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Underestimation of extent and severity of coronary artery disease by dipyridamole stress thallium-201 single-photon emission computed tomographic myocardial perfusion imaging in patients taking antianginal drugs



Underestimation of extent and severity of coronary artery disease by dipyridamole stress thallium-201 single-photon emission computed tomographic myocardial perfusion imaging in patients taking antianginal drugs



Journal of the American College of Cardiology 31(7): 1540-1546



Objectives. This study evaluated the diagnostic value of dipyridamole plus low level treadmill exercise (dipyridamole stress) thallium-201 single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) in patients taking antianginal drugs. Background. Dipyridamole stress is the major substitute for maximal exercise in patients referred for myocardial perfusion imaging. Although antianginal drugs are commonly suspended before exercise, dipyridamole stress is usually performed without discontinuing these drugs. Methods. Twenty-six patients underwent two dipyridamole perfusion studies: the first without (SPECT-1) and the second with (SPECT-2) antianginal treatment. Twenty-one patients (81%) received calcium antagonists, 19 (73%) received nitrates, and 8 (31%) received beta-blockers. Eighteen of the patients underwent coronary angiography. Data are presented as the mean value SD. Results. Visual scoring yielded significantly larger and more severe reversible perfusion defects for SPECT-1 than for SPECr-2. Quantitative analysis showed larger perfusion defects on stress images of SPECT-1 in the left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) (25 +- 21% vs. 17 +- 15%, p = 0.003), left circumflex coronary artery (LCx) (56 +- 35% vs. 48 +- 36%, p = 0.03) and right coronary artery (RCA) (36 +- 27% vs. 25 +- 24%, p = 0.008) territories. Individual vessel sensitivities in the LAD, LCx and RCA territories were 93%, 79% and 100% for SPECT-1 and 64%, 50% and 70% for SPECT-2, respectively. These differences were highly significant for the LAD (p = 0.004) and LCx (p = 0.00004) territories. The overall individual vessel sensitivity of SPECT-1 was significantly higher than that of SPECT-2 (92% vs. 62%, p = 0.000003). Specificity was not significantly different in SPECT-1 compared with SPECT-2 (80% and 93%, p = 0.33). Conclusions. Continued use of antianginal drugs before dipyridamole plus low level treadmill exercise thallium-201 SPECT may reduce the extent and severity of myocardial perfusion defects, resulting in underestimation of coronary artery disease.

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Accession: 009694900

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 9626832

DOI: 10.1016/s0735-1097(98)00142-9


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