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Comparative analysis of the diagnostic and prognostic value of exercise ECG and thallium-201 scintigraphic markers of myocardial ischemia in asymptomatic and symptomatic patients



Comparative analysis of the diagnostic and prognostic value of exercise ECG and thallium-201 scintigraphic markers of myocardial ischemia in asymptomatic and symptomatic patients



Cardiology Clinics 7(3): 565-575



A considerable amount of data now exists that indicates that exercise ECG--due to its suboptimal sensitivity and specificity--has limited diagnostic and prognostic value in asymptomatic subjects, patients with chest pain of unclear etiology or those with chronic stable angina pectoris, and in patients recovering from acute myocardial infarction. Because of this and the well-recognized advantages of thallium-201 scintigraphy, there appears to be a strong rationale for recommending exercise perfusion imaging, rather than exercise ECG alone, as the preferred method for detecting CAD and staging its severity. This recommendation seems justified given the fact that (1) thallium-201 scintigraphy is far more sensitive and specific in detecting myocardial ischemia than exercise testing; (2) unlike stress ECG, thallium-201 scintigraphy can localize ischemia to a specific area of areas subtended by a specific coronary artery; and (3) thallium-201 scintigraphy has been shown to be more reliable to risk stratification of individual patients than exercise testing alone. The more optimal prognostic efficiency of thallium-201 scintigraphy is due, in part, to the fact that the error rate in falsely classifying patients as low-risk is substantially and significantly smaller with thallium-201 scintigraphy than with stress ECG.

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Accession: 039614855

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PMID: 2670227


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