One Heartbeat Away from a Prediction Model for Cardiovascular Diseases in Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease: A Systematic Review

Leanne C. M. Smit, Michiel L. Bots, Joep van der Leeuw, Johanna A. A. G. Damen, Peter J. Blankestijn, Marianne C. Verhaar, Robin W. M. Vernooij

Published: 20 February 2023

Introduction: Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) have a high risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Prediction models, combining clinical and laboratory characteristics, are commonly used to estimate an individual’s CVD risk. However, these models are not specifically developed for patients with CKD and may therefore be less accurate. In this review, we aim to give an overview of CVD prognostic studies available, and their methodological quality, specifically for patients with CKD. Methods: MEDLINE was searched for papers reporting CVD prognostic studies in patients with CKD published between 2012 and 2021. Characteristics regarding patients, study design, outcome measurement, and prediction models were compared between included studies. The risk of bias of studies reporting on prognostic factors or the development/validation of a prediction model was assessed with, respectively, the QUIPS and PROBAST tool. Results: In total, 134 studies were included, of which 123 studies tested the incremental value of one or more predictors to existing models or common risk factors, while only 11 studies reported on the development or validation of a prediction model. Substantial heterogeneity in cohort and study characteristics, such as sample size, event rate, and definition of outcome measurements, was observed across studies. The most common predictors were age (87%), sex (75%), diabetes (70%), and estimated glomerular filtration rate (69%). Most of the studies on prognostic factors have methodological shortcomings, mostly due to a lack of reporting on clinical and methodological information. Of the 11 studies on prediction models, six developed and internally validated a model and four externally validated existing or developed models. Only one study on prognostic models showed a low risk of bias and high applicability. Conclusion: A large quantity of prognostic studies has been published, yet their usefulness remains unclear due to incomplete presentation, and lack of external validation of prognostic models. Our review can be used to select the most appropriate prognostic model depending on the patient population, outcome, and risk of bias. Future collaborative efforts should aim at improving existing models by externally validating them, evaluating the addition of new predictors, and assessment of the clinical impact. Registration: We have registered the protocol of our systematic review on PROSPERO (CRD42021228043).

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