There is little information regarding whether patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) have a high incidence of vulnerable plaques in their coronary arteries. To gain additional evidence on this, we conducted a population-based study by randomly selecting 126 subjects from 844 consecutive autopsies of elderly residents of Hisayama, Japan. We then determined the relationships of CKD with neovascularization and intraplaque hemorrhage in coronary atherosclerosis with the subjects classified into four categories based on their estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). Areas of oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression, assessed by immunohistochemistry in a total of 375 coronary arteries, increased significantly with decreasing eGFR. A lower eGFR was also associated with increased numbers of newly formed blood vessels. These relationships remained substantially unchanged after adjustment for confounding factors. The multivariate-adjusted odds ratio of the presence of intraplaque hemorrhages was 6.2 (95% confidence interval, 1.1-35.0) in patients with an eGFR <30 ml/min/1.73 m2 compared with those with an eGFR of ≥60 ml/min/1.73 m2. Thus, elderly patients with CKD have intimal neoangiogenesis and an increased risk of intraplaque hemorrhage in coronary arteries, possibly favored by local accumulation of oxLDL and VEGF.
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