Jan Menke, MD; Jörg Larsen, MD
Contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) is a noninvasive, radiation-free imaging method for studying peripheral arterial disease (PAD) of the lower extremities.
To summarize evidence of prospective studies about how well MRA identifies or excludes arterial steno-occlusions (50% to 100% lumen reduction) in adults with PAD symptoms.
PubMed and 3 other databases were searched from 1998 to 2009 without language restrictions.
Two independent reviewers selected 32 studies that compared MRA with intra-arterial digital subtraction angiography in PAD. Eligible studies were prospective and provided data to reconstruct 2Â Ã—Â 2 or 3Â Ã—Â 3 contingency tables (<50% stenosis vs. â‰¥50% stenosis or occlusion of arterial segments) in at least 10 patients with PAD symptoms.
Two reviewers independently assessed the study quality and extracted the study data, with disagreements resolved by consensus.
The 32 included studies generally had high methodological quality. About 26% of the 1022 included patients had critical limb ischemia with pain at rest or tissue loss. Overall, the pooled sensitivity of MRA was 94.7% (95% CI, 92.1% to 96.4%) and the specificity was 95.6% (CI, 94.0% to 96.8%) for diagnosing segmental steno-occlusions. The pooled positive and negative likelihood ratios were 21.56 (CI, 15.70 to 29.69) and 0.056 (CI, 0.037 to 0.083), respectively. Magnetic resonance angiography correctly classified 95.3%, overstaged 3.1%, and understaged 1.6% of arterial segments.
Similar to most studies of computed tomographic angiography in PAD, the primary studies reported the diagnostic accuracy of MRA on a per-segment basis, not a per-patient basis.
This meta-analysis of 32 prospective studies further increases the evidence that contrast-enhanced MRA has high accuracy for identifying or excluding clinically relevant arterial steno-occlusions in adults with PAD symptoms.
Menke J, Larsen J. Meta-analysis: Accuracy of Contrast-Enhanced Magnetic Resonance Angiography for Assessing Steno-occlusions in Peripheral Arterial Disease. Ann Intern Med. ;153:325–334. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-153-5-201009070-00007
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2010;153(5):325-334.
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