Background: Although periodic cardiac stress testing is commonly used to screen patients on the waiting list for kidney transplantation for ischemic heart disease, there is little evidence to support this practice. We hypothesized that cardiac stress testing in the 18 months prior to kidney transplantation would not reduce postoperative death, total myocardial infarction (MI) or fatal MI.
Methods: Using the United States Renal Data System, we identified ESRD patients ≥40 years old with primary Medicare insurance who received their first kidney transplant between 7/1/2006 and 11/31/2013. Propensity matching created a 1:1 matched sample of patients with and without stress testing in the 18 months prior to kidney transplantation. The outcomes of interest were death, total (fatal and nonfatal) MI or fatal MI within 30 days of kidney transplantation.
Results: In the propensity-matched cohort of 17,304 patients, death within 30 days occurred in 72 of 8,652 (0.83%) patients who underwent stress testing and in 65 of 8,652 (0.75%) patients who did not (OR 1.07; 95% CI: 0.79-1.45; P = 0.66). MI within 30 days occurred in 339 (3.9%) patients who had a stress test and in 333 (3.8%) patients who did not (OR 1.03; 95% CI: 0.89-1.21; P = 0.68). Fatal MI occurred in 17 (0.20%) patients who underwent stress testing and 15 (0.17%) patients who did not (OR 0.97; 95% CI: 0.71-1.32; P = 0.84).
Conclusion: Stress testing in the 18 months prior to kidney transplantation is not associated with a reduction in death, total MI or fatal MI within 30 days of kidney transplantation.