Safety of single-site adenosine thallium-201 scintigraphy

Mehmet Emin Korkmaz, John J. Mahmarian, Gerald W. Guidry, Mario S. Verani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The diagnostic accuracy, safety and tolerance of adenosine thallium scintigraphy have been reported using a 2-site intravenous infusion with either a titrated or fixed-dose protocol. A single-site infusion would considerably simplify the test procedure, but its safety must be established before it can be recommended. Accordingly, 400 consecutive patients who had adenosine and thallium-201 administered through the same intravenous line were classified into 2 groups. Group I (n = 201) patients received a 7-minute titrated intravenous infusion of adenosine, with an initial dose of 50 μg/kg/min that increased at 1-minute intervals to a maximum of 140 μg/kg/min. Group II (n = 199) patients received a fixed dose of adenosine at 140 μg/kg/min for 6 minutes. Adenosine significantly (p < 0.001) increased heart rate and decreased systolic blood pressure by similar amounts in both groups. Adverse effects occurred more often (88 vs 71%, p < 0.001) and started earlier (2.8 vs 3.6 minutes, p < 0.001) in group II. There was no significant difference in the occurrence of second- and third-degree atrioventricular block between the 2 groups (4.0 vs 5.0%); however, chest pain, flushing and nausea were all more frequent in group II. Severe side effects were seldom seen in either group and occurred in 9 group I and 8 group II patients. Scintigraphic findings were similar in both groups. Transient perfusion defects were seen more often in patients with than without second- or third-degree atrioventricular block (42 vs 21%, p < 0.05). Despite a high frequency of side effects for both the fixed dose and stepwise infusion regimens, adenosine and thallium administration through a single intravenous site is safe and well-tolerated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)200-204
Number of pages5
JournalThe American Journal of Cardiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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