End-stage renal disease (ESRD) is a growing global health problem with major health and economic implications. Cardiovascular complication is the major cause of morbidity and mortality in this population. Clustering of traditional atherosclerotic risk factors, such as diabetes, systemic inflammation, and altered mineral metabolism, contributes to enhanced systemic atherosclerosis in patients with ESRD. Prevalence of obstructive coronary artery disease (CAD) on coronary angiography exceeds 50% in this population. Despite having extensive CAD and vascular disease, patients with ESRD often do not present with classic symptoms because of impaired exercise capacity and diabetes. Furthermore, clinical trial data are exceedingly lacking in this population, resulting in considerable clinical equipoise regarding the optimal approach to the identification and subsequent management of CAD in these patients. Traditional clinical screening tools, including conventional risk prediction models, are significantly limited in their predictive accuracy for cardiovascular events in patients with ESRD. Noninvasive cardiac stress imaging modalities, such as nuclear perfusion and echocardiography, have been shown to improve the traditional clinical model in identifying the presence of CAD. Furthermore, they add incremental prognostic information to angiographic data. Novel imaging techniques and biomarker assays hold significant promise in further improving the ability to identify and risk-stratify for CAD. This review focuses on the current understanding of the clinical risk profile of asymptomatic patients with ESRD with an emphasis on the strengths and limitations of various noninvasive cardiovascular imaging modalities, including the role of novel methods in refining risk prediction. In addition, issues and challenges pertaining to the optimal timing of initial risk assessment ("screening") and possible repeat screening ("surveillance") are addressed. We also summarize the current data on the approach to the patient with ESRD being evaluated for transplantation in the context of recent guidelines and position statements by various professional societies.
- coronary artery disease
- end-stage renal disease
- risk stratification
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging