skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Exercise thallium-201 myocardial imaging in left main coronary artery disease: sensitive but not specific

Abstract

To determine the usefulness of thallium-201 scintigraphy for identifying left main coronary artery disease, the results of scintigraphy at rest and during exercise were compared in 24 patients with 50 percent or greater narrowing of the left main coronary artery and 80 patients with 50 percent or greater narrowing of one or more of the major coronary arteries but without left main coronary involvement. By segmental analysis of the scintigrams, perfusion defects were assigned to the left anterior descending, left circumflex or right coronary artery, singly or in combination, and the pattern of simultaneous left anterior descending and circumflex arterial defects was used to identify left main coronary artery disease. Of the 24 patients with left main coronary artery disease, 22 (92 percent) had abnormal exercise scintigrams. Despite this high sensitivity, the pattern of perfusion defects was not specific; the ''left main pattern'' was found in 3 patients (13 percent) with left main coronary artery disease but also in 3 (33 percent) of 9 patients with combined left anterior descending and left circumflex arterial disease, 4 (19 percent) of 21 patients with three vessel disease and 3 (6 percent) of 50 patients with one or two vessel disease but excludingmore » the group with left anterior descending plus left circumflex arterial disease. The pattern of perfusion defects in the patients with left main coronary artery disease was determined by the location and severity of narrowings in the coronary arteries downstream from the left main arterial lesion. Concomitant lesions in other arteries were found in all patients with left main coronary disease (one vessel in 1 patient, two vessels in 7 patients and three vessels in 16). For this reason, it is unlikely that even with improvements in radiopharmaceutical agents and imaging techniques, myocardial perfusion scintigraphy will be sufficiently specific for definitive identification of left main coronary artery disease.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
5367038
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Am. J. Cardiol.; (United States); Journal Volume: 48:2
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
62 RADIOLOGY AND NUCLEAR MEDICINE; 59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; MYOCARDIUM; SCINTISCANNING; THALLIUM 201; DIAGNOSTIC USES; VASCULAR DISEASES; DIAGNOSIS; CORONARIES; EVALUATION; EXERCISE; PATHOLOGY; PATIENTS; SPECIFICITY; ARTERIES; BETA DECAY RADIOISOTOPES; BLOOD VESSELS; BODY; CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM; COUNTING TECHNIQUES; DAYS LIVING RADIOISOTOPES; DIAGNOSTIC TECHNIQUES; DISEASES; ELECTRON CAPTURE RADIOISOTOPES; HEART; HEAVY NUCLEI; ISOMERIC TRANSITION ISOTOPES; ISOTOPES; MUSCLES; NUCLEI; ODD-EVEN NUCLEI; ORGANS; RADIOISOTOPE SCANNING; RADIOISOTOPES; SECONDS LIVING RADIOISOTOPES; THALLIUM ISOTOPES; USES; 550601* - Medicine- Unsealed Radionuclides in Diagnostics; 550901 - Pathology- Tracer Techniques; 551001 - Physiological Systems- Tracer Techniques

Citation Formats

Rehn, T., Griffith, L.S., Achuff, S.C., Bailey, I.K., Bulkley, B.H., Burow, R., Pitt, B., and Becker, L.C. Exercise thallium-201 myocardial imaging in left main coronary artery disease: sensitive but not specific. United States: N. p., 1981. Web. doi:10.1016/0002-9149(81)90599-3.
Rehn, T., Griffith, L.S., Achuff, S.C., Bailey, I.K., Bulkley, B.H., Burow, R., Pitt, B., & Becker, L.C. Exercise thallium-201 myocardial imaging in left main coronary artery disease: sensitive but not specific. United States. doi:10.1016/0002-9149(81)90599-3.
Rehn, T., Griffith, L.S., Achuff, S.C., Bailey, I.K., Bulkley, B.H., Burow, R., Pitt, B., and Becker, L.C. 1981. "Exercise thallium-201 myocardial imaging in left main coronary artery disease: sensitive but not specific". United States. doi:10.1016/0002-9149(81)90599-3.
