Cardiac Electromechanical Abnormalities in Hemodialysis Patients: Indicators of Cardiomyopathy and Future Risk.
Peter McCullough M.D.
Fallahzadeh, M. K. and P. A. McCullough (2015). “Cardiac electromechanical abnormalities in hemodialysis patients: Indicators of cardiomyopathy and future risk.” Am J Nephrol 42(3): 237-238.
Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are more common in chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients as compared with general population and are a major of cause of morbidity and mortality in this population [1,2]. CVD accounts for approximately 50% of mortality in ESRD patients. In addition to the increased chance of coronary artery disease, the chance of developing arrhythmic events and sudden cardiac death is also higher in ESRD patients [3,4]. The underlying pathophysiology behind this increased chance of arrhythmic event in hemodialysis patients is not clearly understood. Previous studies have shown that hemodialysis patients have lower left ventricular ejection fraction and higher atrial diameters as compared with general population [5,6,7]. Using the timing of electrocardiogram and tissue Doppler on echocardiography, the time from electrical activation to muscular contraction can be assessed. Atrial electromechanical delay (AEMD) times have been reported to be longer in ESRD patients and have been shown to improve after each hemodialysis session [6,7,8]. Additionally, prolonged atrial conduction times are considered as predisposing factors for atrial fibrillation . In this issue of Journal, Turkmen et al.  from Turkey have compared the cardiac electromechanical characteristics and biochemical profile of 60 hemodialysis patients versus 44 healthy controls. They also followed the hemodialysis patients for 2 years and compared the characteristics of 19 patients who died within this 2-year period versus 41 living hemodialysis patients.