Canadian-Australasian Randomised trial of screening kidney transplant candidates for coronary artery disease-A trial protocol for the CARSK study

Tracey Ying, Jagbir Gill, Angela Webster, S Joseph Kim, Rachael Morton, Scott W Klarenbach, Patrick Kelly, Timothy Ramsay, Gregory A Knoll, Helen Pilmore, Gillian Hughes, Charles A Herzog, Steven Chadban, John S Gill
American Heart Journal 2019, 214: 175-183
Transplantation is the preferred treatment for patients with kidney failure, but the need exceeds the supply of transplantable kidneys, and patients routinely wait >5 years on dialysis for a transplant. Coronary artery disease (CAD) is common in kidney failure and can exclude patients from transplantation or result in death before or after transplantation. Screening asymptomatic patients for CAD using noninvasive tests prior to wait-listing and at regular intervals (ie, annually) after wait-listing until transplantation is the established standard of care and is justified by the need to avoid adverse patient outcomes and loss of organs. Patients with abnormal screening tests undergo coronary angiography, and those with critical stenoses are revascularized. Screening is potentially harmful because patients may be excluded or delayed from transplantation, and complications after revascularization are more frequent in this population. CARSK will test the hypothesis that eliminating screening tests for occult CAD after wait-listing is not inferior to regular screening for the prevention of major adverse cardiac events defined as the composite of cardiovascular death, nonfatal myocardial infarction, urgent revascularization, and hospitalization for unstable angina. Secondary outcomes include the transplant rate, safety measures, and the cost-effectiveness of screening. Enrolment of 3,306 patients over 3 years is required, with patients followed for up to 5 years during wait-listing and for 1 year after transplantation. By validating or refuting the use of screening tests during wait-listing, CARSK will ensure judicious use of health resources and optimal patient outcomes.

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