Diagnostic accuracy of myocardial perfusion imaging in patients evaluated for kidney transplantation: A systematic review and meta-analysis

J Nucl Cardiol. 2021 May 4. doi: 10.1007/s12350-021-02621-x. Online ahead of print.


Background: Cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of death after kidney transplantation. Coronary artery disease (CAD) assessment is therefore mandatory in patients evaluated for transplantation. We aimed to assess the diagnostic accuracy for CAD of single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) compared to the standards invasive coronary angiography (ICA) and coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) in patients evaluated for kidney transplantation.

Methods: We performed a systematic literature search in PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, OvidSP (Medline), The Cochrane Library and Google Scholar. Studies investigating the diagnostic accuracy of myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) SPECT in patients evaluated for kidney transplantation were retrieved. After a risk of bias assessment using QUADAS-2, a meta-analysis was conducted.

Results: Out of 1459 records, 13 MPI SPECT studies were included in the meta-analysis with a total of 1245 MPI SPECT scans. There were no studies available with CCTA as reference. Pooled sensitivity of MPI SPECT for CAD was 0.66 (95% CI 0.53 to 0.77), pooled specificity was 0.75 (95% CI 0.63 to 0.84) and the area under the curve (AUC) was 0.76. Positive likelihood ratio was 2.50 (95% CI 1.78 to 3.51) and negative likelihood ratio was 0.41 (95% CI 0.28 to 0.61). Pooled positive predictive value was 64.9% and pooled negative predictive value was 74.1%. Significant heterogeneity existed across the included studies.

Conclusions: MPI SPECT had a moderate diagnostic accuracy in patients evaluated for kidney transplantation, with a high rate of false-negative findings. The use of an anatomical gold standard against a functional imaging test in the included studies is however suboptimal.

Keywords: Coronary artery disease; Diagnosis; End-stage renal disease; Invasive coronary angiography; Meta-analysis; Myocardial perfusion imaging; Systematic review.

Publication types

  • Review