Diagnostic Accuracy of Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Versus Fractional Flow Reserve: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Waqas Ullah, Sohaib Roomi, Hafez M. Abdullah, Maryam Mukhtar, Zain Ali, Ping Ye, Donald C. Haas, Vincent M. Figueredo


Background: Fractional flow reserve (FFR) is considered the gold standard for diagnosis of coronary artery disease (CAD). Stress Cardiac magnetic resonance (SCMR) has been recently gaining traction as a non-invasive alternative to FFR.

Methods: Studies comparing the diagnostic accuracy of SCMR versus FFR were identified and analyzed using Review Manager (RevMan) 5.3 and Stata software.

Results: A total of 28 studies, comprising 2,387 patients, were included. The pooled sensitivity and specificity for SCMR were 86% and 86% at the patient level, and 82% and 88% at the vessel level, respectively. When the patient-level data were stratified based on the FFR thresholds, higher sensitivity and specificity (both 90%) were noted with the higher cutoff (0.75) and lower cutoff (0.8), respectively. At the vessel level, sensitivity and specificity at the lower FFR threshold were significantly higher at 88% and 89%, compared to the corresponding values for higher cutoff at 0.75. Similarly, meta-regression analysis of SCMR at higher (3T) resolution showed a higher sensitivity of 87% at the patient level and higher specificity of 90% at the vessel level. The highest sensitivity and specificity of SCMR (92% and 94%, respectively) were noted in studies with CAD prevalence greater than 60%.

Conclusions: SCMR has high diagnostic accuracy for CAD comparable to FFR at a spatial resolution of 3T and an FFR cut-off of 0.80. An increase in CAD prevalence further improved the specificity of SCMR.

Cardiol Res. 2020;11(3):145-154
doi: https://doi.org/10.14740/cr1028


Cardiac magnetic resonance; Fractional flow reserve; Coronary stenosis

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