Elastin Degradation Is Associated With Progressive Aortic Stiffening and All-Cause Mortality in Predialysis Chronic Kidney Disease
In the large conduit arteries, elastin is important in maintaining vascular compliance. Studies in animal models suggest that elastin degradation may promote arteriosclerotic vascular changes. There is already a well-established link between aortic stiffening and mortality in the general population and in patients undergoing dialysis. Elastin degradation is mediated by several proteases, including matrix metalloproteinase 2 and cathepsin S. Elastin turnover may be inferred by measuring serum levels of elastin-derived peptides. We analyzed the serum concentration of these biomarkers, their endogenous inhibitors, and aortic pulse wave velocity in 200 patients with stages 3 and 4 chronic kidney disease and then serially in a subgroup of 65 patients over 36 months. Serum matrix metalloproteinase 2, cathepsin S, and elastin-derived peptide levels were independently associated with baseline aortic pulse wave velocity and changes in stiffness over the follow-up period. Higher matrix metalloproteinase 2 and elastin-derived peptide levels were also independently associated with preexisting cardiovascular disease. In multivariable Cox regression, higher serum elastin-derived peptide levels were independently associated with increased all-cause mortality (hazard ratio per SD increase=1.78; P=0.021). In predialysis chronic kidney disease, elastin degradation is an important determinant of arterial stiffness and is associated with all-cause mortality.
- Received November 14, 2011.
- Revision received November 30, 2011.
- Accepted February 23, 2012.
- © 2012 American Physical Therapy Association