[Series] The heart and vascular system in dialysis
The heart and the vascular tree undergo major structural and functional changes when kidney function declines and renal replacement therapy is required. The many cardiovascular risk factors and adaptive changes the heart undergoes include left ventricular hypertrophy and dilatation with concomitant systolic and diastolic dysfunction. Myocardial fibrosis is the consequence of impaired angio-adaptation, reduced capillary angiogenesis, myocyte-capillary mismatch, and myocardial micro-arteriopathy. The vascular tree can be affected by both atherosclerosis and arteriosclerosis with both lipid rich plaques and abundant media calcification.