International Urology and Nephrology

, Volume 51, Issue 2, pp 311–323 | Cite as

Relationship between serum sclerostin, vascular sclerostin expression and vascular calcification assessed by different methods in ESRD patients eligible for renal transplantation: a cross-sectional study

  • Min Li
  • Hua Zhou
  • Min Yang
  • Changying XingEmail author
Nephrology - Original Paper



Vascular calcification (VC) is known to be prevalent in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Sclerostin has been identified to be involved in the cross-talk between the kidney, vasculature, and bone. The aims of the present study were to evaluate vessel sclerostin expression and its correlation with VC, as well as serum sclerostin levels.


A total of 51 adult ESRD patients undergoing living donor renal transplant (RT) were enrolled in this study. Serum sclerostin levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. The thoracic aorta calcification (TAC) was measured by computed tomography (CT). The aortic calcification area index (ACAI) was used to evaluate the severity of TAC. During the RT surgery, the internal iliac arteries were collected and paraffin-embedded in 40 patients, followed by immunohistochemical staining for sclerostin expression and von Kossa-staining for vascular medial calcification degree.


The prevalence rate of TAC detected by CT was 58.82%. The positive rates of the internal iliac arterial calcification and vessel sclerostin expression were both 45%. Vessel sclerostin was strongly co-localized with medial calcification. Multivariate analyses revealed that only serum sclerostin was significantly associated with the presence of TAC, the severity of TAC and the positive expression of vessel sclerostin. Kappa test showed that the consistency of the two different calcification assessment methods, as well as the consistency of vessel sclerostin expression and von Kossa-staining were high. Furthermore, the cutoff points of serum sclerostin for vessel sclerostin expression, the presence of VC evaluated by CT and that evaluated by pathology were 1599.92 pg/mL, 2475.52 pg/mL, and 2116.23 pg/mL, respectively.


The two methods, namely CT and pathology, to evaluate VC were highly consistent. Serum sclerostin was an independent determinant of positive expression of vessel sclerostin and VC in ESRD patients eligible for RT.


End-stage renal disease Vessel sclerostin Serum sclerostin Vascular calcification 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual part in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NephrologyThe First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Jiangsu Province HospitalNanjingChina
  2. 2.Department of NephrologyThe Third Affiliated Hospital of Soochow UniversityChangzhouChina

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