To elucidate patterns of thallium-201 redistribution with and without myocardial infarction, to determine the value of thallium-201 redistribution scintigrams in identifying additional ischemic myocardium in the presence of prior myocardial infarction and to delineate the relation of collateral vessels to redistribution, thallium-201 myocardial perfusion scintigraphy was performed immediately after exercise and 4 to 6 hours after exercise in 46 patients with coronary artery disease and 12 normal control subjects. Scintigrams were interpreted in the conventional visual manner as well as with use of computer-processed myocardial perfusion ratios. Normal control subjects demonstrated uniform thallium-201 distribution with regional perfusion ratios approximating unity in both the early and delayed scintigrams. Of 27 patients with prior myocardial infarction, 5 (19 percent) had complete redistribution on delayed imaging, 17 (62 percent) had partial redistribution and 5 (19 percent) had no redistribution. Of 25 regions corresponding to electrocardiographlc evidence of infarction, 8 (32 percent) had total, 8 (32 percent) had partial and 9 (36 percent) had no redistribution. Collateral vessels were absent or of poor quality in seven of eight infarct areas with no redistribution; three of four infarct regions with normal early thallium uptake were supplied by collateral vessels of good quality. Of 12 regions supplied with good collateral vessels, 9 had complete redistribution, 2 partial and 1 no redistribution. In contrast, only 2 of 21 hypoperfused zones without redistribution (10 percent) were supplied by good collateral vessels. Of 19 patients without prior myocardial infarction, 10 (53 percent) had complete redistribution, 6 (31 percent) had partial redistribution and 3 (16 percent) had no redistribution. Of the 34 abnormal areas in the immediate postexercise image, 22 (65 percent) showed total redistribution, 3 (9 percent) showed partial redistribution and 9 (26 percent) showed no redistribution. Thus, considerable overlap in redistribution scintigrams occurs in patients with coronary artery disesase with and without prior infarction; a high incidence rate of transient stress-induced hypoperfusion occurs in both infarcted and noninfarcted myocardium. Further, good quality collateral vessels afford redistribution, even to some areas of prior infarction. These data indicate that because delayed postexercise redistribution imaging may not discriminate between myocardial scar and ischemia resting scintigrams may be needed in a substantial number of patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine