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Systematic review and meta-analysis
Prospective studies show that magnetic resonance angiography has high sensitivity and specificity for clinically relevant arterial steno-occlusions in adults with peripheral arterial disease symptoms
  1. Paul N Malcolm1,
  2. Mark Lewis1
  1. 1Radiology Department, Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Norwich, UK
  1. Correspondence to Paul N Malcolm
    Radiology Department, Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Colney Lane, Norwich NR4 7UY, UK; paul.malcolm{at}

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Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) has been increasingly used to assess peripheral arterial disease over the past decade as an alternative to conventional catheter angiography (digital subtraction angiography (DSA)), which has been the gold standard.


This meta-analysis by Menke and Larsen selected 32 studies which compared MRA with DSA. The studies were published between 2004 and 2009 and are all prospective. The data are from 1032 adults and an assessment of 18 345 imaged arterial segments.

This is a rigorous study. All the articles assessed are high quality with a QUADAS score of >11 and a median score of 13. One factor reducing the scores has been the absence of clinical data, but we agree with the authors that this may not be appropriate in what should be a solely technical comparison of degree of arterial stenosis. The authors point …

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  • Competing interests None.