Background: Stress cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) perfusion imaging is a promising modality for the evaluation of coronary artery disease (CAD) due to high spatial resolution and absence of radiation. Semi-quantitative and quantitative analysis of CMR perfusion are based on signal-intensity curves produced during the first-pass of gadolinium contrast. Multiple semi-quantitative and quantitative parameters have been introduced. Diagnostic performance of these parameters varies extensively among studies and standardized protocols are lacking. This study aims to determine the diagnostic accuracy of semi-quantitative and quantitative CMR perfusion parameters, compared to multiple reference standards.
Method: Pubmed, Web Of Science, and Embase were systematically searched using predefined criteria (3272 articles). A check for duplicates was performed (1967 articles). Eligibility and relevance of the articles was determined by two reviewers using pre-defined criteria. The primary data extraction was performed independently by two researchers with the use of a predefined template. Differences in extracted data were resolved by discussion between the two researchers. The quality of the included studies was assessed using the 'Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies Tool' (QUADAS-2). True positives, false positives, true negatives, and false negatives were subtracted/calculated from the articles. The principal summary measures used to assess diagnostic accuracy were sensitivity, specificity, andarea under the receiver operating curve (AUC). Data was pooled according to analysis territory, reference standard and perfusion parameter.
Results: Twenty-two articles were eligible based on the predefined study eligibility criteria. The pooled diagnostic accuracy for segment-, territory-and patient-based analyses showed good diagnostic performance with sensitivity of 0. 88, 0.82, and 0.83, specificity of 0.72, 0.83, and 0.76 and AUC of 0.90, 0.84, and 0.87, respectively. In per territory analysis our results show similar diagnostic accuracy comparing anatomical (AUC 0.86(0.83-0.89)) and functional reference standards (AUC 0.88(0.84-0.90)). Only the per territory analysis sensitivity did not show significant heterogeneity. None of the groups showed signs of publication bias.
Conclusions: The clinical value of semi-quantitative and quantitative CMR perfusion analysis remains uncertain due to extensive inter-study heterogeneity and large differences in CMR perfusion acquisition protocols, reference standards, and methods of assessment of myocardial perfusion parameters. For wide spread implementation, standardization of CMR perfusion techniques is essential.