Background and objectives
Indoxyl sulfate, a protein-bound uremic toxin, may be associated with cardiovascular events and mortality in patients with CKD. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between indoxyl sulfate and heart failure in patients on hemodialysis.
Design, setting, participants, & measurements
Patients on hemodialysis for >6 months were enrolled within 6 months. Patients with congestive heart failure, angina pectoris, acute myocardial infarction, cerebral infarction, or cerebral hemorrhage within 3 months before the study or those <18 years old were excluded. The primary end point was first heart failure event during follow-up.
In total, 258 patients (145 men) with a mean age of 57.0±14.6 years old were enrolled. Median plasma indoxyl sulfate level was used to categorize patients into two groups: the low-indoxyl sulfate group (indoxyl sulfate ≤32.35 μg/ml) and the high-indoxyl sulfate group (indoxyl sulfate >32.35 μg/ml). Then, patients were prospectively followed up for a median of 48.0 (interquartile range: 33.5–48.0) months. During follow-up, 68 patients experienced episodes of first heart failure. Kaplan–Meier analysis revealed the incidence of first heart failure event in the high–indoxyl sulfate group was significantly higher than in the low-indoxyl sulfate group (log rank P<0.001). Cox regression analysis showed indoxyl sulfate was significantly associated with first heart failure event (indoxyl sulfate as the continuous variable: hazard ratio, 1.02; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 1.01 to 1.03; P=0.001; indoxyl sulfate as the dichotomous variable: hazard ratio, 3.49; 95% CI, 1.97 to 6.20; P<0.001). After adjustment for other confounding factors, the results remained significant (indoxyl sulfate as the continuous variable: hazard ratio, 1.04; 95% CI, 1.02 to 1.06; P<0.001; indoxyl sulfate as the dichotomous variable: hazard ratio, 5.31; 95% CI, 2.43 to 11.58; P<0.001).
Plasma indoxyl sulfate was associated with first heart failure event in patients on hemodialysis. Whether indoxyl sulfate is only a biomarker or involved in the pathogenesis of heart failure in hemodialysis warrants additional study.