@article{osti_5367038,
title = {Exercise thallium-201 myocardial imaging in left main coronary artery disease: sensitive but not specific},
author = {Rehn, T. and Griffith, L.S. and Achuff, S.C. and Bailey, I.K. and Bulkley, B.H. and Burow, R. and Pitt, B. and Becker, L.C.},
abstractNote = {To determine the usefulness of thallium-201 scintigraphy for identifying left main coronary artery disease, the results of scintigraphy at rest and during exercise were compared in 24 patients with 50 percent or greater narrowing of the left main coronary artery and 80 patients with 50 percent or greater narrowing of one or more of the major coronary arteries but without left main coronary involvement. By segmental analysis of the scintigrams, perfusion defects were assigned to the left anterior descending, left circumflex or right coronary artery, singly or in combination, and the pattern of simultaneous left anterior descending and circumflex arterial defects was used to identify left main coronary artery disease. Of the 24 patients with left main coronary artery disease, 22 (92 percent) had abnormal exercise scintigrams. Despite this high sensitivity, the pattern of perfusion defects was not specific; the ''left main pattern'' was found in 3 patients (13 percent) with left main coronary artery disease but also in 3 (33 percent) of 9 patients with combined left anterior descending and left circumflex arterial disease, 4 (19 percent) of 21 patients with three vessel disease and 3 (6 percent) of 50 patients with one or two vessel disease but excluding the group with left anterior descending plus left circumflex arterial disease. The pattern of perfusion defects in the patients with left main coronary artery disease was determined by the location and severity of narrowings in the coronary arteries downstream from the left main arterial lesion. Concomitant lesions in other arteries were found in all patients with left main coronary disease (one vessel in 1 patient, two vessels in 7 patients and three vessels in 16). For this reason, it is unlikely that even with improvements in radiopharmaceutical agents and imaging techniques, myocardial perfusion scintigraphy will be sufficiently specific for definitive identification of left main coronary artery disease.},
doi = {10.1016/0002-9149(81)90599-3},
journal = {Am. J. Cardiol.; (United States)},
number = ,
volume = 48:2,
place = {United States},
year = 1981,
month = 8
}
  • This study compared the results of stress and rest single-photon emission computed tomography imaging of myocardial perfusion using technetium-99m isonitrile (RP-30A) with the results of stress and redistribution tomographic thallium imaging and the results of coronary arteriography in 39 patients, 11 without and 28 with coronary artery disease (CAD). Each patient underwent 2 exercise studies at identical workload, heart rate and double product. In a subset of 13 patients, concomitant evaluation of left ventricular (LV) function using first-pass radionuclide angiography with a multi-crystal camera also was performed with bolus injections of isonitrile. Isonitrile had similar sensitivity (82 vs 82%, differencemore » not significant), a slightly--but not significantly--higher specificity (100 vs 82%) and similar predictive accuracy (87 vs 82%) to thallium-201. The tracer uptake was assessed in 20 segments/study. There was concordance between the isonitrile and thallium-201 images in 723 of the 780 segments (93%) (kappa = 0.83 +/- 0.02). In general, the isonitrile images were considered of better quality than the thallium-201 images. All 10 patients with CAD who underwent concomitant first-pass radionuclide angiography had either perfusion abnormalities or an abnormal ejection fraction response to exercise. Thus, technetium-99m isonitrile provides a reliable method of assessment of CAD with a sensitivity, specificity and predictive accuracy comparable to that of exercise thallium-201 imaging. Additional advantages include better image quality and the ability to obtain concomitant assessment of LV function with the use of first-pass radionuclide angiography.« less
  • The capabilities of visual and quantitative analysis of stress redistribution thallium-201 scintigrams, exercise electrocardiography and exercise blood pressure response were compared for correct identification of extensive coronary disease, defined as left main or triple vessel coronary artery disease, or both (50% or more luminal diameter coronary narrowing), in 105 consecutive patients with suspected coronary artery disease. Extensive disease was present in 56 patients and the remaining 49 had either less extensive coronary artery disease (n = 34) or normal coronary arteriograms (n = 15). Although exercise blood pressure response, exercise electrocardiography and visual thallium-201 analysis were highly specific (98, 88more » and 96%, respectively), they were insensitive for identification of patients with extensive disease (14, 45 and 16%, respectively). Quantitative thallium-201 analysis significantly improved the sensitivity of visual thallium-201 analysis for identification of patients with extensive disease (from 16 to 63%, p less than 0.001) without a significant loss of specificity (96 versus 86%, p = NS). Eighteen (64%) of the 28 patients who were misclassified by visual analysis as having less extensive disease were correctly classified as having extensive disease by virtue of quantitative analysis of regional myocardial thallium-201 washout. When the results of quantitative thallium-201 analysis were combined with those of blood pressure and electrocardiographic response to exercise, the sensitivity and specificity for identification of patients with extensive disease was 86 and 76%, respectively, and the highest overall accuracy (0.82) was obtained.« less
