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Association of circulating cardiac biomarkers with electrocardiographic abnormalities in chronic kidney disease

Among patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), the circulating cardiac biomarkers soluble ST2 (SST2), galectin-3, growth differentiation factor-15 (GDF-15), N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) and high-sensitivity troponin-T (hsTnT) possibly reflect pathophysiologic processes and are associated with clinical cardiovascular disease. Whether these biomarkers are associated with electrocardiographic findings is not known. The aim of this study was to test the association between serum cardiac biomarkers and the presence of electrocardiographic changes potentially indicative of subclinical myocardial disease in patients with CKD. We performed a cross-sectional analysis using 3048 participants from the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC) without atrial fibrillation, atrioventricular block, bundle branch block or a pacemaker at the baseline visit. Using logistic regression, we tested the association of each of the five cardiac biomarkers with baseline electrocardiogram (ECG) findings: PR interval >200 ms, QRS interval >100 ms and a prolonged QTc interval. Models were adjusted for demographic variables, measures of kidney function, prevalent cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular risk factors. In adjusted models, hsTnT levels associated with prolonged PR {odds ratio [OR] 1.23 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.08-1.40]}, QRS [OR 1.28 (95% CI 1.16-1.42)] and QTc [OR 1.94 (95% CI 1.50-2.51)] intervals. NT-proBNP levels were associated with prolonged QRS [OR 1.11 (95% CI 1.06-1.16)] and QTc [OR 1.82 (95% CI 1.58-2.10)] intervals. SST2, galectin-3 and GDF-15 were not significantly associated with any of the ECG parameters. hsTnT and NT-proBNP were associated with ECG measures indicative of subclinical myocardial dysfunction. These results may support future research investigating the significance of myocardial ischemia and volume overload in the pathogenesis of dysfunctional myocardial conduction in CKD.

Authors: Kula, Alexander J; Go, Alan; Bansal, Nisha; et al.

Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2021 12 02;36(12):2282-2289.

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