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Association between circulating proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 levels and prognosis in patients with severe chronic kidney disease

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Background: Chronic kidney disease is a risk factor for premature development of coronary atherosclerosis and mortality. A high level of proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) is a recently recognized cardiovascular risk factor and has become the target of effective inhibitory treatment. In 167 kidney transplantation candidates, we aimed to: (i) compare levels of PCSK9 with those of healthy controls, (ii) examine the association between levels of PCSK9 and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-c) and the degree of coronary artery disease (CAD) and (iii) evaluate if levels of PCSK9 predict major adverse cardiac events (MACE) and mortality.

Methods: Kidney transplant candidates (n = 167) underwent coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) and invasive coronary angiography (ICA) before transplantation. MACE and mortality data were extracted from the Western Denmark Heart Registry, a review of patient records and patient interviews. A group of 79 healthy subjects were used as controls.

Results: Mean PCSK9 levels did not differ between healthy controls and kidney transplant candidates. In patients not receiving lipid-lowering therapy, PCSK9 correlated positively with LDL-c (rho = 0.24, P < 0.05). Mean PCSK9 was similar in patients with and without obstructive CAD at both CCTA and ICA. In a multiple regression analysis, PCSK9 was associated with neither LDL-c (β=-6.45, P = 0.44) nor coronary artery calcium score (β=2.17, P = 0.84). During a follow-up of 3.7 years, PCSK9 levels were not associated with either MACE or mortality.

Conclusions: The ability of PCSK9 levels to predict cardiovascular disease and prognosis does not seem to apply to a cohort of kidney transplant candidates.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbergfy257
JournalNephrology, Dialysis, Transplantation
Pages (from-to)632-639
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • PCSK9, coronary artery disease, kidney transplant candidates, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, major adverse cardiac events

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