Inadequate exercise leads to suboptimal imaging. Thallium-201 myocardial perfusion imaging after dipyridamole combined with low-level exercise unmasks ischemia in symptomatic patients with non-diagnostic thallium-201 scans who exercise submaximally
Verzijlbergen, J.F.; Vermeersch, P.H.; Laarman, G.J.; Ascoop, C.A.
Journal of Nuclear Medicine Official Publication Society of Nuclear Medicine 32(11): 2071-2078
ISSN/ISBN: 0161-5505 PMID: 1941141 Accession: 007443336
This study was undertaken to establish the additional value of 201TI imaging after dipyridamole in combination with low-level exercise in 15 symptomatic patients with non-diagnostic 201TI scans, who exercised submaximally. Most patients had angina, ST-segment depression and even exertional hypotension and were referred for stress 201TI testing for determining the functional significance of known coronary artery disease. Six patients with a normal exercise 201TI test and one patient with an apical defect only were found to have 37 segments (of 105 segments) with reversible perfusion defects after dipyridamole infusion. One patient showing two reversible defects after exercise had five reversible segments after dipyridamole. Seven patients with fixed defects in 28 segments after exercise and two with small areas of border zone ischemia in seven additional (sub)segments, demonstrated fixed in defects in only nine segments but reversible defects in 40 segments after dipyridamole. Quantitative analysis resulted in 24.8 .+-. 28.5 (mean value) sample points below -2 s.d. of the mean normal uptake after exercise, which increased to 72 .+-. 26.5 after dipyridamole infusion (p < 0.005). The washout analysis resulted in a mean value of 5.5 .+-. 8.1 sample points below -2 s.d. after exercise, increasing to 33.3 .+-. 22.1 after dipyridamole (p < 0.005). Thallium-201 myocardial perfusion imaging after dipyridamole combined with low-level upright bicycle exercise may unmask scintigraphic evidence for ischemia in symptomatic patients who would otherwise have non-diagnostic imaging studies during submaximal exercise.