[Echocardiography in nephrology]
Cardiovascular disease is the main cause of mordibity and mortality in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) affected by a series of risk factors (hypertension, anemia, left ventricular hypertrophy, cardiac failure and dyslipidemia). The combined presence of these factors raises the cardiovascular risk in CKD patients considerably compared with that of the general population. Nephrologists can play a role in preventing and treating these risk factors and thereby delaying the development of CKD. In preventing CKD, nephrologists who practice ultrasound techniques should have basic know how of echocardiography so that they can screen CKD patients for early referral to a cardiologist. Echocardiography is a noninvasive ultrasound technique that requires adequately trained doctors to perform it. Nephrologists who practice it need to obtain good training and postgraduate certification of competence in echocardiography. These nephrologists should team up with cardiologists rather than replace them, and at the same time be aware that they possess the basic knowledge to manage cardiovascular disease in CKD patients.
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