A reliable screening test for coronary artery disease (CAD) in liver transplant (LT) candidates with end-stage liver disease is essential because a high percentage of perioperative mortality and morbidity is CAD-related. In this study, the effectiveness of myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) for identification of significant CAD in LT candidates was evaluated. Records of 244 patients meeting criteria for MPI were evaluated: 74 met inclusion criteria; 40 had a positive MPI and cardiology follow-up; 27 had a negative MPI and underwent LT; and seven had a negative MPI and then had coronary angiography or a significant cardiac event. A selective MPI interpretation strategy was established where MPI-positive patients were divided into high, intermediate, and low CAD risk groups. The overall incidence of CAD in this study population was 5.1% and our strategy resulted in PPV 20%, NPV 94%, sensitivity 80%, and specificity 50% for categorizing CAD risk. When applied only to the subset of patients categorized as high CAD risk, the strategy was more effective, with PPV 67%, NPV 97%, sensitivity 80%, and specificity 94%. We determined that renal dysfunction was an independent predictive factor for CAD (p < 0.0001, odds ratio = 8.1), and grades of coronary occlusion correlated significantly with chronic renal dysfunction (p = 0.0079).
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