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Open Access Open Badges Original investigation

The oral glucose tolerance test for the diagnosis of diabetes mellitus in patients during acute coronary syndrome hospitalization: a meta-analysis of diagnostic test accuracy

Yicong Ye, Hongzhi Xie, Xiliang Zhao and Shuyang Zhang*

Author Affiliations

Department of Cardiology, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Peking Union Medical College & Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing, Dongcheng District, 100730, China

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Cardiovascular Diabetology 2012, 11:155  doi:10.1186/1475-2840-11-155

Published: 27 December 2012



The appropriateness of the routine performance of an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) to screen for diabetes mellitus (DM) during acute coronary syndrome hospitalization is still under debate.


A systematic search of databases (MEDLINE [1985 to March 2012], EMBASE [1985 to March 2012]) was conducted. All prospective cohort studies assessing the accuracy or reproducibility of an OGTT in ACS or non-ACS individuals were included. A bivariate model was used to calculate the pooled sensitivity (SEN), specificity (SPE), positive likelihood ratio (PLR), negative likelihood ratio (NLR), and diagnostic odds ratio (DOR). Heterogeneity was explored using subgroup analysis and meta-regression.


Fifteen studies with 8,027 participants were included (10 ACS and 5 non-ACS studies). The pooled results on SEN, SPE, PLR, NLR, and DOR were 0.70 (95% CI, 0.60-0.78), 0.91 (95% CI, 0.86-0.94), 7.6 (95% CI, 4.9-11.7), 0.33 (95% CI, 0.25-0.45), and 23 (95% CI, 12–41), respectively. The OGTT has a slightly lower SPE in diagnosing DM in ACS than in non-ACS patients (0.86 [95% CI 0.81-0.92] versus 0.95 [95% CI 0.93-0.98], p<0.01), while the SEN values are comparable (0.71 [95% CI 0.60-0.82] versus 0.67 [95% CI 0.54-0.81], p=0.43). After adjusting the interval between repeated tests and age, the meta-regression did not show a difference in DOR between ACS and non-ACS studies.


Despite the discrepancy in the interval between the two OGTTs, performing an OGTT in patients with ACS provides accuracy that is similar to that in in non-ACS patients. It is reasonable to screen patients hospitalized for ACS for previously undiagnosed DM using an OGTT.

Acute coronary syndrome; Oral glucose tolerance test; Accuracy; Meta-analysis