Screening for significant coronary artery disease in high-risk renal transplant candidates

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BackgroundRenal transplant candidates are at an increased risk for coronary artery disease (CAD), a strong predictor of cardiovascular events [major adverse coronary events (MACE)]. Coronary angiography is a costly, risky, invasive procedure. We sought to determine clinical predictors of significant CAD (stenosis ≥70%) in high-risk renal transplant candidates.MethodsClinical evaluation and coronary angiography were performed in 301 patients (57±8 years, 73% men) on hemodialysis for 32 months (median). Patients were followed-up for 22 months (median). Inclusion criteria were diabetes (type 1 or 2), evidence of cardiovascular disease, or age ≥50 years. Risk factors included hypertension (93.7%), overweight/obesity (54.3%), dyslipidemia (44.9%), diabetes (42.1%), and smoking (24.3%). Cardiovascular disease was found as follows: peripheral arterial disease (PAD) (31.2%), angina (28.1%), stroke (12.9%), myocardial infarction (MI) (10.3%), and heart failure (9.3%).ResultsSignificant CAD was found in 136 individuals (45.2%). Diabetes [odds ratio (OR)=1.82; 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.08–3.07], PAD (OR=2.50; 95% CI=1.44–4.37), and previous MI (OR=7.75; 95% CI=3.03–23.98) were associated with significant CAD. The prevalence of significant CAD increased with the number of clinical predictors from 26% (none) to 100% (all present) (P<0.0001). The incidence of fatal/nonfatal MACE increased two, four, and sixfold in those with diabetes, PAD, or previous MI, respectively (P<0.0001).ConclusionsIn high-risk patients with end-stage renal disease, the prevalence of CAD and the incidence of MACE were high. Significant CAD or cardiovascular complications were not related to the majority of classic risk factors. Patients with diabetes, PAD, or previous MI are at higher risk of CAD, MACE, or both and, thus, must be referred for invasive diagnostic procedures.

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