  • The sensitivity of the commonly used stress tests for the diagnosis of coronary artery disease was analyzed in 46 patients with significant occlusion (greater than or equal to 70% luminal diameter obstruction) of only one major coronary artery and no prior myocardial infarction. In all patients, thallium-201 perfusion imaging (both planar and seven-pinhole tomographic) and 12 lead electrocardiography were performed during the same graded treadmill exercise test and radionuclide angiography was performed during upright bicycle exercise. Exercise rate-pressure (double) product was 22,307 +/- 6,750 on the treadmill compared with 22,995 +/- 5,622 on the bicycle (p = NS). Exercise electrocardiogramsmore » were unequivocally abnormal in 24 patients (52%). Qualitative planar thallium images were abnormal in 42 patients (91%). Quantitative analysis of the tomographic thallium images were abnormal in 41 patients (89%). An exercise ejection fraction of less than 0.56 or a new wall motion abnormality was seen in 30 patients (65%). Results were similar for the right (n = 11) and left anterior descending (n = 28) coronary arteries while all tests but the planar thallium imaging showed a lower sensitivity for isolated circumflex artery disease (n = 7). The specificity of the tests was 72, 83, 89 and 72% for electrocardiography, planar thallium imaging, tomographic thallium imaging and radionuclide angiography, respectively. The results suggest that exercise thallium-201 perfusion imaging is the most sensitive noninvasive stress test for the diagnosis of single vessel coronary artery disease.« less
  • The development of quantitative techniques to assist in the analysis of planar thallium-201 stress-redistribution scintigrams has led to improved abilities of this modality to detect the presence of and to localize significant coronary artery disease (CAD). This fact has encouraged the reevaluation of its capabilities relative to other types of scintigraphic data collection, including seven-pinhole tomography. We have undertaken a comparison of planar scintigraphy and seven-pinhole tomography to detect in 40 exercised patients (23 with angiographically demonstrated CAD, eight with normal coronary angiograms, and nine with less than or equal to 1% likelihood of having CAD) the presence of significantmore » CAD and to localize it correctly to an individual coronary artery. Emphasis was placed on similar imaging conditions and on analysis of images by the same quantitative program of TI-201 distribution and washout. Both techniques were found to be highly sensitive and specific for disease detection and localization. Importantly, seven-pinhole tomography did not significantly improve results.« less
  • Many patients suspected of having coronary artery disease are unable to undergo adequate exercise testing. An alternate stress, pacing tachycardia, has been shown to produce electrocardiographic changes that are as sensitive and specific as those observed during exercise testing. To compare thallium-201 imaging after atrial pacing stress with thallium imaging after exercise stress, 22 patients undergoing cardiac catheterization were studied with both standard exercise thallium imaging and pacing thallium imaging. Positive ischemic electrocardiographic changes (greater than 1 mm ST segment depression) were noted in 11 of 16 patients with coronary artery disease during exercise, and in 15 of the 16more » patients during atrial pacing. One of six patients with normal or trivial coronary artery disease had a positive electrocardiogram with each test. Exercise thallium imaging was positive in 13 of 16 patients with coronary artery disease compared with 15 of 16 patients during atrial pacing. Three of six patients without coronary artery disease had a positive scan with exercise testing, and two of these same patients developed a positive scan with atrial pacing. Of those patients with coronary artery disease and an abnormal scan, 85% showed redistribution with exercise testing compared with 87% during atrial pacing. Segment by segment comparison of thallium imaging after either atrial pacing or exercise showed that there was a good correlation of the location and severity of the thallium defects (r . 0.83, p . 0.0001, Spearman rank correlation). It is concluded that the location and presence of both fixed and transient thallium defects after atrial pacing are closely correlated with the findings after exercise testing.« less