The minimisation of cardiovascular disease screening for kidney transplant candidates

Michael Corr*, Amber Orr, Aisling E. Courtney

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Background: There is increasing evidence that cardiac screening prior to kidney transplantation does not improve its outcomes. However, risk aversion to perioperative events means that, in practice, testing remains common, limiting the availability of ‘real-world’ data to support any change. Our objective was to assess perioperative and 1-year post-transplant cardiovascular events in a kidney transplant candidate cohort who received minimal cardiovascular screening. Methods: The retrospective cohort study included all adult kidney-only transplant recipients in a single UK region between January 2015 and December 2021. Kidney transplant recipients asymptomatic of cardiac disease, even those with established risk factors, did not receive cardiac stress testing. The perioperative and 1-year post-transplant cardiovascular event incidences were examined. Logistic regression was used to identify variables of statistical significance that predicted cardiovascular or cerebrovascular events. Results: A total of 895 recipients fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Prior to transplantation, 209 (23%) recipients had an established cardiac diagnosis, and 193 (22%) individuals had a diagnosis of diabetes. A total of 18 (2%) patients had a perioperative event, and there was a 5.7% incidence of cardiovascular events 1 year post-transplantation. The cardiovascular mortality rate was 0.0% perioperatively, 0.2% at 3 months post-transplant, and 0.2% at 1 year post-transplant. Conclusions: This study demonstrates comparable rates of cardiovascular events despite reduced screening in asymptomatic recipients. It included higher risk individuals who may, on the basis of screening results, have been excluded from transplantation in other programmes. It provides further evidence that extensive cardiac screening prior to kidney transplantation is unlikely to be offset by reduced rates of cardiovascular events.

Original languageEnglish
Article number953
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 07 Feb 2024


  • cardiovascular disease
  • kidney transplantation
  • screening


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