Background: Studies in the past have shown that perforin expression is up-regulated during acute renal rejection, which provided hopes for a non-invasive and reliable diagnostic method to identify acute rejection. However, a systematic assessment of the value of perforin as a diagnostic marker of acute renal rejection has not been performed. We conducted this meta-analysis to document the diagnostic performance of perforin mRNA detection and to identify potential variables that may affect the performance. Methodology/Principal Findings: Relevant materials that reported the diagnostic performance of perforin mRNA detection in acute renal rejection patients were extracted from electronic databases. After careful evaluation of the studies included in this analysis, the numbers of true positive, true negative, false positive and false negative cases of acute renal rejection identified by perforin mRNA detection were gathered from each data set. The publication year, sample origin, mRNA quantification method and housekeeping gene were also extracted as potential confounding variables. Fourteen studies with a total of 501 renal transplant subjects were included in this meta-analysis. The overall performance of perforin mRNA detection was: pooled sensitivity, 0.83 (95% confidence interval: 0.78 to 0.88); pooled specificity, 0.86 (95% confidence interval: 0.82 to 0.90); diagnostic odds ratio, 28.79 (95% confidence interval: 16.26 to 50.97); and area under the summary receiver operating characteristic curves value, 0.9107±0.0174. The univariate analysis of potential variables showed some changes in the diagnostic performance, but none of the differences reached statistical significance. Conclusions/Significance: Despite inter-study variability, the test performance of perforin mRNA detected by polymerase chain reaction was consistent under circumstances of methodological changes and demonstrated both sensitivity and specificity in detecting acute renal rejection. These results suggest a great diagnostic potential for perforin mRNA detection as a reliable marker of acute rejection in renal allograft recipients. © 2012 Shang et al.
Shang, Y., Ju, W., Kong, Y., Schroder, P. M., Liang, W., Ling, X., … He, X. (2012). Performance of polymerase chain reaction techniques detecting perforin in the diagnosis of acute renal rejection: A meta-analysis. PLoS ONE, 7(6). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0039610