BACKGROUND: Coronary artery disease (CAD) burden for society is expected to steeply increase over the next decade. Improved feasibility and efficiency of preventive strategies is necessary to flatten the curve. Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is the main determinant of CAD-related mortality and morbidity, and predominantly occurs in individuals with more advanced stages of CAD causing subclinical myocardial ischemia (obstructive CAD; OCAD). Unfortunately, OCAD can remain subclinical until its destructive presentation with AMI or sudden death. Current primary preventive strategies are not designed to differentiate between non-OCAD and OCAD and the opportunity is missed to treat individuals with OCAD more aggressively.
METHODS: EARLY-SYNERGY is a multicenter, randomized-controlled clinical trial in individuals with coronary artery calcium (CAC) presence to study (1.) the yield of cardiac magnetic resonance stress myocardial perfusion imaging (CMR-MPI) for early OCAD diagnosis and (2) whether early OCAD diagnosis improves outcomes. Individuals with CAC score ≥300 objectified in 2 population-based trials (ROBINSCA; ImaLife) are recruited for study participation. Eligible candidates are randomized 1:1 to cardiac magnetic resonance stress myocardial perfusion imaging (CMR-MPI) or no additional functional imaging. In the CMR-MPI arm, feedback on imaging results is provided to primary care provider and participant in case of guideline-based actionable findings. Participants are followed-up for clinical events, healthcare utilization and quality of life.
CONCLUSIONS: EARLY-SYNERGY is the first randomized-controlled clinical trial designed to test the hypothesis that subclinical OCAD is widely present in the general at-risk population and that early differentiation of OCAD from non-OCAD followed by guideline-recommended treatment improves outcomes.