Long-Term structural and functional myocardial adaptations in healthy living kidney donors: A pilot study

Diego Bellavia, Alessandro Cataliotti, Francesco Clemenza, Cesar Hernandez Baravoglia, Angelo Luca, Marcello Traina, Bruno Gridelli, Tullio Bertani, John C. Burnett, Cesare Scardulla

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2 Scopus citations


Background and Aims Compensatory renal hypertrophy following unilateral nephrectomy (UNX) occurs in the remaining kidney. However, the long-Term cardiac adaptive process to UNX remains poorly defined in humans. Our goal was to characterize myocardial structure and function in living kidney donors (LKDs), approximately 12 years after UNX. Methods and Results Cardiac function and structure in 15 Italian LKDs, at least 5 years after UNX (median time from donation = 8.4 years) was investigated and compared to those of age and sex matched U.S. citizens healthy controls (n = 15). Standard and speckle tracking echocardiography (STE) was performed in both LKDs and controls. Plasma angiotensin II, aldosterone, atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP), N terminus pro B-Type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP), cyclic guanylyl monophosphate (cGMP), and amino-Terminal peptide of procollagen III (PIIINP) were also collected. Median follow-up was 11.9 years. In LKDs, LV geometry and function by STE were similar to controls, wall thickness and volumes were within normal limits also by CMR. In LKDs, CMR was negative for myocardial fibrosis, but apical rotation and LV torsion obtained by STE were impaired as compared to controls (21.4 ± 7.8 vs 32.7 ± 8.9 degrees, p = 0.04). Serum creatinine and PIIINP levels were increased [1.1 (0.9-1.3) mg/ dL, and 5.8 (5.4-7.6)] μg/L, respectively), while urinary cGMP was reduced [270 (250-355) vs 581 (437-698) pmol/mL] in LKDs. No LKD developed cardiovascular or renal events during follow-up. Conclusions Long-Term kidney donors have no apparent structural myocardial abnormalities as assessed by contrast enhanced CMR. However, myocardial deformation of the apical segments, as well as apical rotation, and LV torsion are reduced. The concomitant increase in circulating PIIINP level is suggestive of fibrosis. Further studies, focused on US and EU patients are warranted to evaluate whether these early functional modifications will progress to a more compromised cardiac function and structure at a later time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0142103
JournalPloS one
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 10 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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