Late reversibility of tomographic myocardial thallium-201 defects: An accurate marker of myocardial viability

H. Kiat, D. S. Berman, J. Maddahi, L. D. Yang, K. V. Train, A. Rozanski, J. Friedman

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Twenty-one patients were studied who underwent thallium-201 stress-redistribution single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) both before and after coronary artery bypass grafting (n = 15) or transluminal coronary angioplasty (n = 6). All patients underwent thallium imaging 15 min, 4 h and late (18 to 72 h) after stress as part of the preintervention thallium-201 scintigram. In a total of 201 tomographic myocardial segments with definite post-stress thallium-201 perfusion defects in which the relevant coronary arteries were subsequently successfully reperfused, the 4 h redistribution images did not predict the postintervention scintigraphic improvement: 67 (85%) of the 79 4 h reversible as well as 88 (72%) of the 122 4 h nonreversible segments improved (p = NS). The 18 to 72 h late redistribution images effectively subcategorized the 4 h nonreversible segments with respect to postintervention scintigraphic improvement: 70 (95%) of the 74 late reversible segments improved after intervention, whereas only 18 (37%) of the 48 late nonreversible segments improved (p < 0.0001). The frequency of late reversible defects and the frequency of postrevascularization improvement of late nonreversible defects are probably overestimated by this study because of referral biases. The cardiac counts and target to background ratios from late redistribution studies resulted in satisfactory cardiac images for visual interpretation. For optimal assessment of the extent of viable myocardium by thallium-201 scintigraphic studies, late redistribution imaging should be performed when nonreversible defects are observed on 4 h redistribution images.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1456-1463
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes


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