Circulating CD34-positive (CD34+) cells, a population that includes endothelial progenitor cells, are believed to contribute to vascular homeostasis. Here we determine the prognostic value of CD34+ cell measurements in 216 chronic hemodialysis patients. A total of 43 cardiovascular events and 13 deaths occurred over an average 23 months follow-up in this cohort. A cutoff number for circulating CD34+ cells was determined by receiver operating characteristic curve analysis to maximize the power of the CD34+ cell count in predicting future cardiovascular events. Based on this, 93 patients were categorized as having low and 123 patients as having high numbers of CD34+ cells, determined by flow cytometry at the time of enrollment. Both cumulative cardiovascular event-free survival and all-cause survival were significantly less in the group of patients with low numbers of CD34+ cells. By multivariate analyses, a low level of circulating CD34+ cells was an independent and significant predictor for both cardiovascular events and all-cause mortality. Our study shows that a reduced number of circulating CD34+ cells is significantly associated with vascular risks and all-cause mortality in patients on chronic hemodialysis. These cells may be a useful biomarker.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes