The sleep apnea cardiovascular endpoints (SAVE) trial: Rationale and start-up phase
The sleep apnea cardiovascular endpoints (SAVE) study (Clinical Trials Registration Number: NCT00738170) is an academic initiated and conducted, multinational, open, blinded endpoint, randomised controlled trial designed to determine whether treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) with continuous positive airways pressure (CPAP) can reduce the incidence of serious cardiovascular events in patients with established cardiovascular disease. The answer to this question is of major importance to populations undergoing ageing and lifestyle changes all over the world. The SAVE study brings together respiratory, sleep and cardiovascular clinician-scientists in a unique interdisciplinary collaborative effort with industry sponsors to conduct the largest and most ambitious clinical trial yet conducted in the field of sleep apnea, with a global recruitment target of 5000 patients. Following its launch in Australia and China in late 2008, SAVE has now entered a phase of international expansion with new recruitment networks being established in New Zealand, India and Latin America. This article describes the rationale for the SAVE study, the considerations behind its design, and progress thus far in establishing the recruitment network. The report emphasises the important role that Chinese sleep and cardiovascular investigators have played in the start-up phase of this landmark international project.