Five studies (n=663) were included. Only one study reported that the person interpreting the PCR results was blinded to the culture results and patient information and vice versa.
Four studies assessed the detection of A. actinomycetemcomitans. Sensitivity ranged from 87% to 97%; there was no evidence of heterogeneity (p=0.61, I2=0%). Specificity ranged from 67% to 77%; there was significant heterogeneity (p<0.001, I2=97.8%). The pooled LR+ was 3.24 (95% CI 0.71 to 14.65) and pooled LR- was 0.14 (95% CI 0.07 to 0.28).
Four studies assessed the detection P. gingivalis. Sensitivity ranged from 94% to 99% and specificity ranged from 55% to 68%; there was significant heterogeneity (p not reported) for both. The pooled LR+ was 3.02 (95% CI 0.84 to 10.82) and pooled LR- was 0.08 (95% CI 0.01 to 0.64).