Coronary Computed Tomography Angiography for the Detection of Cardiac Allograft Vasculopathy: A Meta-Analysis of Prospective Trials

OBJECTIVES: Cardiac allograft vasculopathy (CAV) limits long-term survival after heart transplantation, and screening for CAV is performed on annual basis. Coronary Computed Tomography Angiography (CCTA) is currently not recommended for CAV screening due to the limited accuracy reported by early studies. Technological advances, however, might have resulted in improved test performance and might justify re-evaluation of this recommendation. We aimed to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of CCTA for detecting CAV in comparison with conventional coronary angiography (CCAG) alone or with intravascular ultrasound (IVUS).

METHODS: A systematic review of Medline, Cochrane, and Embase for all prospective trials assessing CAV using CCTA was performed using a standard approach for meta-analysis for diagnostic test and a bivariate analysis.

RESULTS: Thirteen studies evaluating 615 patients (mean age 52 years, 83% males) and 9,481 segments fulfilled inclusion criteria. Patient-based analyses comparing CCTA vs. CCAG for the detection of any CAV (> luminal irregularities) and significant CAV (stenosis ≥ 50%), showed mean weighted sensitivities of 97% and 94%, specificities of 81% and 92%, negative predictive value (NPV) of 97% and 99%, positive predictive value (PPV) of 78% and 67%, and diagnostic accuracies of 88% and 94%, respectively. There was a strong trend towards improved sensitivity (97% vs. 91%, p=0.06) and NPV (99% vs. 97%, p=0.06) to detect significant CAV with 64-slice compared with 16-slice CCTA. A patient-based analysis of 64-slice CCTA vs. IVUS showed a mean weighted sensitivity and specificity of 81% and 75% to detect CAV (intimal thickening > 0.5 mm), whereas the PPV and NPV were 93% and 50%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: CCTA using currently available technology is a reliable noninvasive imaging alternative to coronary angiography with an excellent sensitivity, specificity and NPV for the detection of CAV. 

PMID: 24681148

Posted in Computed Tomography and tagged , , , , .

One Comment

  1. Editorial:

    Coronary Computed Tomography Angiography: Is it time to replace the conventional coronary angiogram in heart transplant patients?
    Kobashigawa J.
    J Am Coll Cardiol. 2014;63(19):2005-2006.

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