The high prevalence of significant asymptomatic coronary artery disease (CAD) has been reported in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) at the initiation of dialysis. However, the approach to evaluate asymptomatic CAD for these patients has not been established. The aim of this study is to assess the applicability of our practical approach at the initiation of dialysis. We prospectively enrolled 182 consecutive ESRD patients who initiated dialysis. After echocardiography as primary screening, pharmacologic stress thallium-201 scintigraphy and/or coronary angiography (CAG) were performed to diagnose CAD. The patients were classified into two groups: those with coronary artery stenosis by CAG (CAD+ group), those without coronary artery stenosis by CAG or with negative scintigraphy examination (CAD- group). Of the eligible 93 patients without the history of CAD, 22 patients were allocated to the CAD+ group (18 of 26 patients with abnormal echocardiography and 4 of 13 patients with positive scintigraphy examination) and 71 patients to the CAD- group. Patients were followed up for an average of 520±304 days. The event-free survival rate of major adverse cardiac events was significantly lower in the CAD+ group than in the CAD- group (P<0.001). There was no cardiovascular event including major adverse cardiac events, unstable angina, coronary revascularization or stroke in the CAD- group during the first year of dialysis. Patients without CAD diagnosed by our approach had favorable clinical outcomes. Our approach may be useful for screening of occult CAD in ESRD patients at the initiation of dialysis.
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