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JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Outcomes of non-invasive diagnostic modalities for the detection of coronary artery disease: network meta-analysis of diagnostic randomised controlled trials

George Cm Siontis, Dimitris Mavridis, John P Greenwood, Bernadette Coles, Adriani Nikolakopoulou, Peter Jüni, Georgia Salanti, Stephan Windecker
BMJ: British Medical Journal 2018 February 21, 360: k504
29467161

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate differences in downstream testing, coronary revascularisation, and clinical outcomes following non-invasive diagnostic modalities used to detect coronary artery disease.

DESIGN: Systematic review and network meta-analysis.

DATA SOURCES: Medline, Medline in process, Embase, Cochrane Library for clinical trials, PubMed, Web of Science, SCOPUS, WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform, and Clinicaltrials.gov.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR SELECTING STUDIES: Diagnostic randomised controlled trials comparing non-invasive diagnostic modalities in patients presenting with symptoms suggestive of low risk acute coronary syndrome or stable coronary artery disease.

DATA SYNTHESIS: A random effects network meta-analysis synthesised available evidence from trials evaluating the effect of non-invasive diagnostic modalities on downstream testing and patient oriented outcomes in patients with suspected coronary artery disease. Modalities included exercise electrocardiograms, stress echocardiography, single photon emission computed tomography-myocardial perfusion imaging, real time myocardial contrast echocardiography, coronary computed tomographic angiography, and cardiovascular magnetic resonance. Unpublished outcome data were obtained from 11 trials.

RESULTS: 18 trials of patients with low risk acute coronary syndrome (n=11 329) and 12 trials of those with suspected stable coronary artery disease (n=22 062) were included. Among patients with low risk acute coronary syndrome, stress echocardiography, cardiovascular magnetic resonance, and exercise electrocardiograms resulted in fewer invasive referrals for coronary angiography than coronary computed tomographic angiography (odds ratio 0.28 (95% confidence interval 0.14 to 0.57), 0.32 (0.15 to 0.71), and 0.53 (0.28 to 1.00), respectively). There was no effect on the subsequent risk of myocardial infarction, but estimates were imprecise. Heterogeneity and inconsistency were low. In patients with suspected stable coronary artery disease, an initial diagnostic strategy of stress echocardiography or single photon emission computed tomography-myocardial perfusion imaging resulted in fewer downstream tests than coronary computed tomographic angiography (0.24 (0.08 to 0.74) and 0.57 (0.37 to 0.87), respectively). However, exercise electrocardiograms yielded the highest downstream testing rate. Estimates for death and myocardial infarction were imprecise without clear discrimination between strategies.

CONCLUSIONS: For patients with low risk acute coronary syndrome, an initial diagnostic strategy of stress echocardiography or cardiovascular magnetic resonance is associated with fewer referrals for invasive coronary angiography and revascularisation procedures than non-invasive anatomical testing, without apparent impact on the future risk of myocardial infarction. For suspected stable coronary artery disease, there was no clear discrimination between diagnostic strategies regarding the subsequent need for invasive coronary angiography, and differences in the risk of myocardial infarction cannot be ruled out.

SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATION: PROSPERO registry no CRD42016049442.

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