Background : The increased risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end-stage renal disease (ESRD) seems particularly pronounced in patients with concomitant aortic and mitral valvular calcifications. Valvular calcification (VC) is accelerated in patients with CKD and even more so with ESRD and haemodialysis (HD) due to premature endothelial cell dysfunction. Mineral and bone disorder (CKD-MBD) is a common complication of CKD/ESRD and may play a pivotal role in VC.
Case summary : A 25-year-old woman with congenital hypoplastic kidneys and ESRD on HD from the age of 19 was admitted to the emergency department suffering from chest pain and dyspnoea. Transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE) revealed critical aortic stenosis (AS) with indexed aortic valve area 0.4 cm2/m2, a mean gradient 58 mmHg and a moderate mitral stenosis with a mean gradient 6-8 mmHg developed over the course of 2 years, as a normal TTE was performed at that time. During HD, the patient had longstanding alterations in calcium and phosphate metabolism including secondary hyperparathyroidism that eventually progressed into tertiary hyperparathyroidism. Efforts were made to treat CKD-MBD but patient compliance was low. Subtotal parathyroidectomy was performed 6 months prior to admission. The patient had dual mechanical valve replacement.
Discussion : Valvular calcification is common in patients with CKD/ESRD and in particular in patients on HD. Rapid progression of valve disease in this case may be related to the combination of low patient adherence and sustained disturbed calcium and phosphate metabolism with tertiary hyperparathyroidism. Transthoracic echocardiogram should be performed in patients on HD even with minor suspicion of VC and in patients with low adherence and disturbance of calcium and phosphate metabolism.