Range and Consistency of Cardiovascular Outcomes Reported by Clinical Trials in Kidney Transplant Recipients: A Systematic Review

Gregory J. Wilson, Kim Van, Emma O'Lone, Allison Tong, Jonathan C. Craig, Benedicte Sautenet, Klemens Budde, Derek Forfang, John Gill, William G. Herrington, Tazeen H. Jafar, David W. Johnson, Vera Krane, Adeera Levin, Jolanta Malyszko, Patrick Rossignol, Deirdre Sawinski, Nicole Scholes-Robertons, Giovanni Strippoli, Angela WangWolfgang C. Winkelmayer, Carmel M. Hawley, Andrea K. Viecelli

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Background. Cardiovascular disease is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in kidney transplant recipients. Trial evidence to improve cardiovascular outcomes is limited by inconsistent reporting of outcomes, which may also lack patient-relevance. This study aimed to assess the range and consistency of cardiovascular outcomes reported by contemporary trials in kidney transplant recipients. 

Methods. A systematic review of all randomized controlled trials involving adult kidney transplant recipients that reported at least 1 cardiovascular outcome from January 2012 to December 2019 was performed, including Embase, MEDLINE, Cochrane, and ClinicalTrials.gov electronic databases. Trial characteristics were extracted and all levels of specification of the cardiovascular outcome measures reported were analyzed (the measure definition, metric‚ and method of aggregation). Measures assessing a similar aspect of cardiovascular disease were categorized into outcomes. 

Results. From 93 eligible trials involving 27 609 participants, 490 outcome measures were identified. The outcome measures were grouped into 38 outcomes. A cardiovascular composite was the most common outcome reported (40 trials, 43%) followed by cardiovascular mortality (42%) and acute coronary syndrome (31%). Cardiovascular composite was also the most heterogeneous outcome with 77 measures reported followed by cardiovascular mortality (n = 58) and inflammatory biomarkers (n = 51). The most common cardiovascular composite outcome components reported were major cardiovascular events (18 trials), stroke unspecified (11 trials), and myocardial infarction unspecified (10 trials). 

Conclusions. There is substantial heterogeneity in cardiovascular outcome reporting in kidney transplant trials.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberE1398
Number of pages7
JournalTransplantation Direct
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Kidney transplant recipient
  • Patient outcomes


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