Cardiac testing for coronary artery disease in potential kidney transplant recipients: a systematic review of test accuracy studies

Louis W. Wang, Magid A Fahim, Andrew Hayen, Ruth L. Mitchell, Stephen W. Lord, Laura A. Baines, Jonathan C. Craig, Angela C. Webster

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death after kidney transplant. Screening for coronary artery disease is integral to pretransplant evaluation, although the relative performance of different tests is uncertain. Study Design: Systematic review of diagnostic test accuracy studies using hierarchical summary receiver operating characteristic analysis. Setting & Population: Kidney transplant candidates undergoing pretransplant assessment. Selection Criteria of Studies: Studies evaluating the accuracy of screening tests for detecting coronary artery disease. Index Tests: Any non- or minimally invasive test used to diagnose coronary artery disease. Reference Test: Coronary angiography. Results: 11 studies (690 participants) evaluated dobutamine stress echocardiography; 7 (317 participants), myocardial perfusion scintigraphy; 2 (129 participants), exercise stress electrocardiography; and 2 (121 participants), other tests. Dobutamine stress echocardiography had pooled sensitivity of 0.80 (95% CI, 0.64-0.90) and specificity of 0.89 (95% CI, 0.79-0.94). Myocardial perfusion scintigraphy had pooled sensitivity of 0.69 (95% CI, 0.48-0.85) and specificity of 0.77 (95% CI, 0.59-0.89). Head-to-head comparison of dobutamine stress echocardiography and myocardial perfusion scintigraphy (2 studies; 116 participants) showed that dobutamine stress echocardiography had higher specificity and at least equivalent or higher sensitivity. Indirect comparison suggested dobutamine stress echocardiography may have improved accuracy over myocardial perfusion scintigraphy (P = 0.07). Limitations: Power to detect differences in accuracy between tests is limited due to sparse data. Absence of significant coronary artery disease may not necessarily correlate with cardiac event-free survival after transplant. Conclusions: Dobutamine stress echocardiography may perform better than myocardial perfusion scintigraphy; however, additional studies directly comparing dobutamine stress echocardiography and myocardial perfusion scintigraphy are needed. Further research should focus on assessing the ability of functional tests to predict postoperative outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)476-487
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Kidney Diseases
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011


  • coronary artery disease
  • Kidney transplantation
  • Death
  • screening
  • kidney transplantation
  • cardiac investigations
  • Coronary artery disease


Dive into the research topics of 'Cardiac testing for coronary artery disease in potential kidney transplant recipients: a systematic review of test accuracy studies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this