Department of Internal Medicine, Haydarpasa Numune Education and Research Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey.
Cardiac valvular calcification (VC) is a frequent finding in chronic hemodialysis patients. In addition to demographic and metabolic factors, genetic susceptibility may also influence the occurrence and severity of these abnormalities and account for interindividual variability among patients. In this report, we studied the relation of calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR) gene polymorphisms to the development of VC in chronic hemodialysis patients. A total of 41 chronic hemodialysis patients (26 male, mean age 47.23 +/- 11.36 years vs. 15 females, mean age 48.13 +/- 14.66 years) undergoing treatment for more than 1 year were evaluated with transthoracic echocardiography. In patients with and without VC, CaSR gene polymorphisms (A990G, C1011G) were investigated by PCR, using allele-specific primers. In randomly chosen subjects, PCR analysis was verified by DNA sequencing. Cardiac valve calcification was detected in 21 patients (51.2%). Five of these patients (12.2%) had mitral valve calcification, 4 (9.75%) had aortic valve calcification, and 12 (29.27%) had both. In patients with VC, the frequency of the A/G genotype was slightly higher than those with no VC with a borderline P value (42.9% vs. 15%, chi(2)=3.840, P=0.050). The frequency of the C/C genotype was similar in patients with and without VC (90.5% vs. 85%, P>0.05). The results of this study are not enough to prove the role of CaSR gene polymorphisms in the development of VC. There is a need for large-scale studies on this topic.