRP, SAA, IL-6, IL-8, TNF-α) were measured with a single- or multiplex array detection system based on electro-chemiluminescence technology.

RESULTS: In linear regression analyses adjusted for potential confounders, participants with ESRD had higher levels of most serum biomarkers of ED and LGI than controls. In addition, in CKD5-HD levels of serum biomarkers of ED and LGI were largely similar to those in CKD5-ND. In contrast, in CKD5-PD levels of biomarkers of ED were higher than in CKD5-ND and CKD5-HD. Similarly, in linear mixed model analyses sVCAM-1, thrombomodulin, sICAM-1 and sICAM-3 increased after PD initiation. In contrast, incident HD patients showed an increase in sVCAM-1, P-selectin and TNF-α, but a decline of hs-CRP, SAA and IL-6. Further, following kidney transplantation sVCAM-1, thrombomodulin, sICAM-3 and TNF-α were lower at three months post-transplantation and remained stable in the three months thereafter.

CONCLUSIONS: Levels of serum biomarkers of ED and LGI were higher in ESRD as compared with controls. In addition, PD initiation and, less convincingly, HD initiation may increase levels of selected serum biomarkers of ED and LGI on top of uremia per se. In contrast to dialysis, several serum biomarkers of ED and LGI markedly declined following kidney transplantation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0222547
Number of pages20
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sept 2019


  • Biomarkers/blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases/blood
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Endothelial Cells/pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammation/blood
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic/blood
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Renal Dialysis/methods
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic/blood
  • Renal Replacement Therapy/methods

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