A systematic analysis of factors which may impact upon tomographic perfusion imaging measurements: Implications for the use of Tc-99m sestamibi in acute myocardial infarction

Anu K. Das, Michael K. O'connor, Raymond J Gibbons, Erik L. Ritman, Timothy F. Christian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Background: The use of acute Tc-99m sestamibi imaging has provided a valuable methodology to assess myocardium at risk and collateral blood flow. Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of physical, physiologic, and reconstruction factors on the extent and severity of Tc-99m sestamibi images in a porcine model of coronary occlusion and reperfusion. Methods and results: Eleven pigs underwent 40 min of coronary occlusion using a balloon catheter followed by reperfusion. Radiolabeled microspheres were injected during occlusion for blood flow determination and 20-30 mCi of Tc-99m sestamibi was injected intravenously for cardiac imaging. Each animal underwent four modes of gamma camera imaging: a cardiac and respiratory gated SPECT study, an ungated SPECT study, a post-mortem SPECT study and an ex-situ study where the heart was sliced into five short axis slices and directly imaged. All animals had extensive wall motion abnormalities at the time of imaging. Myocardial risk area by ex-situ imaging was 32 ± 9% LV and did not significantly change with the addition of a chest cavity and tomographic reconstruction (post-mortem and gated imaging) or cardiac and respiratory motion (ungated imaging). Defect severity was significantly underestimated with the addition of a chest cavity and tomographic reconstruction but was unaltered by cardiac and respiratory motion. Conclusions: The assessment of risk area acutely by SPECT Tc-99m sestamibi imaging is unaffected by cardiac motion obviating the necessity for gated imaging. Estimated defect severity (which has been used as a measure of collateral flow) is significantly reduced by the chest wall and tomographic acquisition and reconstruction suggesting a role for scatter and attenuation algorithms for this measure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-303
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Cardiac Imaging
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2000



  • Myocardial infarction
  • Radionuclide imaging
  • Reperfusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology

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